Today, November 17th, 2016, at the “New School” in Rome, Italy, the first Italian Youth Leadership Program was successfully completed. The eight session were lead by TM Lucy Michaels, President of Toastmasters Roma and also a math teacher at the school.
Lucy Michaels says: “The Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program is internationally renowned and aims to help students gain the experience and skills to feel confident and comfortable about giving speeches and to overcome nervousness when speaking before an audience. We opened the program, the first of its kind in Italy, in September, when Year 10 to 13 students were invited to take part. Eighteen students have completed the course of eight two-hour after school sessions in which they have been coached in public speaking, impromptu speaking and listening skills by me, other teachers and several visiting Toastmasters from the Toastmasters Roma and Toastmasters SPQR (FAO) clubs. The students were given as many opportunities as possible to practise and many sought extra help from their teachers outside of the sessions.”
Lucy continues: “We have seen a huge difference in the way the students present themselves now, compared with at the first meeting. They have much more poise and confidence, structure their speeches better, use fewer ums and ahs and we have also have also noticed a significant improvement in their English! The final session was run completely by the students, with a total of fourteen contestants competing in speech, impromptu speaking and evaluation competitions. The judges were the headteacher, the president of the school’s Executive Council, as well as two Toastmasters from the Roma club. It was a fantastic competition; all came out buzzing! One of the partecipanti students went from totalling 65 Ahs in his ice-breaker, to winning the prepared speeches contest.”
The school is so happy about the program that they have already planned a follow-up in January to teach students about debating and parliamentary procedure.
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