The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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SMU Toastmasters

SMU Toastmasters announced the recipients of the Toastmasters Speakers Series yesterday in a ceremony in the famed Petroleum Club. Scholarships were awarded to winner Chase Hassan ($5,000) and most improved speaker and second place speaker Emily Turner ($2,500). Ann Truong finished third in the series.

SMU Toastmasters president Danielle Senn presented each of the winners with a plaque and spoke on the impact the organization had made on her presentation skills.

“I’m proud to be part of this organization,” she said. “It’s one of those experiences I can’t explain.”

Ernst and Young and Quest Capital Mortgage who also helped fund the scholarships that were awarded sponsor the organization.

David Alexander, the southwest area managing partner at Ernst and Young, said he “really enjoys being around this kind of event.”

“We’re proud to be a sponsor.”

He jokingly added after taking the podium that “coming in front of a group that involves public speaking is intimidating.”

Brian Bachman, a marketing representative from Ernst and Young, said he was “amazed at the level of communications and professionalism of SMU Toastmasters.”

Bachman joined Toastmasters International after accepting his position at Ernst and Young and said the organization has helped him improve his public speaking skills and interacting with people outside of his office, including college students.

“It’s just been a fantastic opportunity to be involved with [SMU Toastmasters],” he said.

Jerry Alexander, the director of SMU’s Hegi Family Career Center, serves as the advisor to SMU Toastmasters and was on hand to oversee the students he helped groom.

Alexander coordinated mock interviews for members of the organization to endure and believes it helped him or her improve their speaking skills.

“An interview is a presentation, it’s not a Q&A session,” he said. Next year, he hopes the group can better its success. “My goal for next year is that you improve and get better.”

Truong, the third place winner, was thankful for the experience she received by being a member of Toastmasters.“It’s about being in the business world, being on the 39th floor of a high rise and speaking to business professionals,” she said. “It’s more than just sitting in a cubicle.”

Turner said that “personal growth and continued learning” are the two things she has taken away from the club.

Hassan, a junior economics and finance double major, SMU Toastmasters president elect and winner of the Speaker Series, said he was “speechless” when he found out he won the competition. “[SMU Toastmasters] is not a student organization,” he said. “It’s a small business.”

SMU Toastmasters was founded in 2003 and is committed to helping students improve their public speaking skills and assist in honing real business world skills in a supportive setting.

The speakers series is a 10-speech competition that awards the winner with a $5,000 scholarship and the most improve speaker with $2,500. The fifth and tenth speech are presented before business professionals.

The next SMU Toastmasters meeting is 7 p.m., Feb. 22 in Room 356, Maguire Hall. For more information, visit

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