The New College Toastmasters Club, enjoying recent success is area competitions, will be sending three members to a local speech contest Oct. 27 at Sarasota’s Gulf Gate Library.
Evan Hunter will compete in the Humorous Speech category; Zulfiia Tursunova and Hunter Mundy will present speeches in the Tall Tales category.
Tursunova, this year’s club president, says since the club was founded in 2016, several members have won awards. Last fall, now third-year student and club founder Jennifer Lin took second place in the table topics competition in a division encompassing Sarasota and Manatee counties.
This past April, Jas Marie took second place in the local portion of the Toastmasters International Spring 2018 International Speech and Evaluation Contest — a great showing in the region’s premier public speaking competition.
To win as many awards as the New College club has takes a lot of work, Tursunova said. “You have to constantly produce. I’m shocked at how fast we’re progressing.”
Tursunova said she tries to have something prepared for every weekly meeting of the club. She’s always thinking about ideas for potential speeches. “Topics are brooding in your head all the time.” She said once she has an idea it takes about an hour to craft a 3-5 minute presentation.
It may be a good thing Tursunova can write quickly. In addition to being the president of the New College Toastmasters, she’s the president of the Music and Dance Improvisation Club (which she founded), and the artistic director of the NC New Cats Jazz Club. Plus, she’s a teaching assistant in Russian Language and Literature classes.
She says she embraces the extracurricular activities. “I’m grateful to New College for having ways for students to be creative and expressive. People benefit from these experiences.
“New College is a very amazing place.”