The Toasted Sandwich completes a Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program (YLP) …
A good Apprenticeship provides the employee with both the training and hands-on experience that are required to succeed in their future career. When managers at an International Pharmaceutical company in South East Kent, UK were looking at ways to educate their apprentices in the art of good communication, they reached out to their local Toastmasters Club for help.
Rebecca Jackson, VP Education for The Toasted Sandwich Toastmaster’s Club, looked across the range of materials available and decided to devise an eight week program for the apprentices which was based on the Youth Leadership Program (YLP). In preparing the course, one of the main challenges Rebecca had to overcome was one of scheduling:
“The YLP materials are great, but it quickly became apparent that I needed to adapt the timings if I was going to give each apprentice the chance to give two presentations, make time for Table Topics and include an educational piece every week. The global Toastmaster community was a fabulous extended resource. In particular, I should give kudos to Fred Jones and members of his team in District 21 for inspiration.”
Once the agendas were mapped out, 8 x ninety minute sessions were booked, with a ninth session pencilled in for the ‘showcase event’.
Rebecca explained further:
“Every participant was asked to present two short speeches during the course of the program. Whilst the speaker got to select their own topic, we did ask that one speech be about themselves, or about something that they feel strongly about. The other speech needed to be work-based. Each week, the bar was raised in terms of what the speakers needed to achieve. The first speakers had to overcome the biggest nerves, but the bar was fairly low – just make sure that the presentation had a beginning, a middle and an end, and lasted for between 4 – 5 minutes. The next cohort were asked to give their speech a purpose, or ‘take home’ message. After that, speakers were asked in turn to introduce visual aids, body language and to vary their voice and language to further bring their presentations to life”.
The main adaptation for this particular audience was to include a session on giving technical presentations.
As if standing up in front of each other to present wasn’t enough, the apprentices also took turns to give each other feedback. The final element of the course was to practice ‘impromptu speaking’ in the form of Table Topics.
On 27th January 2016, the apprentices invited their supervisors to a ‘showcase event’ where they could demonstrate their new-found skills and confidence. The lively program of entertainment included a ‘Would I lie to you’ style round of ‘This is my…’ where apprentices Josh Bucceri, Aidan Harper and Tony Reynolds each claimed, in turn, to know a distinguished looking gentleman (he turned out to be Josh’s dad!). Arguing for a place in the lifeboat, Charlotte Carr, Adam Gymer, George Cossons, Sam Young, Rebecca Johnson and Ben Cooper each presented a compelling case as to why their character should be saved from a sinking ship. An audience vote determined who survived. Riley Glendinning and Amy Mercer led the fun.
In closing the event, Club President Jeremy Swallow presented the apprentices with a certificate of completion and thanked The Toasted Sandwich team for an outstanding piece of work.
The Toasted Sandwich Toastmasters Club
The Toasted Sandwich Toastmasters Club meets every Wednesday lunchtime from 12 noon – 1pm in Discovery Park House, Sandwich, Kent. The Club is open to all, including employees of any company at Discovery Park and members of the public. For further information please contact: Bev Nicol or Arnaud Sartre (VP Public Relations) or go to the Club’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thetoastedsandwich.