Special to The Sun
Tabitha Pope, a member of Conoma Toastmasters Club, recently won Oklahoma’s 2013 District 16 International Speech Contest. She placed first out of five finalists from across the state and will compete in the World Championship of Public Speaking at the annual Toastmasters International Convention to be held in August in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Duke Energy Convention Center.
“Toastmasters gave me an outlet to practice in a controlled, positive setting,” Pope said. “So, I can mess up and laugh at the mess up and get great feedback on what I did right. When I do the right things again, it will help build my confidence and self-esteem.”
Pope said this self-confidence shows at work and she now has a door full of ribbons and a desk cluttered with trophies.
“People think: ‘wow, that’s awesome,’ and I feel proud of how hard I have worked to get every one of those ribbons and trophies,” Pope said. “I feel confident to handle speaking to faculty, staff and students as well as conducting a meeting. My leadership skills are growing right along with my communication skills.”
Pope said Toastmaster’s is packed with the most brilliant, eccentric, talented, kind and supportive people.
“I have found the most amazing friends there and learned so much from hearing their stories,” Pope added. “Toastmasters changes lives personally and at work more than words can say.”
Pope has been a member of Conoma Toastmasters Club for about a year and a half. She is Director of Disability Services at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany.