Let’s be honest, everybody wants to work at the best company. And, while “best” may mean different things for different people, one cannot argue that the culture and working environment of a company are its key elements. At POSCO, we promote employees’ individual development and encourage a flexible corporate culture as our key values. What exactly are we doing to stay the “best” company? “Hello, POSCO!” will take you on a new journey—“The Great Company to Work at”— where we will reveal the various efforts being put into becoming a great company to work at. Are you ready? J
The first episode of the “POSCO, the Great Company to Work at” series will highlight the POSCO Toastmasters Club.
Toastmasters Club: Onwards to Being a Global Leader!
POSCO provides a supportive and opportune environment for any ambitious employee who is striving to become true global leaders. One of the great ways of training employees is the Toastmasters club. Established in December 2011, the POSCO Toastmasters club is an English speech and leadership club focused on improving employees’ public speaking and organizational skills. The name of the club is used to describe a leader or presenter of a meeting and symbolizes its aim to develop individuals through targeted activities involving communication and leadership. The POSCO Toastmasters club’s regular Wednesday lunch meetings give each member a chance to speak in front of an audience and brings them one step closer to becoming an effective public speaker and leader. The club is open not limited to POSCO employees; in fact, anybody who aspires to improve their English, verbal communication, and leadership skills are welcome with open arms. Come meet us!
The mission of the POSCO Toastmasters club is to provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.
What Makes a Toastmasters Club Special?
The POSCO Toastmasters club’s strength is its program and curriculum. Each member is given a different role to perform every week. These tasks add up and eventually have each member perform more than 8 different practical exercises more than once. As shown in the image below, the club meetings delegate functionary roles following a fixed order:
When a member successfully completes the curriculums outlined below, he/she earns a Competent Communicator (CC) certificate from Toastmasters International to recognize their accomplishements. Additionally, when a member performs various roles, including Toastmaster, Table Topics master, and evaluator; and helps organize the club’s meetings and education procedures, his/her achievements are recognized with the Competent Leader (CL) certificate. The education and leadership opportunities do not stop there, as the CC and CL awardees then proceed to further improve their skills through an Advanced Communicator and Advanced Leadership track.
#1 The Ice Breaker: The first speech is, of course, about yourself!
#2 Organize Your Speech: Practice making a well-organized, coherent speech
#3 Get to the Point: Learn how to convey the key message by dividing the content into general and specific
#4 How to Say It: Choosing the right words and expressions depending on the nature of the speech
#5 Your Body Speaks: Practice effective gestures and body language
#6 Vocal Variety: Experiment with speech tone, pace, and vocal devices
#7 Research Your Topic: Give a trustworthy speech that has sufficient research and evidence
#8 Get Comfortable with Visual Aids: Practice integrating visual aids for a more effective speech
#9 Persuade with Power: Provide clear and coherent logic to effectively persuade the audience
#10 Inspire Your Audience: The final CC speech to apply all the skills gained in the first 9 projects[/box]
Boost Up Skills with Fun Activities
In the POSCO Toastmasters club, we don’t simply follow the curriculum but also provide room for improvement in abilities through various entertaining team activities. Let’s look at some examples of the fun stuff we have done in our club.
In order to help overcome nervousness when speaking English and to promote friendship among members, the POSCO Toastmasters club recently held a Humorous Speech contest. The contest provides opportunities for the members to share their personal stories, such as “the scariest moment in my life,” in a fun and playful manner. The winner of the club’s speech contest went on to compete with other Toastmasters clubs’ winners, each delivering their speech with humor and joyful charm.
In addition to Humorous Speech contests, there are other types of exciting challenges. This includes the International Speech contest. This particular contest is held once every year and provides a great opportunity to share experiences, improve communication abilities, and develop speech delivery skills while overcoming the fear of speaking in front of a large audience. Winners of our club contest, such as Mr. Jaekyung Park or Ms. Anna Kim, went on to compete at the Area (4 clubs) and Division (more than 15 clubs) level speech contests. Mr. Park won the challenge with the topic of “What are the factors that Korea is globally known for?”
The club not only helps to master English skills, but also creates an environment to meet new people through auction events, skating, picnic at Han River, and other fun activities!
What Team Members Say
Igor: “Time is limited; opportunities are unlimited”
Hi! I was raised in Ukraine and came to Korea in 2008 when I was twenty-one years old. I received a Master’s degree in POSTECH and joined POSCO’s Investment team in 2010. My undergraduate and graduate majors were in metallurgy, and like most engineers, I had problems with public speaking and leadership. While looking for opportunities to develop my speaking and leadership skills, I met Mr. Jaekyung Park who had just returned from Hong Kong with an idea to establish a speech and leadership club called Toastmasters. I have been inspired by his vision, and helped establish POSCO Toastmasters, eventually taking a lead as a club president.
Every Toastmasters meeting is a great opportunity to meet new people, overcome the fear of public speaking, and train task solving skills by taking on leadership roles. The key difference from other clubs is that in Toastmasters I get to receive honest and unbiased feedback from fellow members, so I know what to work on next time. All of my friends and coworkers noticed that I have become more confident about speaking in front of an audience. I can now deliver quality presentations and speeches with ease. In addition to improvements in my speaking skills, I feel like I became better at managing tasks and social connections. I served as an officer in POSCO Toastmasters and organized various events such as speech contests and conferences. I feel that my experience in the Toastmasters club has aided in my promotion to the manager level. Toastmasters is unique because it is a global network of clubs with very motivated and talented people. Your future path is not limited within the boundaries of the club: if you become a skilled speaker, you get to take part in speech contests where you can advance up to the International Speech Contest in the USA. To become a strong leader, you need to take on many leadership challenges and serve as a club, area, division or even district officer, helping others in establishing their own success stories.
Anna: “Inspire yourself through public speaking!”
Hello everyone, my name is Anna Kim from Uzbekistan and I joined POSCO in October 2010. Currently, I am working in the Steel Investments and Technology Planning Department. I have been one of the founding members of POSCO Toastmasters and the vice president of public relations since December of 2011. First of all, by being a member of this club you can improve your English public speaking skills. Furthermore, you can develop leadership qualities by organizing speech contests and events. Finally, you get to meet a wide range of people with various backgrounds and experiences. It is a great opportunity to expand your network and enjoy inspiring and informative speeches.
Yevgeniya, ”Training to become a Global Leader while building a unique network!”
Hi there, I’m Yevgeniya Li from Kazakhstan. In 2010 I got a scholarship from POSCO TJ Park Foundation, and after graduating from Yonsei Graduate School of International Studies, I’ve joined POSCO in October 2012. I am also an active member of the POSCO Toastmasters club, taking a position of the vice president education from July 1st. The club is great because it is not simply about practicing English and public speaking skills; the club gives its members a great opportunity to become an effective communicator through professional guidelines, training material, and peer evaluation. The weekly meetings help to develop a wide range of crucial skills including leadership, time management, critical thinking, and impromptu conversation. Members are not limited within the boundaries of POSCO, so you get to build a unique, expansive network. And besides, the club is always a lot of fun!
Can you feel the enthusiasm and ambition of POSCO employees to become global leaders? The “POSCO, Great Company to Work” series will continue to introduce many other exciting opportunities that the company offers to its employees. Stay tuned! 😉