toastmasters club Les Roches International School of Hotel Management

Les Roches Toastmasters Club: mastering the art of public speaking

13 Feb 2015 | by Giovanni Odaglia


Dear readers,

It gives me a great pleasure to introduce to you one of the greatest clubs we have ever had on campus: Toastmasters – Les Roches Bluche.


Toastmasters International began in 1926 in California by Ralph C. Smedley. Its objectives were to train people in the art of public speaking and leading meetings. Today, this organization counts more than 313,000 members registered in more than 14,650 clubs spread in 126 countries. In short, Toastmasters is a not-for-profit organization and it follows a specific program which allows members to build their confidence through speaking and facilitating meetings.

As the hospitality industry is a business of people, communication and leadership are definitely two pillars in which any aspiring hotelier should strive to perfect constantly. Toastmasters allow hoteliers to achieve that, and this is made accessible to students, staff and alumni at Les Roches, thanks to the efforts of a few students and our Academic Dean Mr. Jeremy Hutchinson.


A typical Toastmasters meeting is made up of two sections in a 90-minute meeting:

  • A prepared speech section following the speech objectives provided in the communications manual
  • An impromptu speech section also known as Table Topics

The meeting is run by members for members, and every meeting role is taken up by members. One of the cornerstones of Toastmasters is that every role is evaluated – each speaker will receive feedback on what they have done well and recommendations for improvement. In addition to a verbal evaluation, prepared speech speakers will also receive a written evaluation in their project manual.

Members who take up meeting roles can also have their performance evaluated in a Competent Leadership manual. Upon successful completion of all 10 projects in each manual, members can apply to gain recognition with Toastmasters International.


Les Roches Bluche Toastmaster had is first meeting on the 18th of February 2014 organized by the club’s mentor, Christina Seow. Thanks to other few students and myself, Les Roches Bluche was officially chartered in March with 39 members.

As President of the Club for the term 2014-2015, I can count on a team of 5 officers and more than 20 members in order to lead this club at the highest level. We are growing fast and have many events lined up in the next year.

A hint? We are aiming to host the Area Competition, with a few other clubs around the region in Switzerland, on campus.

Are you studying in Les Roches? Will you be here just for a visit? Come on a Tuesday evening and join us for a priceless experience.

Christina Seow, Mentor, Les Roches Bluche
Giovanni Odaglia, President, Les Roches Bluche



Giovanni Odaglia


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