A new employee resource group (ERG) received an official welcome last fall: Gro-Masters!
The group began over a decade ago as the Scotts chapter of Toastmasters International, a world leader in communication and leadership development. Gro-Masters was elevated to an ERG because of its focus on professional and personal development by helping its members become better communicators.
Members of Gro-Masters learn how to give speeches, but the group is not just about public speaking. It’s a small group of associates that have created a safe environment where feedback is constructive and members are supportive of one another such that members are able to improve and achieve their goals.
Tracy, the president of Gro-Masters, is an analyst in our finance department. She claims that she is the least funniest person in the room and admits that she is all about business when it comes to meetings. However, through Gro-Masters, she has learned that adding humor to her conversation can help with business relationships and in everyday life.
Joseph is also an analyst in our finance department, and he helps lead Gro-Masters. He joined Gro-Masters in order to overcome his fear of public speaking. He remembers one of his first speeches in junior high school during which he was visibly shaking at the front of the classroom. He says that he is still nervous speaking in front of others today, but his experience with Gro-Masters has helped him manage his fear.
The group meets in-person and virtually twice a month to practice giving speeches, to learn tips on making speeches and presentations better, and to have fun with their impromptu speaking session, known as Table TopicsTM.
Gro-Masters recently held an open-mic-style event that focused on Table TopicsTM. Participants volunteered to speak and chose from one of two topics. Each person had ten seconds to think about their topic before speaking for 90 seconds. Some of the stories were true and some were made up, and everyone had fun in the creative environment.
Vice President of Lawns Ashley Bachmann said that the event was “a fun, brain break that helped everyone develop quick thinking skills, which is an excellent way to learn.”