Talking Tigers aid Airmen with speaking skills

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Dillian Bamman
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs
(Editor's note: The mention of the nonprofit organization Toastmasters International does not constitute endorsement or affiliation by Moody Air Force Base or the U.S. Air Force.)

What do Tim 'The Toolman' Taylor and Dr. Spock have in common?

The actors for these two iconic TV show characters, Tim Allen and Leonard Nimoy, were both distinguished speakers in Toastmasters International, a nonprofit organization focusing on public speaking improvement.

According to a Chapman University study on American fears, public speaking is the most common fear, and Moody's own Toastmasters club, Moody Talking Tigers, help Airmen develop this dreaded skill.

"With public speaking, the more that you get in front of an audience and speak, the better you get ... and we provide that atmosphere to learn this skill," said Jerry Bullard, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron locksmith and MTT president.

Talking Tigers host meetings weekly that consists of a social gathering and speech training.

"[Our MTT meetings] give a positive environment to work on the speech skills that can do wonders for a career," said Wendy Byrd, MTT treasurer. "I joined Toastmasters to help with my professional development, but many join for different reasons, just like joining the military."

Team Moody members of all ranks and career fields attend meetings with reasons ranging from helping with a presentation to building better supervisor-to-Airman communication.

"When Airmen have to give a presentation to their supervisors, oftentimes they get nervous," said Bullard. "You can see the progress the Airmen make every week [from] going to our meetings ... it simply just takes practice."

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Tabitha Alcott, 23d Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, recently became a Talking Tiger, and she said her time so far has already helped with her career.

"Just from the fact I do public speaking during [MTT] meetings helps with the presentations and briefings I do for my job," said Alcott.

"I recently was the announcer for a Commander's Call, and I was a little nervous," she added. "But I feel that if I keep practicing [during the meetings], that will disappear."

Due to the briefings and commanders calls she speaks at, Alcott's career requires proficiency with her speaking skills, which MTT meetings helps keep in tune.

"It's always good to go up to the stage and talk to people," said Alcott. "I'd like to say I'm pretty good at public speaking, but it's nice to get up there and keep getting better."

According to Alcott, her favorite part of the meetings is table topics, which are one-minute skits performed by the audience that provides humor along with speaking to a crowd.

"Table topics are the highlight for me, because the humor gets everyone going, and it closes our meetings off with laughter," said Alcott.

Alcott and her Talking Tigers Club encourage anyone with base access to attend their meetings and possibly become a member of Toastmasters.

"We are always looking for new members," said Alcott. "[Our meetings are] a great environment to better yourself and have some fun in the process."

Moody Talking Tigers host their meetings weekly on Thursdays at 5:15 p.m. in the front meeting room of The SPOT.

For more information on Moody Talking Tigers or interested in becoming a member, contact Staff Sgt. Tiffany Ehlen at or 229-257-7803.