SEC Roughriders Toastmasters
Preston teaches his grand nephew music
The member:
Preston Trombly

About him:
Preston is the host of two classical music programs on Sirius XM radio. He has also been a professional musician and internationally-known composer and more recently a visual artist whose work has been displayed in galleries and museums in the Greater New York and tri-state areas.

Why he joined:
Preston had plenty of experience behind the microphone in a radio studio but when it came to speaking in front of a live audience, he wasn’t so confident. But as his art has become more popular, he's needed to give speeches at various gallery and museum exhibitions.¬†This prompted him to join SEC Roughriders in 2010.

His first speech:
When Preston was scheduled to give his first speech--The Icebreaker--he almost didn’t show up. He walked past the Bar Association (where the club meets every Thursday) and contemplated spending his lunch hour at Starbucks instead. "I was very, very nervous." He found the courage to go through with it though and hasn't looked back. He’s now given sixteen speeches and earned both his Competent Communicator and Competent Leader designations. "SEC Roughriders are very supportive," he says.

His proudest SEC Roughriders moment:
Preston was thrilled to represent the Club at the District Level Humorous Speech contest last year--something he saw as a big accomplishment for someone who used to dread speaking in front of a crowd.

How he's served the Club:
During his second year, Preston served the Club as Vice President of Education. He chaired contests and helped fill speaking roles each week. “It was a tough but fascinating job that helped me get to know other members."

His advice to prospective members:
"You can read plenty of books about public speaking but the only way to get better is by doing it," he says. SEC Roughriders is a great place to learn because of the caliber of the Club's members. Preston compares speaking at SEC Roughriders to playing in an orchestra." To be the best you want to perform with people who are better than you and willing to play with you. That’s what it’s like here.”

His public speaking tips:
"Always use a story to make a point as that will make your presentation more effective," he says.  Focusing on the story (instead of on himself) has also helped. "I still get nervous but now I know how channel my anxiety and focus on the story instead."

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