I Joined Toastmasters

Remember how one of my goals this year was to develop myself outside of “work.” Welp…I finally took the plunge and joined Toastmasters.

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For those of you who don’t know what Toastmasters is, here’s a short blurb:

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. It is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. There are 280,000 members attending one of the 13,500 clubs in 116 countries that make up a global network. A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere. There is no instructor in a Toastmasters meeting. Instead, members evaluate one another’s presentations. This feedback process is a key part of the program’s success.

 I have been part of Toastmasters before as part of my competition training for SIFE/Enactus in college. It was a great experience and it taught to be less nervous in front of crowds. I, also, learned not say as many filler words (uh, ahh, umms, you know) when I speak. It’s really hard, and I found myself loosing the skills I had developed years to acquire.

See if you don’t practice your skills, you start to lose them! What a thought.

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A new environment at work has caused me to be less confident. My boss actually pointed it out during my annual review, which he mentioned was strange because he hired me due to my confidence. Yikes!

So, I took this advice, and set one of my personal goals to improve my public speaking and confidence. Both of them go hand in hand, and if my public speaking skills improve so will my confidence.

I have been to four meetings so far, and have volunteered for table topic speaker, ah counter, and Toastmaster already!

Today, I was actually Toastmaster and Table Topics Master because our meeting was not very big and we had to double up on responsibilities.

My dream is to one day be like Steve Gates who just faces audiences like it’s nothing. Of course, this requires lots and lots of training, so I better start now at 22, so I can be marvelous in ten years!

Marvelous was the word of the day at today’s meeting.

We actually have a club within our company, so all I have to do is walk to another building to go to the meeting. This should leave no excuse whatsoever to not go!

How are you developing yourself professionally?

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