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People find their way to Toastmasters for many reasons. For some it’s a need for better business presentation skills. For some it’s that looming special occasion speech. For some it’s facing a fear; a fear that holds back so many people from what they want to achieve in life.

For me, it was a curiosity …. about the building where my local club met. I went to my first meeting and the building was indeed fascinating, but as I sat there, I could feel an anxiety bubble up in me about public speaking. As I rose to my feet to introduce myself to the club, I felt my mouth go dry, my heart race and the words stumble out. Inside, there was a voice inside telling me “You can’t do this!”. Fortunately, that voice wasn’t the only one I heard that day; the club President uttered two words that forever changed me: “Take Courage”.

I came back to the next meeting.

And the next.

And found, what you find at every Toastmasters club, a bright, friendly community of people that want to see you conquer your fears and see you do well.

That community doesn’t just stop at the club – it spreads! Division B is a community of some 30+ clubs around London each one unique. They range from community clubs, to corporate clubs, language clubs to specialist debate clubs. No matter what your interest, you’re bound to find a local group and a perfect fit for you.

Each club follows the same basic programme of prepared speeches, thoughtful speech evaluations and impromptu Table Topics, with each club having their own twist on proceedings. As well as the speaking there are plentiful leadership training opportunities ranging from the roles performed at the meetings through to the club officers running and growing each club.

Four years after I joined, I’m still finding new things to learn at every meeting and am constantly surprised by what I learn at Toastmasters impacts the rest of my life. Public speaking is now a thrill. The anxiety is still there, but I channel the nerves into my time on stage. I hope by joining us, you too can find what you’re way to better public speaking and leadership skills.

“Take courage”

Neil Coleman

Division B Director


 “I can’t believe you used to be shy!”

This is what people often tell me nowadays when I share my story and my Toastmasters journey with them.

I first read about Toastmasters in a self-help book over Christmas 2006. Yet, I only joined the organisation in April 2013, when my Toastmasters journey began in Cheltenham Speakers. Why did it take me so long? Simply because there wasn’t a club close to where I lived at the time in Bath.

Looking back on 7 years of Toastmasters membership; I can confidently say that Toastmasters changed my life and made me a better speaker, better leader and a better person.

Become a confident speaker

The Toastmasters educational programme gave me a framework through which I could learn all elements of public speaking. From structuring my talks to body language and vocal variety. The programme covers it all and some more.

A secret sauce also played its magic and that secret sauce is evaluations. This feedback is personal to you and covers both what you do well and points for improvements. Seven years on, I learned to channel my passion into inspirational speeches. While, I still use my hands a bit too much, I’ve learnt how gestures can complement what I say.

If you want to nail these speeches at work, deliver a TEDx talk or even speak for a living. Toastmasters will help you, just like it helped me. Attend every single meeting of your club, do a speech or a role in every meeting and let the magic take place.

Yes, you can lead!

Early on in my Toastmasters journey, I took on the challenge of launching a new Toastmasters club in the heart of London. Why did I do this? Because I wanted to become a better leader and build something for others.

This experience taught me a lot about leadership but so does my current role of District Director. Leading a team of 50+ District leaders that supports our 175+ clubs and 5,000+ members is a fascinating experience. From strategic planning, to vision casting and communicating said vision, Toastmasters covers it all. If you too chose to lead, Toastmasters will help you.

Destination a better you!

Has what I learnt in Toastmasters helped me in other areas of my life? Yes, it has! The confidence I gained through my speeches and leadership roles helps me every day. For a very long time I struggled to form strong relationships with others and what I learnt in Toastmasters made these possible for me.

What will you gain from Toastmasters?

Set yourself some goals, attend every meeting of your club and say “yes” to opportunities. You too might soon find that Toastmasters will change your life.


Let’s grow forward together!

Florian Bay, District Director 2019-20



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