“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