I owe Toastmasters a debt.
My husband likes to tell people that I’m a “ringer!” What he means by that is that I already had the confidence to speak in front of an audience before I joined Toastmasters and, to be honest, he’s not wrong. The problem was my confidence was only in the form of giving training courses or acting, both of which essentially rely on scripts and direction. To really deliver a speech in front of an audience I was missing three essential elements.
- How to structure that speech.
- How to deliver a speech.
- How to speak in an impromptu manner – answering questions.
Toastmaster taught me those skills, and much more. The tagline for Toastmasters International is “Where leaders are made” and how to lead is one of the biggest skills Toastmasters has taught me.
I followed the programme and achieved my Distinguished Toastmaster award and learned so much more than just how to give a speech. I went on to be a club president and then followed it up with being an Area Director and then a Division Director, roles which I adored even with the various challenges they brought.
The skills I gained gave me the confidence and strength to go on and lead various community organisations, handling conflict and recruitment, while remaining calm and professional. Encouraging the members of those groups to be the best they can.
I assure you, I owe Toastmasters a debt!
At Loughrea Toastmaster we foster a meeting of diversity and inclusion which makes meetings educational and fun. Our innovative “Creative Corner” has been the talk of the district while our members have gone on to be leaders within our organisation on a national level as well as being contest winners representing our Division.
As a charter member I’m very proud of our club and the success it has become, made possible by our eclectic range of members who make it work.
This year, like every year, we have a dedicated committee who are going to bring that same diversity, inclusion and fun to the meetings and welcome our members and guests, as we have done since the day we had our very first test meeting back in November 2017. We, as committee, will uphold the four pillars of Toastmasters – Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence – and continue to make our club a welcoming place for anyone who comes through our door.
So come and see what we do and how we do it, you won’t be disappointed.
President 2022 – 2023