Now that I have been a member of Toastmasters International for 10 years, it’s a good time to reflect on the experience.
It has been a life-changer for me.
As a born introvert I know only too well the ‘apparent fear’ one experiences when one stands up before a group of people to speak, whether it is in a work or business meeting, or if you are asked to give a speech somewhere.
After 10 years of ‘investing myself’ in the programme, here’s what I have learned:
* The old adage ‘you only get out what you put in’ is totally true.
Out here in Australia, Clubs meet twice a month and I’ve missed perhaps 15 – 20 meetings in those 10 years. I would say that I’ve been to at least 240 Toastmaster meetings if you count the other Toastmaster clubs that I have visited in that time.
* The benefits I have gained/positive impact on my life are immense.
I wrote an article back in 2015 for this blog and will post the link at the bottom for I identified 18 ways my life has benefitted from being involved in Toastmasters.
I’ve even managed to progress from Introvert to Ambivert as well!
* I sometimes get asked, ‘Why do you keep going?’
Simply put, Education, Motivation, Friendship & Fun!
I can’t remember how many times that I felt like just going home and vegetating because I had a hard day at work or whatever. Whenever I went to the Toastmasters meeting, I always came out at the end, revitalised and re-energised.
Every meeting you learning something new, either about yourself or about public speaking/leadership and with each time you do a role and/or speak you grow that little more in confidence.
I’ve made so many great friends who are so supportive, and we have loads of fun.
* It gives you a chance to have a positive impact on other people’s lives
I can easily relate to how other people (especially Introverts) feel and can help them through my experiences. The membership individually and as a whole want people to succeed. We support them through their mistakes, want them to progress and use their skills out in the World at large.
Toastmasters Clubs also run Youth Leadership courses in schools and Speechcraft courses for adults.
I’m really looking forward to the next 10 years and beyond in Toastmasters. Here in Australia, we’ve just taken delivery of the new PATHWAYS Education programme. 10 Paths to transverse. I’ve selected, ‘Presentation Mastery’ as the one I’d like to begin with.
There is another old saying that says, ‘It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey…’, well this journey is one that I am ever so grateful for!
17 March 2018
To find out the way 18 ways being involved in Toastmasters has helped me, click on
If you would like to find out more, click on https://www.toastmasters.org/
The inspiration for this poem came from being part of the judging panel on the Lions Club International Youth of the Year District contest that I wrote about in my previous post.