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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Toastmasters

Today I had the pleasure of attending my first Toastmasters meeting. It was held at Picadilly Cafeteria in Hollywood, as it is every Saturday morning at 8:30. Here is the link to their web page.

I had been considering Toastmasters for many years, ever since I met someone who was involved with them while I was selling Avon. She was a fellow Avon Representative and told me about the rules and basically how a meeting worked.

Over the years many times I considered it, but while it was a curiosity, it was not really a necessity. Recently that began to change.

I realize I'm going to be called upon to do some public speaking in the near future, and have plans to go into full-time public speaking and performance. It is with this in mind that I knew I must hone those skills to a razor-sharp edge if I hope to make the right kind of impression upon my listeners.

I'm reasonably adept at constructing material that is compelling and thought-provoking, but have not had a lot of success with persuasion. That is where Toastmasters comes in. They teach you to not only be a competent public speaker but to embrace leadership roles as well, guiding you every step of the way. It's a wonderful organization composed of people from every stratum of society.

Upon my arrival I had feared I would find a half-dozen people struggling to make this thing work. Imagine how pleasantly surprised I was then, to find a vibrant group of 25-30 members and a half dozen GUESTS alone! As a matter of fact, if the group continues to grow, they'll have to seek out a larger venue!

I was apprehensive at first, but knew that I must step out of my comfort zone and do this because it is a stepping stone on the path that I've accepted. More to come as this adventure unfolds...

2 comments:

Andrew - Six Minutes Public Speaking Blog said...

Lydia:

Congratulations on taking the plunge into Toastmasters. I have really enjoyed my 3+ years in Toastmasters, and I am confident that you will find it to be a rewarding experience.

It sounds like you have found a strong, vibrant club. That's important! You want to know that there will be an audience there to support you week-in and week-out. It is equally important that the group dynamic fits with your personality.

Good luck!

Sister Sunshine said...

Thanks Andrew,

It's an early morning meeting... and I would love to attend later in the day, but wonder if the group would be nearly as enjoyable as this one is.

I suppose I should visit others, however... not to joint their groups but to hear their speeches and learn.
: )

~Lydia