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...