My Toastmaster Journey – The Beginning

My dad loved to talk, even after suffering a stroke and losing the ability to fully articulate as he was once able to, it didn’t stop him from trying. On one occasion I wheeled him into the chemist because he wanted to ask for an over the counter fatigue remedy for my mother. He showed no frustration with his now broken English and continued until eventually the pharmacist understood what he meant.

I think I got my love for DIY from my dad, I have childhood memories of him preparing a wall for paint, hanging wallpaper, and even building a porch. I, however, hate public speaking. Just the thought of it would make my mouth dry and brain turn to mush.

I would often be in meetings where a question or though would come into my head in relation the presentation or project matter. I’d then spend minutes thinking of how to vocalise it or working up the courage to say it. During that time, invariably, someone else would ask my question, then get a warm reception for having asked it! I was stuck in a quandary between hating public speaking and hating not expressing myself during meetings.

I had heard of toastmasters, but never considered joining, until a colleague of mine told me he had joined to improve his career prospects. What struck me though was that he already appeared quite confident in project meetings.

It took a couple more years of being stuck in this quandary and some car crash interviews before I would cross the threshold and enter my first toastmasters meeting.

Shared by Samuel – VP Education