I have been a Toastmaster for 4 years. I joined Centretown about 2 years ago. Centretown has a friendly, vibrant that I love and is conveniently located very close to me. After attending so many meetings and actively participating, public speaking and presentations are a breeze. It is as if I was just talking with a friend in a coffee shop.
Everyone at Toastmasters is there for the same reason: To improve their public speaking and leadership skills. Toastmasters is where you can make your mistakes so when you have that big presentation for work or school, you are ready for it. Making mistakes is the only way to get better.
The Toastmasters program promises better communication and leadership skills and it delivers. I’ve been a member for less than a year and in that short time frame I’ve become a much better speaker, leader and all-around communicator.
When I gave my first formal speech (the Ice Breaker), I read through the whole thing–my eyes barely left the page. And when I gave my first impromptu speech (table topics), I became flustered, stopped speaking after a few sentences and had to sit down. After a few short weeks, though, I got more and more comfortable and my confidence grew. The welcoming, friendly and supportive atmosphere of Centretown helped a lot. Everyone in the club has been there and they have great tips on how to improve. Six speeches into the Competent Communicator program, I can speak without notes, move around the front of the room and time my delivery for heightened effect.
But Toastmasters is more than the speeches. By being a member and helping organize weekly meetings, you improve your organizational and leadership abilities. I work in government relations and my job requires a lot of networking and meetings; often times, I find myself in the room with consultants who have decades of business experience. Because I’ve helped organize meetings, given dozens of impromptu speeches and half-a-dozen formal presentations — because of Toastmasters — I’m much more comfortable in that room. Being a part of Ottawa Centretown Toastmasters has been an incredibly satisfying and rewarding experience.
When I first joined Toastmasters in October 2009, I was a terrible impromptu speaker and a very nervous presenter. Since joining, I have not only gained confidence with my pulic speaking, but also have greater confidence in other areas of my life. Centretown Toastmasters is a fun, informal and supportive club!