Today, I attended a retirement lunch for a colleague who has helped me tremendously over the last five years. After the initial formalities and awards, the host opened the floor to comments from the audience.
After the fifth person spoke, I mustered up enough courage to participate. I power walked to the front of the room so as not to change my mind, told a story about how we met and how much he helped me over the years.
In true Toastmasters style, I managed to avoid all ahs, ums and filler words. I even had the room laughing at one point, I made eye contact with everyone in the room, and used gestures. My Toastmasters club would be so proud!
I was thrilled that I found the confidence to publicly explain how much someone meant to me, instead of hiding in the corner wishing I had said something.
This was a huge confidence booster for me! Never in a million years would I have given a “toast” before joining Toastmasters two months ago. If I had, it would have been thoroughly rehearsed and I would have stressed about it for days or weeks beforehand. The table topics sessions are clearly working!
I share this small success story as proof that Toastmasters does in fact work. If Toastmasters can help a person like me, who has avoided public speaking for the better part of 30 years, it can do the same for you.
I challenge you to visit your local Toastmasters Club and consider joining. You won’t regret it! You might even discover a new and improved YOU!
Once you visit a club, let me know what you thought. I would love to know!