Being a woman with a vision, I tend to set goals in hopes to excel and become a better version of my current self. I knew I wanted to be a motivational speaker. I also knew that it was going to take a lot more than just my love for sparking up conversation with others, to make a lasting impression and to articulate myself in a way that would draw others in. But where would I obtain such skills? Thankfully my god-mom recommended Toastmasters International! I had never heard of Toastmasters prior to this day, but as I searched their public website, I became more and more intrigued.
Becoming a Toastmaster comes with a variety of powerful promises, from improving your communication to building leadership skills and maximizing your potential. These were all the skills I hoped to build, but little did I know, I would be learning a lot more than this.
I began my journey with Toastmasters International around February 2020. During this time, I made a cameo to an in-person visit. Nervous, above any other emotion, I slowly began to learn the characteristics of a Toastmaster. I learned the structure of a meeting, the unique terminology, including the importance of being punctual. I learned that communication was not only important when it comes to public speaking, but it was even important to communicate with the group whether you would attend a meeting, especially if you committed yourself to a role and was unable to fulfill your commitment.
You see, every member of Toastmasters International is an asset to each club. Your active participation is highly recommended if you’re going to be a more confident speaker. You must enter Toastmasters expecting to challenge yourself by stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Over time, I would find out that as I progressed as a member, my experience and role would be promoted to leadership. The skills that I was learning not only helped me to become a better speaker, but I was learning some important skills that I was able to carry over to my small graphic design business. Things like, being articulate, concise, and professional, were skills I use daily in my business, as well as Toastmasters.
My club members asked me to apply for the role of Sargent at Arms. I did, and I learned a huge lesson on accountability and punctuality. After proving myself accountable, my club promoted me to Treasurer as well as Sargent at Arms. I can honestly say that Toastmasters International has taught me lessons, made me cross boundaries, and most definitely helped me to overcome fear and take leaps in the direction of my dreams, that I never could imagine apart from this group. As I continue the path to success and become a motivational speaker, I know that being a Toastmaster will help me build the confidence and public speaking skills I need to accomplish my goals of inspiring individuals, one speech at a time.
Written by Princella Woods, True Talking Toastmasters