This is the testimony of a Toastmasters member.
"All my life it seemed that I was invisible.In school,in the dressing room at a match and at work. It wasn't because I didn't have anything to say. Quite the opposite,in fact. I was tongue-tied. Often I would discreetly make suggestions that were taken on board and proved to be effective in the workplace. When I gained a significant promotion, it was put to me that public presentations would be part of my brief and that I needed to step forward.
I considered a Public Speaking Course but then I became aware of a Toastmasters Club in my locality and resolved to attend a meeting. At the door, I was warmly welcomed and reassured that I wouldn't have to speak. I found the standard of the speeches extremely high and the part of the meeting devoted to "the Topics Session" to be both fascinating and daunting. The President of the Club, who spoke to me during the tea break, advised me to attend a few meetings and "get a feel" for the Club. At the next meeting, I witnessed an "Ice-breaker" speech.It was a pretty straightforward speech and it showed me that delivering such a speech was achievable. I resolved to "give it a shot".
I was very impressed by the "evaluation" of my speech.The evaluator acted as a mentor, proving to be both motivational and supportive as I prepared for my Ice-breaker. I delivered that vital speech and lived to tell the tale! Over the next three years, I have given another 10 speeches, becoming a "Competent Communicator". Much to my surprise I began to enjoy the Topics Session and became adept at speaking around a subject. Some people might call that "bluffing".My confidence grew to such an extent that I competed in a Speech Contest last year.My work presentations are no longer an ordeal to be endured by both audience and speaker. In fact,I now enjoy them. I firmly believe that the Toastmasters approach can help anyone who wishes to overcome their anxiety about speaking up.Because I made that vital first step and attended a Toastmasters meeting, I believe I am no longer invisible".
If you wish to see what happens at a meeting, why not come along to our next Speakeasy Toastmasters meeting which takes place in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 8.00 PM. Guests are always welcome and are never cajoled into speaking unless they wish to do so.
For more information about our Club, please check out our website speakeasytoastmasters.com or on Facebook. Alternatively, you can contact President, Sean Corcoran -086-6054784.