I first came along to a meeting of Tropic City Toastmasters in April of 1990. I was there as a driver for my sister Sandra. For the first 6 weeks I sat back in the corner and just watched the Toastmasters deliver speeches and impromptu topics, give and receive feedback from the members and just have fun.
As the weeks went by, I could see the benefits of Toastmasters for my quiet sister. I could also see the great benefits for myself. I joined the club and over the following 8 years, I achieved my Competent Toastmaster Award, represented the club and the Area at speech contests and took on a leadership role in Public Relation on the club’s Executive committee.
As a talker (my husband will tell you I’m good at talking), I was not always a good listener. Whilst talking on a one to one level was never a problem for me, speaking in front of a larger audience was not quite so easy. I knew if I was to progress in my career, I would need to be a better communicator and leader.
I put my hand up for any opportunity to learn and I reaped some fantastic rewards. My most memorable was being invited to speak at the VP50 Celebration dinner in 1995 to over 500 Veterans from Australia New Zealand and the United States. VP50 was the celebration of 50 years since the Victory in the Pacific and Battle of the Coral Sea. I delivered a humorous speech about Dame Edna and was given a standing ovation.
Twenty years later, in 2018, as a retiree, I came back to Tropic City Toastmasters for a very different reason. I came back to learn, to stimulate my brain, to use my experience to help others and to have fun. All these things I experience every week. As the current President of the club, I am thoroughly enjoying my Tuesday night’s.
Come and join us and see where your Toastmasters journey will take you.