Club Member Spotlight: Beth Reed
Tell me how you first got involved in Career Communicators / Toastmasters?
I decided to join the original Career Communicator’s club JSC West during job transition. I made the best of that job search period and opened myself up to new experiences, including Toastmasters. The idea of getting to use some of my theater skills and hone existing presentation skills was exciting to me, and I came to my first meeting ready to join. When I realized that there was an evaluation portion, it gave me pause. But then I thought about the key differences between evaluation and critique and continued with my plan to join.
That open mindset really gave me energy to power through my first 10 speeches and get my Competent Communicator (CC) in just under 6 months. It helped that there were several club members who were involved at the district level and that it was contest season when I joined. I had multiple speaking opportunities as Target Speaker that were invaluable.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about joining Career Communicators?
The members of Career Communicators have really formed a bond, but not one so strong that prevents us from welcoming in new members. The encouragement for each of us to strive for our best is spoken and unspoken. We come from different backgrounds and experiences, but one common denominator is our interest in improving our professional selves and this club gives us a creative safe space to act on that interest.
This experience is really based on your expectations and what you make of it. There are many different opportunities, but you really must give yourself the first nudge.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
Looking back at an earlier stage of my adult life, I suffered from what is now being called ‘Imposter Syndrome’. I had no faith in my own abilities. I think that this would greatly surprise most people that know me, particularly those that I have gotten to know through Toastmasters. Had I still been affected by this fear, Toastmasters and particularly Career Communicators, would have been a positive way to overcome the feeling.
What speech of yours was your favorite and why?
My favorite speech to date was my 10th speech for my CC – “I’m Still Here”. Most of us at or near mid-life should be proud of making it through the challenges that we have faced, and that it the basis for my speech. Life has taught me resilience. Well, it might have been trying to teach me something else, but I decided to take the lesson as one of resilience.
Tell me about some of the people that you’ve met in Toastmasters and Career Communicators?
Toastmasters is a microcosm of our globally connected world. You do quickly realize that the faces that you see most often belong to people who are strongly self-motivated, who are also willing to share their skills with others.