Club Members Answer the Question ‘Why I Joined Toastmasters’, Final Part
Joe Davis: I had always heard about Toastmasters, in the way that I have always known about the Freemasons: sort of. Last Spring, I found myself suddenly unemployed. During the course of my ensuing job search, I was introduced to the Countryside Unitarian Church Job Search Circle. JSC is a constant promoter of Toastmasters, as it is a way of benefiting one’s career via honing one’s public speaking and informal small talk skills. I soon joined the Career Communicators Toastmasters group and have never looked back!
Allan Channell: I returned to Toastmaster’s after a decade to gain a refresher my speaking and organizational skills. The Career Communicators Club has several experienced speakers to learn from. The club members offer a positive environment; one that embraces brand new speakers while also offering new experiences for seasoned professionals. Although there are Toastmaster clubs closer to my home, I chose this to be my home club.
Dennis Timko, DTM: I joined Toastmasters with the primary goal to keep my presentation skills sharp as I was in job transition.. As I learned more about Toastmasters, I added sharpening my leadership skills to my goals. I was immediately impressed by the similar desires of fellow Club members and a supportive Club environment that also helped push me to achieve more.
I also raised my hand to become an officer and was voted in as VP-Education. Soon after, I set a goal to become a Distinguished Toastmaster. I am very goal oriented and Toastmasters gave me that path to achieve my primary goal and more. It took four years of working a plan but I was able to achieve my Distinguished Toastmaster award. I became comfortable with competing in a number of speech contests. I can honestly look back favorably to say I have been privileged to be a Toastmaster member.
Beth Reed, ACB, ALB: As a rule I’m not much of a joiner, but I was challenging myself in 2013 to try new things. I admit that I do have a theater background, so speaking is not new, but it is a skill that I actively wanted to work on. The new thing was joining this club, and I am really glad that I made the move.
John Labbe, DTM: I like to tell people that I came to Toastmasters for the speaking skills and stayed for the leadership development. Because I had been a teacher and professional trainer for much of my adult career, I was already comfortable speaking to audiences but I had never been a lecturer and had never presented a platform speech. When I started my independent business, I decided to develop platform speaking skills to help me market myself through giving talks to business groups. Thus, I joined Toastmasters to develop those skills.
After three years as a Toastmasters club member and officer, I began exploring activities beyond the club: speech contests, visiting other clubs, and helping out with sample Toastmasters meetings for groups interested in forming a club. This led to an invitation to take a position in leadership to assist a small group of clubs with their programs and operations. After that, I took two more leadership positions assisting larger groups of clubs and leading teams to do so. As I had never managed anyone in my career, I can – and do – say that everything I know about leadership I owe to Toastmasters.