Tag Archives: listening

Be Finishing a Pathway in Toastmasters

16 months

13 total speeches

5 levels

8 blog posts

4 elective speeches

3 public speaking events in Kelowna

1 Visionary Communication Toastmasters Pathway DONE!

From fear, sweat and heart palpitations to peace, fun and a heart of confidence.

This has been my journey over the last sixteen months after I pressed the “launch” button on my Visionary Communication Pathway through Toastmasters International.

This was sixteen months of digging deep within myself as I dealt with health issues, death of three family members and our beloved Labrador retriever.

It was sixteen months where I committed to actually working on my Pathway consistently and doing one speech per month.

In July and August, I had to get over myself as I went two months without giving a speech because I was incredibly afraid of my speech on the benefits of communication. Isn’t that ironic?

In March and April, I was so ill that I missed many meetings and didn’t complete a speech for another two month period.

Once I hit level five, I was finding my rhythm and enjoying every single second of my Pathway and speeches. I could see my words were inspiring my audience and adding value to their day. I also had been invited to speak to audiences in my city about my passions.

My mentor and inspiration for joining Toastmasters, Vic Lindal, now encouraged me to work on the introduction for my speeches. The introduction that would be read before I even started speaking. The words that the Toastmaster would speak before I had a chance to speak.

We were going deep.

I was finishing strong.

Over these sixteen months, I have been blessed with the very best feedback from my fellow Toastmasters and the beloved guests that come see what we are about.

Imagine getting feedback every. single. time you speak. Yes, this is what Toastmasters is all about, helping each of us grow and become more confident as communicators and people. I have been blessed.

When I do receive feedback, I don’t read it right away. I will go home, put my speech notes and feedback sheets together with a paper clip. Once I begin work on my next speech, this is when I look back at the feedback that was given on my last speech. My heart was to make every single speech better than the last whether it was by improving my clarity, volume, gestures, posture, or even my ability to tell a story, I believe this feedback made me better.

Here’s a few of my favourite pieces of feedback from all of my speeches:

Level one: I did my Research and Presenting speech on Toastmasters International and spend time learning more about this organization we all belong to. Toastmaster and DJ John gave me some invaluable feedback, “Your speech was broken down and laid out nicely in a way that was easy to follow and enjoyable to listen to. The only room for improvement is a couple of times you were gripping your hands in a way that seemed slightly nervous.”

Level two: During this speech, I sat everyone around the metaphorical campfire to talk about My protege story. Toastmaster Starshine Girl gave me feedback that I still think of today, “You excelled at keeping the audience interested and you were well organized. You may want to work on your pauses, vocal variety and pacing. Don’t forget to breathe.”

Level three: From my fellow Toastmaster, Rob, and the person who started the OC Toastmasters Club over two decades ago said “Work on smoother transitions and insert some humour” when giving feedback on my Four Flowers and One mother speech.

Level four: Toastmaster Wenbo gave me insightful feedback on my speech about my blog (www.beenough.me), “I always love your beginnings, you bring energy to your speeches and engage the audience.

Level five: One of my level five speeches embraced Shakespeare and was titled To volunteer or not to volunteer, that is the question. I was fortunate to have Toastmaster Laura encourage me to “Use the stage. Own it and to go to other areas of the stage to impact my points”. I didn’t know but I was rocking while I was walking.

16 months

13 total speeches

5 levels

8 blog posts

4 elective speeches

3 public speaking events in Kelowna

1 Visionary Communication Toastmasters Pathway DONE!

From fear, sweat and heart palpitations to peace, fun and a heart of confidence.

Where will your Pathway take you?

Be a Toastmaster

Do you feel like you have to increase your life insurance or at least put on extra deodorant when you need to speak to a group of people?

Have you heard of Toastmasters?

Are you afraid of public speaking?

Did you know Toastmasters started in 1924?

Do you find it difficult to listen?

Do you know you have a unique perspective to share with the world around you?

When a mentor of mine told me about his over twenty years with Toastmasters, I was curious. I had never heard of it, nor did I know what it was even about. After being asked to speak in front of adults at my company’s events, I knew I needed to checkout a Toastmasters meeting. Speaking to children is no problem for me. I even find it fun and feel like I can be one percent myself. Speaking to adults, makes my face turn crimson red and the sweat to start flowing down my back.

Thanks to Vic Lindal’s encouragement and support, I googled a local meeting time and went. The meetings are an hour long and there is actually a timer to ensure that we don’t go over time. There are prepared speeches, humour, impromptu conversations, evaluations and amazing growth that happens at every single meeting.

I have regularly been attending meetings for over a year. Jumped this September into the role of Secretary Treasurer. I can honestly say that Toastmasters has changed the trajectory of my personal growth, not only in my public speaking, but my ability to listen and lead small groups with growth.

Last fall, I was asked to speak, with a microphone in hand, to two hundred pre-service teachers and I loved every minute of it. This spring, I am preparing to speak to a thousand plus people about technology and our children at a local university. Speaking has become a place of peace and joy for me.

This last Wednesday at our Toastmasters meeting, I was the Toastmaster, the person who runs the meeting! We had the theme of Winter Wonderland and it truly was the most fun I have ever had as a speaker and leader. I introduced the “Toasties” who had prepared speeches. I kept things flowing and managed to keep us exactly on time.

Now that you have a bit of knowledge about Toastmasters, I encourage everyone to seek out a local meeting to attend to see what its really all about. See how it feels for yourself. You receive three meetings for free and the vibe at every meeting is different in every club. Our OC Toastmasters Club is fun, kind-hearted and growth-focused. We love and desire for everyone to contribute and bring their unique gifts to the meetings.

Now, I must come back to that last question I asked at the beginning. That one about your unique gifts. Find a way to feel comfortable sharing with others what you are passionate about and the unique gifts that God has given you. They are there, I promise you. If you can’t see them, talk to me and I will help you discover them. Once you know what they are, learn to share them, speak them out and listen to the gifts of those around them.

What a journey!

What a life!

Thank you Toastmasters for being the impetus for even greater learning and growth that I could imagine.