Thursday, March 27, 2014

30 in 30: Toastmasters

This is the nineteenth post in my 30 in 30 challenge, where I write 30 things I’m thankful for in the 30 days leading up to my thirtieth birthday.

This topic never even crossed my mind as something I’d write for my 30 in 30 challenge until yesterday. I am a member of Toastmasters International, specifically with the Northern Kentucky chapter. I joined the club last year as an attempt to brush up on my public speaking skills and I have been a part of the club ever since.

What I am most thankful for is that our group is made up of diverse speakers and we are all together in one room. One member has had the opportunity to speak across the United States as well as abroad and we also have members who have paralyzing stage fright.

It hit me yesterday how proud I am to be a part of the group when a member stated so eloquently that we are in a safe place. As a public speaker, you are putting yourself in a vulnerable spot and you open yourself up to some nasty criticism. This is likely the reason why people avoid it all together. At Toastmasters, we come together to support and encourage. There is never any harshness or embarrassment. It really is a beautiful and uplifting place to be.
It’s awesome to see your fellow Toastmasters conquer something they've been striving for and knowing that you have a support system that’s sole purpose is to help you improve your craft. I didn’t expect to learn anything new when joining the group, but after a year, the amount of experience and knowledge gained is invaluable.

Toastmasters International has helped me unlock my passion for public speaking, and as a result, I am beginning to reach farther and dig deeper into my passion so I can improve even more. Being able to speak beyond work presentations and other small events is no longer a dream; it’s a goal I know I can someday achieve!


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