Today, October 22, 2012 marks 88 years since Toastmasters International was organized!
Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Membership is 280,000 strong, and members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 13,500 clubs in 116 countries.
Membership in Toastmasters is one of the greatest investments you can make in yourself. At $36 every six months, it is also one of the most cost-effective skill-building tools available anywhere.
I joined Toastmasters International five years ago, and I’m so happy I did! I had only heard of Toastmasters before then–never taking the time to find out what it was. Then I was at a networking event in South Carolina in May of 2007 when I heard Jeanne Robertson give a keynote speech.
Jeanne was so funny, and so natural that I immediately connected with her. She shared life experiences that taught great truths, yet used humor to do so. I was IMPRESSED! I was so impressed with Jeanne, that I actually pushed my way through the crowd to meet her after she spoke.
I asked her, “How did you develop such talent to be able to inspire people so powerfully without seemingly trying?”
Jeanne told me that as a professional speaker with the National Speakers Association that she had many opportunities to speak, and that the experience gave her an edge. But then she looked me in the eye and said, “if you want to be a better speaker, you should join Toastmasters.”
That was all it took! When I got home from that trip, I found a Toastmaster Club 2 miles from my home, and I went to a meeting. It was an easy sell for them because I wanted to be like Jeanne, and I already knew I would join. That was when my life changed.
I started speaking to my club members about subjects I wanted to speak about. They would give me feedback, and I would incorporate their suggestions into my next speech. It was a wonderful program.
Then I started saying “yes” to leadership opportunities. More changes came. Because I said yes that first time, and then said yes the second and third time, I am the Governor of District 2 for Toastmasters International!
This is a picture of me with my Lt. Governors at the Toastmasters International Convention in Orlando Florida this past August. The three of us oversee and serve the 3500 members and the 187 Toastmaster Clubs in Western Washington, and we ARE LOVING IT!
I encourage you to go visit a Toastmaster club near your home or work. CLICK THIS LINK to check out the locations of the clubs nearest you. It won’t take long for you to see the value it will have for you. VISIT A CLUB….AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
Let me know what your experience was like.