I gave a presentation in my Toastmasters group today. It was a decent presentation. That is not what this post is about though. I was reminded today of another reason why I love the Toastmasters organization.

First off, I have to say it has made an amazing difference in my life. It is awesome to see the progress I have made since I joined my first group 8 years ago. I’ve had many opportunities to speak in front of groups and encourage people. That is one reason I love it. I was reminded today of another reason why I really enjoy Toastmasters. I will get to that in a minute. Let me tell you why I joined.

Speaking in public is never been a fear of mine. I’m one of those strange guys that can get up in front of room, without something to say, and talk for 30 minutes. Boy, have I said some dumb things when I do that!

So, if that’s not the reason…why did I join Toastmasters? Simply put, I had no fear of speaking in public, but needed major help on the right way to say things. No, I didn’t say bad things. Many times I just didn’t convey what I actually meant. When you’re talking to a group that can be a problem.

When the opportunity presented itself in 2012 to join the Toastmasters group at my company I jumped into the deepens and really worked the program. I’m really glad I did. I have become more confident speaker. I have become a more eloquent speaker. And, more importantly, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and learn from some amazing people.

Many people don’t realize that Toastmasters is not just a public speaking organization. It is also a leadership development organization. It has given me the opportunity over the last eight years to lead groups of people in big and small ways. I have served my clubs in small rolls during weekly meetings, and I’ve also served many clubs as a director at the larger organizational level. In every step there have been opportunities to work with, encourage, and help people from all walks of life.

Seeing the development people make in this program is so amazing. I was reminded of this today. I watched one of our members give a presentation that she had delivered once before. She took the feedback from the earlier presentation and was able to take this presentation to the next level. It was so good to see.

Even better than that though. She has made so much progress since she first started. Participating in the club has given her confidence. It has given her opportunity to practice and improve. It has given her the opportunity to be herself in front of a group of people and be comfortable at the same time. That is amazing.

I want to be a part of things like this. We are a diverse group of people from many different countries with different backgrounds and beliefs. Despite that, we meet together weekly to work on our goals together. We find strength as a group. We are better together and getting better still. Yet another reason I love Toastmasters.

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