Breaking the Ice with Toastmasters

There are many reasons why people join Toastmasters.  Some join as they want to improve their speaking skills for internal business meetings and presentations.  Others will join toastmasters to develop great leadership skills that can help them advance in their careers.  I as an inspirational and motivational writer and speaker, joined toastmasters for multiple reason.

What is toastmasters?

Toastmaster’s, now an international organization, started as a series of speaking clubs by Ralph C. Smedley in 1905 with the mission of providing a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth..

Why I joined toastmasters

As a writer who wants his memoir published, “it Doesn’t Define Me” I must attend writer’s conferences and pitch to agents.  My pitch must be perfect to get an agent to want to rep me and my work.  Mistakes can be costly – and in my case a mistake that costs me from getting my book published can delay (if not prevent) someone from reading my story that could change their life.

I love to speak to groups.  I will admit it, get me in front of a crowd and a microphone I can be a real ham, but I want to speak with confidence.  I want to be able to persuade and move others to take actions by my words and I believe Toastmasters can help me achieve these skills.

I know that for some people this may be hard to believe, but I am also a little shy and somewhat of an introvert.  I want to gain more confidence when I speak to others, I want to break out of my shell and become less of an introvert and more of an extravert.  Sure, I may come across as an extravert in some situations, but I want to have the necessary confidence to speak to anyone I meet any time, any place.

Toastmasters offers leadership sills that appeal to me.

Most people who know a little about toastmasters know that they can help with public speaking.  But much to my surprise, I discovered when I was checking out the group, that toastmasters can help a person develop leadership skills.

Truthfully, I do not know what the future holds for me and my writing, speaking and podcasting career.  There may be a day (at least I hope there will be a day) I may have to hire an assistant or two.  I may need to have people work for me in developing video content, graphic and website design along with other tasks that I may not have time to tend to myself.  I need to be prepared to lead people so everything runs smoothly and my messages of inspiration and motivation can reach everyone who needs to hear it around my community, around my nation, and around the world!

My first three months as a toastmaster

I officially paid my membership dues in August and have attended all but one meeting of my local chapter.

The first speech any new member must deliver is called the “ice breaker” speech.  It is a 4 to 6-minute speech about a topic that the new member should know well – him or herself.

I spent the past two weeks writing, editing and rewriting my ice breaker speech and yesterday I delivered it to my local chapters meeting.