I am still a bit in shock, and the knowledge that I am now officially a 'Competent Communicator' has yet to sink in.
Two years ago if you asked me if and when I was going to join Toastmasters my answer would have been NEVER! That was my sister's thing. I hated public speaking. Why on earth would I want to voluntarily do it! And yet here I am, two years later writing on a Toastmaster blog!
How, I often ask myself, did this happen?
Looking back to where things began to go wrong (or right) I have a vague recollection of joining Toastmasters in an attempt to take the easy way out! I could #1-make my sister happy and get her to stop nagging me and #2 - I could use my membership in the program as credit for my annual professional development requirement.
Word to the wise-when you try to take the easy way out you may end up somewhere you never expected.
Another word to the wise-never say never!
I said it with Toastmasters, I said it with skydiving! And look what happened to me! I ended up taking a flying leap out of an airplane and became the team captain for a group of' Rebels with a cause', and... I became the VP of Public Relations at Speak for Success Bradford!
I have learned my lesson. I am never going to say never again!
Martin Luther King Jr. said "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
When I first entered a Toastmaster meeting I didn't see the whole staircase. If I did I probably would have ran out of the room, fast, and screaming!
I didn't sign up for this. I never planned to become so involved in a program dedicated to public speaking. I hate public speaking! It scares me. That's why I took that first step in the first place. I had a fear and I had a need to overcome it. And so, I took that first step in faith trusting it would lead me somewhere worth going.
This past year and a half Toastmasters has helped me face my fears and increase my confidence. It has been a great year of growth and development for me. I am thankful that when I finally made the decision to take the Toastmaster plunge I was directed to such a warm and supportive club.
Steve Dow, Area 14 Governor said "If you are going to get everything you can get out of Toastmasters, you will never get out Toastmasters."
I still can't see the whole staircase but I know my journey through Toastmasters is far from over. I fear it is a long and winding staircase that will lead me through many roles, positions and manuals.
Thanks Janice for getting me into something in which there may very well be no way out!
Christine Nayler CC
VP of Public Relations
Speak for Success Bradford