A wonderful lady came up to me the other day. We have known each other for awhile, and she came up to me with the regular, nonchalant “How are you?”
We were at a Toastmasters event, therefore I gave her a “Speaker's Answer”. I told her that I am still speaking, at my club, other clubs, and for outside events. Then the discussion invariably went to my policing case, and the fact that though I was charged 5 years ago, I am still involved in the turmoil, awaiting my appeal, but still pushing through as a speaker.
The ONLY reason that I can talk about this openly, and why my story is openly posted on my website, is because I built the confidence to SPEAK about it first.
But the mistake in thought I made was this: I thought that people would just hear my story, and then (hopefully) share their stories with OTHERS.
I never expected people to talk to ME about their stories.
I never expected people to share their pain with me.
I never expected people to open up to me like they have.
It has been overwhelming.
The same lady told me about a very personal struggle that she is going through. I listened intently, and I hope that the thoughts and advice that I shared with her was helpful.
So what does that have to do with Toastmasters?
I have connected in a ground breaking way. And you can too.
Many people think Toastmasters is just about standing in front of people and giving speeches. But it is about so much more.
Far too many people communicate, but never connect.
Far too many people speak, but never say words that sink in.
Far too many people network, but never actually get to know anyone.
Here are 5 reasons that EVERYONE should join a Toastmasters group, and how to take the best advantage of them.
Are you afraid of public speaking? Impromptu speaking? Meeting new people? Why not stretch yourself? If you're not reaching for something, you're settling for nothing. Why not reach towards what you're afraid of, instead of standing still. Helen Keller said that “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” Reaching the end of your life debt-free shouldn't be your only goal. Reach forward. Dare yourself to be something more.
Marianne Williamson was right, “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
In our darkness, we help others find their light. Toastmasters isn't just about conquering your fear of speaking. It's about sharing your stories, and strengthening OUR human connection.
“Man is here for the sake of other men only.” (Albert Einstein)
Life is about other people. The miracle of creation is when a child is born. We create life as human beings. What a marvel! You are a wonder and a miracle. We don't need to look for miracles to happen around us. We are all miracles. We should constantly look for opportunities to get around other people, create relationships, and forge friendships. The reason Toastmasters has over 350,000 members worldwide is not just because people get to give a speech. It's because we get to behold the enhancement of a miracle. The miracle is you. The enhancement is the development into the confident, articulate, happy person you were born to be.
I ask...Why NOT?
Keep Speaking, Sharing and Serving
Kwesi Millington helps speakers, presenters and youth to connect with their audiences and master their messages using the power of storytelling in their speeches & presentations. He is a Certified Public Speaking Coach & Youth Mentor.