Alisen Dopf 2023


How long have you been a member of Toastmasters?
Joined in December 2019, a few short months prior to the Covid pandemic.

Why did you first join Toastmasters?
I love public speaking and wanted a consistent outlet to hone my skills. However, I’ve spent more time on leadership duties for Pace Setters and District 42 than I have with actual speech writing and presenting. This is something I’ll have to rectify soon.

What is your favourite part about our Pace Setters Club?
There are two things I absolutely love about the Calgary Pace Setters Club.

    1. We are incredibly encouraging. No matter your goals or desires, we have a mentor for you to help achieve your goals. We are rooting for our members to be their best, and we cheer on every single improvement that is made.
    2. We are welcoming and friendly. There is a reason why we have members from all around the world. We encourage and appreciate diversity of all kinds, and rejoice in our ability to find connections across diverse cultures and languages.

What have you learned/gained from being a part of Toastmasters?
I have learned how to hone my speechwriting skills. The time limit forces me to be succinct. This means my message is delivered as powerfully as possible.
I’ve also learned how to be a great listener, and how to provide meaningful feedback that the listener wants to hear. I strive to always be helpful in my feedback and to deliver the feedback in a positive and encouraging manner.

Outside of Toastmasters, how do you spend your time?
I love the mountains, and spend every possible moment hiking, scrambling and mountaineering. In the winter, I’m rarely seen without two boards strapped to my feet as I cross-country ski, downhill ski, and backcountry ski tour.
I am an Amateur Leader with the Alpine Club of Canada. I lead others scrambling and skiing throughout the year.

I also write Mountain Trip Reports. These reports chronicle my various summits and tours, providing information and details for other people to do the same routes.

What would you tell someone who’s interested in Toastmasters?

    1. Start now. Don’t delay. If you have a dream, Toastmasters can help you achieve it. The sooner you join, the sooner you’ll be successful. I waited 5 years prior to joining Toastmasters, and I can’t help but think how much farther ahead I’d be had I not waited.
    2. Toastmasters is a program that works. If you follow the steps, do your speeches, and fully participate in the meetings by taking on various roles, your confidence in public speaking will improve.

Your favourite quote
“Adventures happen to those who can tell great stories.”

I love this quote because it’s a testament to both adventuring and having a positive outlook on life. Anything ‘bad’ or negative that happens can quickly be turned into a great yarn if told properly. Some of my worst days are my best stories. Just ask me about being followed by a grizzly bear and how I dealt with it 🙂