I just joined Toastmasters in Nov 2020. We have a lot of zoom meetings at work and I found that I was not able to communicate my ideas very well. I had heard about Toastmasters from a friend and thought it might help. It did!
My favourite part about the Pace Setters is that it’s a very warm and welcoming environment. I was very nervous and didn’t know anyone but after sitting in on a couple of meetings (you can come to three to feel it out), I knew this group of people and the fairly rigid structure of the meetings would both help and appeal to my sense of learning.
I’ve gained a lot from being a part of Toastmasters. Primary, among the members are the value of preparation, practice, and experimentation in delivering a speech; the value of silence and not using crutch/filler words like Uhm, So, Ahh when talking to a crowd; a whole host of tips for speaking off the cuff; and simply meeting a couple of dozen very interesting, warm and friendly people.
Outside of Toastmasters, I’m a father of three boys but my wife and I are recent empty nesters. I work for a multinational insurance company as part of a team that leads the Canadian business development, plus I’m involved in several technology ventures, all of which takes up a fair bit of my time but in quite a good and challenging way. I’m a big fan of skiing in the winter, golf and gardening in the summer, and hiking year-round. I also try and keep time for artistic and more creative pursuits.
To anyone who’s interested in Toastmasters I’d say that Toastmasters is a good safe environment to take the first step out of your comfort zone on the road to improving your communication abilities. There is no pressure and everyone who starts on this path does so because they want to improve themselves in some way. As a result, you end up meeting a whole bunch of fantastic people who genuinely have a hopeful outlook on life. And that makes for a nice place to hang out for a couple of hours a week!
Email me at Brad Moore