This weekend I had the privilege of attending the three-day District 91 Toastmasters Conference in Ashford Kent. Although I was going to miss my boys, I looked forward to time away from home and the business.

What is Toastmasters?

If you haven’t heard of Toastmasters, you should check out your local one; it is an international organisation that people join to improve their public speaking skills and end up with leadership skills as an added bonus. I joined my local club, Speakers of Croydon, in February 2015 as I realised, as a business owner looking to speak and teach, I needed to work on my public speaking. I became the Treasurer in July, a position I held for 2 years before becoming the Club President for 2017-18 (more on this one day). While at the November conference in 2017, I met the Beauty, Zindi. She was serving as the District Finance Manager for that year and I was truly inspired by her. Long story short, I took over from her in July 2018 and what a journey that has been! Back to this year’s conference. This was the first 3-day conference as they were previously held over a 2 day period. I had such an amazing time, but I also took some time to reflect on my journey so far while I was there.

Volunteering Builds Your Community Up

Toastmasters is mainly run by volunteers, so depending on what role one does at the club, area, division or district level, there is an investment of time. Time is such a valuable resource. This causes many people to stay away from volunteering as they worry about not having enough time. However, I have learned that everyone makes time for the things that matter. I’ve also realized, with time being so limited, it really should be spent on things that make a difference.

Toastmasters Has Positively Affected My Marriage

I have met so many people through toastmasters but most importantly, I’ve built relationships that I am sure are going to last a lifetime. I have made great friends and found amazing clients through this wonderful organisation. My husband is also a member of Toastmasters. This is an added tick box for “What things do you have in common?” It is a great way of spending time together as well as having more stuff to talk about. We have been able to discuss the things that we have learned through our sessions, and practice some of the skills that we want to develop because in each other we have somebody who is familiar with the process that Toastmasters takes you through. There are local clubs all over the world so find your nearest Toastmasters and start building your public speaking skills! You’ll walk away with increased confidence, skills, and lifelong friends- what have you got to lose?

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