Toastmasters Changed My Life

Hi, I’m Diane Windingland.  Seven and a half years ago, I made a choice that changed my life.

I visited a Toastmasters Club.

I had heard that Toastmasters was a great place to learn speaking skills, but that wasn’t why I visited.

(See this blog post as a YouTube video!)

The reason I visited was that I was homeschooling my son, who was 14 at the time.  I was hoping that they would let him participate.  Even though he was too young to be a member, they agreed to let him participate on one condition.  I had to join.  I did, that day!

A year or so later, my husband joined, too!

We have a lot of fun in Toastmasters—It has been a great activity for us to do together, although sometimes my husband tells stories in a speech that I have to  “Correct.”

Not only has Toastmasters been fun, it has really helped me improve my speaking skills to the point that I now have my own speaking business.  I even used some of my speeches as blog posts and later used them in a book I published.

A lot of people think of Toastmasters only in terms of speaking, but it’s also an effective leadership development program.  I started out with Club Offices and moved up in leadership to be an area and division governor, as did my husband, shown here with the District Area Governor of the Year award:

One of the most gratifying aspects of Toastmasters is being a part of other people’s self-improvement and success.

I’ll never forget Barb, the lady on the right.  Barb’s first speech was pretty shakey—literally.  She grasped the lecturn in a death grip, never made eye contact, and looked like she was going to faint.  I mentored her and 6 months later, she won a club speech contest!

A couple of years ago, I also helped out with a Toastmaster Youth Leadership program at a local high school.  It was a great feeling to help those young people become better communicators.

 

Did I mention . . . Toastmasters is fun?I look forward to my Toastmaster meetings—laughter is always part of the meeting.  And, as you can see we even get a little silly.  I’ll never forget “Larry in the Blue Dress.”

The number 1 reason I stay in Toastmasters is . . .


The friends I have made.  In this collage of my Facebook Friends, 87 of them are Toastmaster friends.  They are some of the best friends I have:  supportive, uplifting and  . . . Fun!

Do you want to change your life for the better?  Visit a Toastmaster Club near you!

If you are a Toastmaster, how has Toastmasters made a difference in YOUR life?

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About Diane Windingland
I speak for organizations that want their people to have better, more profitable conversations.

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