It was around 2011 when I first delivered any type of public presentation in a business sense. I’d been providing SEO for small business for a couple of years and was offered the opportunity to speak to a small group of local business people so that I could start to develop a profile for being the “local expert” within the business community.
That first presentation felt seriously good and I was walking on air when I’d finished and got a load of great feedback from the six or seven business people in the room.
Something troubled me though, and after a few days, I started to realise that I could have delivered a talk or workshop with so much more confidence. I’ve always been very self-critical with the ability to review my own performance and note many of the failings that maybe others would have seen too. I knew that I needed to improve if I was to continue to deliver public talks and training session, which is something I also knew that I would love to do more often.
A few weeks after that initial presentation / workshop, I was chatting to another local business person at a networking group and she mentioned that if I wanted to improve on public presentations then I should go along to a Toastmasters Speaking Club. She was a member of the Brghton and Hove Speakers Club and would be very happy to introduce me to the club. I was curious about how this would work and agreed to go along to the next meeting.
Toastmasters is a great place to develop and hone the skills needed to deliver a great presentation to an audience and over the next 5 years to 2016 I learned the skills needed to progress to what is known in Toastmasters as a “Competent Communicator”.
After a five year break from Toastmasters due to a massive lifestyle change that had me travelling around the UK adn all over Europe in a motorhome, I have now decided to settle down a bit and reenter Toastmasters and join the Northampton Speakers Club, currently running meetings every 2 weeks on Zoom.
I’ll be a fully paid up member starting from April 1st 2021 and will begin my journey along the Pathways Education program in order to continue to develop and home the skill to deliver great speeches to a public audience.
My aim is to eventually be good enough to deliver an impactful speech to a TedX Audience and to start getting paid as a public speaker.
I’m documenting my journey on the Toastmasters Pathways program through this blog and through a Podcast that I have just started to publish on Anchor.