Make Room For The Stuttering

On Leadership And Toastmasters

Posted on: October 7, 2011

Many of you know I have been involved with Toastmasters for over five years now. It has been a great experience for me. I have taken so many risks and expanded my comfort zones time and time again. I have given over 50 speeches and have helped to promote Toastmasters to people interested in joining.

Many people have asked me why do I stay involved? Right now, I am serving as an Area Governor for Toastmasters, which is a voluntary leadership position. I have several clubs in my area, and it’s my job to visit the clubs, file reports, provide support, help membership building and help facilitate speaking contests. It takes a lot of time! To say the least!

The sappy answer why I stay involved is because I want to give back. Having the support of an organization that pushes you to set goals and cheers for you along the way is priceless. I have done things I never dreamed I would or could. I have met great people from all walks of life who are also doing things they never thought possible.

People who stutter think they cannot succeed in Toastmasters. It’s too risky, fluent people won’t understand, I’ll embarrass myself, no one wants to hear a stutterer trying to give a speech. Well, that’s just not true. I have written about this before here and have engaged with people who ask questions about Toastmasters in several of the stuttering forums.

Toastmasters helps build better communication and leadership skills for all who choose to push themselves and get involved.

I visited a club last week and listened to a 24-year-old young man share why he joined Toastmasters. His reason made me smile. He said he thought it was high time he find a “grown up” club or activity to join.

He said he wanted to graduate from playing angry birds, hanging out with his buddies and going to the gym. Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of those pursuits, but they likely won’t help him along his career path.

Building confident communication and leadership skills will help him, and anyone else, achieve career, social and life goals. If I wasn’t in this current leadership role, I would not have visited his club, met him and listened to his story. His story that made me smile and reminded me why we must share our successes with others.

And I was there to cheer him on when he entered his club contest for Table Topics and won! He advanced to the next level, after just being in Toastmasters for several months. That’s what Toastmasters does – gives you the confidence and support to take chances. And it has done it for many years. Check out this Toastmasters timeline.

Because everyone wants to change and grow, and Toastmasters is a great vehicle for that. It’s all about personal growth and guts.

Please check out the article – I Stutter! How In The World Can I Join Toastmasters? – I wrote for this year’s International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) on-line conference. The conference is “live” until October 22,2011. Feel free to share the link with anyone, stutterer or fluent, who wants to learn more about how Toastmasters can change their life.

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1 Response to "On Leadership And Toastmasters"

Pam, I agree with everything you said, it is a wondeful organization that have been helping people to achieve their true potential no matter what is the starting point. This weekend I won the third place in the area Humorous speech contest and to me the biggest reward was one person who said – I laughed so hard, tears came down. Hearing the laugh and knowing that people don’t laugh at you, but at whatever jokes you said and feeling equal with fluent contestants was priceless. I have seen many people blossom from their first awkward and nervous ice breaker to strong and inspirational speeches in a matter of months. It is truly amazing.
Anna

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