Toastmasters is a public speaking club which provides a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self confidence and personal growth.
I was first introduced to the organization through my family. I continue to attend because I have seen positive results for myself and I have seen the growth of other members alongside me.
At first public speaking was hard, I was uncomfortable in front of the audience and I had a hard time constructing speeches. Over time and with practice I learned to be more confident and how to find my voice.
I still have a difficult time with public speaking, the hardest part for me is selecting a subject to delve into and getting into the process. This is something which I know will get better with time. It will also get better as my writing improves and as I develop better processes for getting things done. I think one of the best methods of getting things done is to block out time and to dedicate time to the task and that task only. This is the Pomodoro method. It starts with 25 minute chunks which only count if you work towards your goal for the entire time, otherwise you start over.
Another place where I have difficulty is in breaking things down into manageable chunks and curtailing the overwhelm I often experience when I am starting a task or when I feel I have become lost in the task without a sense of what I am doing and what I want to say. J is better at reflecting in this mode and staying on track. I have seen myself become better at managing direction and stress. One tool that I have found to work very well is breath work which calms me down and enables my focus to become refined.
In the future I will aim to more effectively schedule time and monitor my time because therein lay the biggest rewards.
Toast Masters has been a place where I can work on building self confidence through expression with out feeling judged and while being supported by a community of people with similar goals.