Saturday, November 11, 2006

Birthday Lunch With Toastmasters

For the past several months, I've been a part of a Toastmasters club here in Long Beach. It's an incredible international organization that helps people develop their public speaking skills both personally and professionally. Since I juggle quite a bit in my schedule (as you can imagine), I try to make it to a Saturday meeting a couple times per month - as much as I can.

Just this past Tuesday, I was able to utilize much of what I learned from Toastmasters while at work when . . . .

. . . . I was asked to speak in front of the Board of Directors in regards to a $10,000 software package. They approved the expenditure. (I'm hoping they remember that when it comes time to bargain for a contract!)

Anyway, I think that Toastmasters is an invaluable organization to be a part of. I like this particular local club because they are very encouraging to everyone at every level of public speaking experience and comfort. Another reason why I like this club is because it's extremely diverse. The members and guests who are part of the club represent a wide range of demographics - gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, straight, black, white, asian, hispanic, native, single, married, partnered, parents, young adults, middle aged, and our valued senior members. It's a wonderful and interesting mix of people and coupled with the wide range of experience - we all have so much to learn from each other!

I delivered my 3rd of 10 organized formal speeches today working towards what's called a "Competent Communicator" or what used to be called a "Certified Toastmaster". It's a wonderful distinction that is acknowledged by many employers internationally. I think the speech went well and I got some great feedback. =)

After the club meeting, a few of us went out to lunch for Mexican food. For my birthday week this week, I want to honor my friends and new friends at Toastmasters who have been a blessing, a gift, and an asset for me personally and professionally.

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