-by Justin Pugh
I had never heard about Toastmasters before Mr. Williams, my Graphic Design instructor, invited me to come to one of the meetings. I thought “Toastmasters” was a club where you toast wine glasses. I was wrong. When I first arrived at the meeting and found out it was a public speaking club I became nervous. I ended up joining the club a few weeks after going to the first meeting. Starting out I was nervous just like everyone is when it comes to public speaking. I was shaking every time I spoke and sweat like it was 110 degrees inside the room. Any other side effect you can think of when it comes to public speaking, I was feeling it.
After getting over my fears of speaking in front of an audience, I realized that those side effects I was experiencing, was just something in my head and that the Toastmasters group was there to help me improve. The Lakeland Toastmasters group, called “Something to Talk About”, helped me get over the fear of speaking in front of people and it also helped me with my social skills by building confidence within myself. I held multiple officer roles such as Sergeant at Arms, Vice President of Education, and eventually Club President. Each officer role taught me a little bit more about the club and the organization. Looking back, I’m glad that I was invited to go to a Toastmasters meeting and made the decision to join. It taught me how to be more social, become a better listener, and have more confidence in my abilities. I highly recommend students check out Toastmasters.
STUDENTS: Please email your submissions/questions/comments to the ELSE Student Editor, Kayla Bianchi at: firstname.lastname@example.org