My first experience with Toastmasters was through participation in a “Toastmasters Youth Leadership” program when I was 14. Through that course, I learned more about public speaking and leadership and could apply what I learned to my activities as a club officer in 4-H, a youth service organization in the United States.
I became a member of Esprit de Corps Toastmasters in 2017 and this rekindled my love of public speaking and has helped me to hone my skills and learn new techniques. More importantly to me, though not my original intent, was the improvements I saw in my leadership skills during my time as the Club President. I was able to apply the lessons I learned in Toastmasters directly and immediately to the workplace.
When I joined Toastmasters 2017 for the first time I was very impressed not just by the high-level speeches but also by the nice and open atmosphere the diversity and the support I was offered right at the beginning. I like about Toastmasters that I have the opportunity to speak about topics in which I am personally interested in front of an attentive and open audience.
For me, Toastmasters is as much about growing, learning and challenging as it is fun and enjoying the personal exchange with people from all over the world!
I joined Esprit de Corps at the beginning of 2008 when the club met at a restaurant near the Konstablerwache. I joined the officers’ team as Sergeant at Arms and helped re-locate to a new venue at Saalbau Dornbusch. I was elected President, in 2009 till 2010.
In 2010, I took part in and won the club Humorous Speech Contest and went on to compete in the district contest in Barcelona. I won the club contest again in 2012 and went on to compete in the district contest in Bonn. In 2015 I was elected President for the second time. During my presidency, the club celebrated 35 years since chartering.
In 2018 I joined a Toastmasters meeting for the first time. At the beginning I was wondering and did not know what I could expect. But soon it became clear that those meetings are perfect for my needs. I learned to speak in front of an audience and to overcome nervousness and stage fright.
I was convinced at the very first Toastmasters meeting I visited in 2013, that this is a wonderful place for improving communication skills. After giving my first speeches, I could already see that I was getting better at organizing speeches and at delivering messages and ideas. Of course, developing overall confidence on stage was also part of the improvement. I benefit from these skills I’ve gained at Toastmasters in my professional life as well.
Since 2016 I’ve been a member of Esprit de Corps Toastmasters Club. The club meetings are professional, still, they happen in a very friendly atmosphere. New members are warmly welcomed and are supported by mentors.
As the Club President since July 2020, I see, how much Toastmasters can help in developing leadership skills too.