Message from District Director, Vanessa King

Fellow leaders and members,

In 2009 I heard an interview on local radio. Some people were talking about a speaking club in Mole Valley and I wondered whether there was anything similar in my area. I couldn’t remember the name of the club, so I just did a search for “speakers club Woking” and discovered the wonderful people at Woking Speakers Club. I checked their website and found out when their next meeting was. At that time they met in a village hall and, having no idea what to expect, went along for a visit. I was warmly welcomed, invited to sit with a member who explained how the meeting worked and what to expect. They applauded when I spoke at the warm-up and invited me to join them at the pub after the meeting. I decided to join that night! That incredible group of people played an important part in helping me to become the person I am today (whether they like it or not!) and I will be forever grateful to them.

Being a member of Toastmasters has changed my life so much. I have met inspirational people, visited over 80 clubs in our wonderful district and heard the stories of many members. I know members give incredible service to our district. They organise countless events, support and mentor fellow members. They organise conferences, promote their clubs through social media, newsletters and articles, they make sure our club finances are in good order, they are finding new ways of getting the message of Toastmasters out there in the big wide world, they’re training other members to the highest standard, they’re finding great leaders to continue the success of our clubs into the future.

In the course of giving, they’re receiving too. I know I’ve given a lot to my fellow members, but there’s no doubt I’ve received much more. I definitely feel more confident now than I did when I joined, and that confidence has led to greater opportunities in my career. As a direct result of my experience in this organisation, I am able to take advantage of opportunities, ask questions and make suggestions. I can express myself with clarity and humour and people enjoy listening to me, which is a bonus being a maths teacher…

I know my story is not unique. I know you all have stories you could share about the way Toastmasters has changed your life or the people who have amazed and impressed you with their energy and enthusiasm. I would like to ask you to share your stories with a friend. Tell them about the difference being a member of Toastmasters has made to your life. Tell them about the friendships you’ve developed, the fun you’ve had, the things you’ve learned and the things you’ve discovered about yourself.. Then invite them to come along to your club, and invite them to join. If being a member of Toastmasters has made such a big difference to your life, please share your opportunity with others. Being a member of Toastmasters makes it easier to take advantage of opportunities, but no-one can walk through an open a door they cannot see.

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