Deborah Goodman,Bromley Speakers – Sharing her journey
After nearly 20 years away from the corporate world, Deborah Goodham Toastmaster at Bromley Speakers embraces the role of Vice President Public Relations.
Deborah Goodman, worked in the Telecoms industry for 23 years before leaving the corporate world behind her in 2000 to pursue her passion in holistic therapy.
“I really thought I’d left this kind of work behind me,” Deborah said, “but I am finding that this new role has ignited a spark in me and I’m eager to get my teeth into it.”
Deborah left her London job after suffering stress and depression and experiencing her first massage and energy healing whilst on holiday in Costa Rica.
After losing 4 family members to a hereditary neurological condition, she started to raise money and awareness for the Huntington’s Disease Association. Deborah trekked on the Great Wall of China, the Inca Trial to Machu Picchu in Peru and even summited the world’s tallest mountain – Mount Kilimanjaro.
Standing at 5,895 metres Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the World.
After raising over £20,000 she took on another colossal challenge, writing and publishing her autobiography, Hummingbird.
After the publication of the book, Deborah was invited to give talks at Bromley College and Park Langley Girls School.
“I think I did an OK job, but I’d never done anything like that before and I realised that I definitely needed some help with public speaking,” Deborah said. “So I joined Bromley Speakers and I haven’t looked back.
“I was instantly struck by how friendly the club is,” she said. “It’s a safe environment to practise and it’s OK to mess up. The meetings are structured in a way that is really informative and I learn something useful each time I go. My confidence has soared and I even filmed for Channel 4’s First Dates programme! I would not have had the confidence to do that, were it not for Bromley Speakers. Unfortunately they didn’t show my date but I got through all the interviews and auditions and went on to film a date with them. The whole experience was exciting and incredible. ”
In March this year Deborah was a key speaker at the Amazing Women Awards, held in London by Roz Thornton of Amazing Women Global.
“I am sure that being a member of Toastmasters was instrumental in securing that speaking slot,” Deborah said. “It was one of those ‘pinch me’ experiences that I will never forget.”
Deborah also took part in a video for C5 News, in relation to the Assisted Dying Bill which was being debated in Parliament as well as filming a documentary with David George of Utility Films about her experiences of living in a family with Huntington’s disease, which is currently being finalised.
Deborah says of Toastmasters, “It is a place where you can overcome your fear of speaking in public, and it provides positive leadership at work or in your business. It enables you to develop skills related to timekeeping, grammar and helps with overall communication skills. Bromley Speakers is a multi-award winning club, but it’s not just for business people. It’s also open to those who just want to increase their confidence in life.
“The club is friendly, very welcoming and hugely supportive. I really look forward to the meetings where I get an opportunity to practise my speaking skills and receive constructive feedback and recommendations on how to improve. And, as an extra bonus, I have made some wonderful new friends.
“Members represent a wide cross-section of the community, including students, educators, business people, professionals, authors and retired people. Anyone can go along as a guest, without any charge, to three meetings to get a feel for it before actually joining. I promise we will give all our guests a friendly welcome.
“As Vice President Public Relations, I am happy to speak to organisations about what we do.”
Bromley Speakers meets at Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays of the month, at 7.15 pm for a 7:30 prompt start.