Meet A Toastmaster

Eleanor Edwards

Lewisham Speakers

What is one thing that surprised you about Toastmasters?

One thing that surprised me about Toastmasters is how friendly and helpful everyone is. It is encouraging how so many of the members have given me helpful advice. It’s great how several of the members have offered to support me with getting set up with my Pathways and any general help outside the session.

They have given up their own time to give me extra support which is very generous of them. Being in Toastmasters gives
you the feeling of being a part of a community.

Recommend a book you recently read?

A book I recently read that I would recommend is ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker. It is very atmospheric and really captures your imagination. You feel like you’re in that castle in Transylvania. Every chapter leaves you in suspense, so you have got to keep reading. There are great characters in this book and Dracula himself is such a fantastic villain. Even though this book was written over a hundred and twenty years ago. I cannot think of a modern book or a film that is more
entertaining than this.

Mie Verstraelen Beckenham Communicators

Why did you join Toastmasters?

Over the last few years, I have been offered many speaking opportunities in my role as a female IT Leader. However, being an introvert, the thought of speaking to a large crowd frightens me and even gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it!

A colleague of mine who recently joined my workplace did a few TEDx talks in the US and she recommended that I join Toastmasters to help me improve my public speaking skills. I believe if I can overcome my fear first, it will be a huge personal milestone for me and I’m confident that it will help me progress as an individual.

Although I have only attended one virtual meeting, I knew this was right for me. The group made me feel so welcome that it only confirmed my decision to become a Member of Toastmasters.

What’s your secret talent that no one knows about?

Having qualified as a Reiki practitioner 8 years ago, I decided to train as a Reiki Master, which means I can teach others to become a practitioner. In case you’re not familiar with Reiki, it’s a form of energy healing using hands. I can help unblock negative energy in the body, which can in some cases lower stress levels, promote healing and reduce physical pain.

Unfortunately, having a tearaway toddler and a full-time job in IT, I can no longer practice Reiki but it will always be a part of me.