Club Information

Next Meeting:
23rd May 2019

Meeting Time:
18:45 for 19:00, every 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month

(Mingle time from 18:30 to 19:00!)

RSVP:
easy-Speak

Meeting Place:
Tennis Pavilion
Morningside Country Club
De La Ray Road
Rivonia

If you are coming from Sandton on Rivonia road, turn left after the Engen garage into 7th Avenue, then left again into De La Ray

District: 74
Division: H
Area: 4
Club Number: 8217
Charter Date: 6/1/1991

Archives

Categories

Complete application & join us now!

Download

More information about our club

Brochure

Personal Growth

Last year, I got an opportunity to speak at a women’s day event in August to 170 ladies. I was so nervous because I didn’t have a lot of speaking experience to large audiences. In my corporate past, I had done many presentations and I wasn’t a stranger to being in the limelight. But a 40-minute speech to an audience that size, was daunting.

The first thing I did was to find a speaking coach.  A friend recommended a coach that she met at a networking breakfast. I contacted him and set up an initial meeting to assess the fit between us. He provided me with a lot of tips on what makes a good speech and pitfalls to look out for. One of his first recommendations was to join Toastmasters so that I could practice my skills and grow as a speaker in a supportive environment.

I joined Toastmasters a year ago, with only three short months to cram in as much practice as possible before the big event. I visited a few clubs before I settled on Morningside, where I felt the membership base would provide me with a diverse audience in order to polish my message. I jumped into the speeches with gusto and I even visited other clubs to gain feedback on as many projects and aspects of speaking as possible.

My first speech was not great. I knew that I had to talk about my personal experience and I had to get comfortable with being vulnerable. I spoke about my experience of burnout and the impact it had on my life. It felt like a very heavy topic and that helped me to realise that part of my calling is to bring light to this serious issue. I was in the process of writing a book about burnout with guidelines on how not to get there. My aim is to help people to avoid the serious health issues I have encountered as a result of stress. I plan to steer people away from their lives falling apart and to show them how to avoid the suffering I have endured.

MatchesThe more I spoke, the more I learnt about how my message needs to change. Not only did the valuable feedback improve my speaking skills, but it helped me to improve the impact of my message. I took the learnings and incorporated them into my book. I rewrote half of it because of the insights I gained from my speeches and the evaluations at Toastmasters. This came as a complete surprise to me and I never imagined that the speaking would alter my book so much.

 

I met wonderful people who have fascinating experiences to share. I have been inspired, entertained and educated by the speeches I have heard at Morningside. I have had the opportunity to evaluate others, and this has enabled me to grow in further ways. I know that there are many aspects of my speaking that require more work. But looking back over the past year and the thirteen speeches I have done at Toastmasters, I’m so happy and privileged to have had this experience. I was able to try things that are well outside my comfort zone, such as a humorous speech contest. I experimented with topics that were in line with my profession and those that are outside it such as sports. I didn’t expect to grow quite as much as a person as I have done.

MicI did my speech in August last year and it was a resounding success. I felt nervous but I really enjoyed it. I spoke about my story of burnout and how I fixed my life. I connected with some amazing ladies and received wonderful feedback. It was a real push to perform the speech when I had not entirely recovered from my illness. But it was so rewarding and I would do it again.

I have now finished my book and it will be published in a few weeks. I am ready to spread my message and I continue on this path of learning and recovery. I joined at a time when I had been recovering at home for a long time. Toastmasters meetings were a way of venturing out into the world to test the extent of my recovery, and to engage with people again. I’m so grateful for the people I have met so far at Toastmasters and I look forward to all the inspiring and entertaining speeches to come, as well as the chance to grow further.

Kathy Mann, CC (www.facebook.com/kathymannwriter)