Just like the athletes

November 9, 2010 at 3:23 pm 2 comments

Two fellow Toastmasters  and I talked at a local networking event this fall. We were describing Toastmasters to other people at the  breakfast meeting. People who didn’t know about the organization.

Wayne Kuhn, a real estate agent and long time member of the Black Walnut Toastmasters club in Kitchener-Waterloo, compared attending Toastmasters to attending a gym. A short-term effort, such as attending the Carnegie training,  can be helpful to speaking and leadership skills, whereas attending a Toastmasters club each week is like regular training.

In a follow up email, he wrote, “When I watch the players at the World Cup and see how skillfully they manage the ball on the field, I know they didn’t learn it from going to a one- day workshop or a 5- day seminar.”  They learn and practise over many months and often years, and they “overcome personal obstacles, challenges and discomforts.”  They apply courage to their training as well. To become good, they must work towards their goal. To be the best they can be, they must keep on practicing. That work is essential to their success.

“At Toastmasters we learn the same way. We attend a weekly program working our way through a series of presentations, each designed to build a different area of our communication skills. After weeks and months of practice, we see slow steady improvements till we master what we at working at.”
Another point he made was that we start at different levels, come from different backgrounds and with different goals, so success will be a different thing to each one of us.

Byron Embry, all star baseball player become motivational speaker, was interviewed for an article in the October  2010 Toastmasters magazine, written by DiAnna Steele. Embry said, “Toastmasters took my greatest handicap and made it my greatest asset.”  He says,”… don’t let anyone say you can’t do something. … You have an entire story to tell and no one can tell it quite like you.” He affirms that Toastmasters has helped him to get where he is today.

Thanks DiAnna and Byron for the story, and thank you to Wayne for the continuing conversation.

Who has tried it and succeeded?

If  you’ve never experienced Toastmasters, see what it can do for you. Find a club and train, just like the atheletes. Go here.


Entry filed under: speaking. Tags: .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Di  |  September 28, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Hi Carolyn, Thanks for mentioning this article in your blog. Conducting a series of Interviews with Byron Embry for this Toastmasters International magazine article was a highlight of my year. In addition to being a great speaker, the man is a HOOT to hang out with! I appreciate everyone who took the time to write to me and offer feedback & encouragement. JOY! DiAnna Steele

    • 2. storygal  |  September 29, 2011 at 11:07 am

      You’re welcome, Di. Enjoyed the article. Did you meet them in person?

      I would love to read one on women who are leaders.


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