Never neglect an opportunity for improvement

Toastmasters is an opportunity for us to become the best leaders and speakers we can be. It allows us to make mistakes and learn from them in a supportive and fun environment, whilst also providing a supportive network for others. This is not just specific to Parramatta but at any club we visit.

For 6 months (since my return from travelling) I heard many times that contests were something that all ‘newbie’ toastmasters should enter as you learn so much in such a short amount of time. If I’m to be completely honest…..I didn’t particularly believe it and had no intention of entering any of the club contests for quite some time and possibly never.

Enter the DARE! A member of our lovely club dared me to enter both the table topics and the humorous contests (thanks Ron). Not being one to turn down a dare…..I  entered and I can definitely say it was the best toastmasters decision I will ever have made.

It provided me with an opportunity to improve and gain confidence to a level that I could only have dreamt of, and without the help and assistance from many of you fellow toastmasters this would never have happened. I learnt new techniques such as word usage, gestures, and pausing that would not have happened in the time frame that it did, and I learnt to have a little bit more faith in myself! Sure it was absolutely terrifying and the nerves almost uncontrollable, but the adrenalin high and being able to look out at so many supportive faces that want you to succeed made it one of my memorable experiences to date. I can now safely say that I’ve been converted to the adrenalin, hype and learning opportunity of what contests have to offer.

Toastmasters provides so many opportunities for improvement, and whether be a position on an exec team, putting your hand up for an extra assignment or entering the contests, it helps us be the best version of ourselves that we can be 🙂

Monique Tonna

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