"TOASTMASTERS HAS GIVEN ME THE SKILLS AND TOOLS TO ENSURE MY MESSAGE MAKES THE RIGHT IMPRESSION"
MELANIE NEWDICK, VICE CHAIR, NHS HIGHLAND
What Has Toastmasters Ever Done for Me?
The simple answer to that question is quite a lot actually so let me explain in more detail.
I first started going to Toastmasters about 6 or 7 years ago before it was an official club in Inverness. I worked my way through the 10 speech program to become a Competent Communicator. Along the way I got feedback on my public speaking - how I sounded, what it was like to listen to me and things I could improve on.
Two and a half years ago I went for an interview for a role I had been wanting for 2 or 3 years. It was to be a Non Executive Director at the NHS. I had no experience but I made it through to the interview. Part of the interview included giving a 10 minute presentation on the challenges facing the NHS and what should be done about this.
Toastmasters had given me the skills I needed to deliver a polished presentation. I had structure, a point, memorable information, punchlines and most importantly I was able to deliver it within the timeframe. During the interview I had to answer various questions. Toastmasters gave me the skills to buy some extra thinking time to help me better answer the questions.
In my role at NHS Highland I do quite a lot of speaking. Toastmasters has given me the skills to structure my comments at a board meeting for example so I am able to make my point clearly. I am now Vice Chair of NHS Highland and Toastmasters has given me the skill and confidence to communicate more publicly. I am now working through the Advanced speaker program for "Speeches by Management" to improve these skills further.
That's the other great things about Toastmasters - there is always something new to learn, whether that be a new skill, a new topic that someone is presenting or a new leadership skill. That's why I keep going back after all these years.
Melanie Newdick, July 2017