Nicole Celestine, CC, ALB
Q: When and why did you join Toastmasters?
A: I joined Toastmasters in the fall of 2011, primarily to increase my confidence, because delivering speeches was becoming a regular part of my professional and personal life. I also wanted to develop the skills necessary to prepare and execute my speeches, and pursue additional professional speaking opportunities.
Q: Since joining Toastmasters, how have you grown as a communicator and leader?
A: My confidence level has increased. I now take time to pause and collect my thoughts before speaking, which helps me to relax and be more assured of the message I share with my audience. As a leader, I mentor two Toastmasters members. And in 2012, I represented my club at our area’s speech evaluation contest.
Q: What do you like best about your club?
A: I like the camaraderie and the supportive and friendly atmosphere of my club. We have a diverse group, with members representing the federal government and private industries. They come with varied backgrounds and interests, and a wealth of information. This creates a rich exchange of ideas as members give advice, mentor and share their knowledge. Several members have unpredictable work schedules, and some travel out of state, but all club members remain flexible, and carry on—even if things change at the last minute.
Q: What have you done in Toastmasters to gain leadership experience?
A: Since July 2012, I have served my club as vice president public relations. I delivered officer training sessions and worked with club officers to develop a member fitness program that will define our club’s strengths and areas for improvement. As area governor for Area 44, which includes my home club, Flying Toasters, and four other clubs in Renton, Washington, I attended district training sessions to improve my leadership skills.
Q: What is the most important thing you tell your friends and family about Toastmasters?
A: You get out of Toastmasters what you put in. You come to meetings as you are—with your talents, personality and background—and the program empowers you to become more confident. Working through the manuals is worth the time and the money that you invest because it gives you countless opportunities to explore, improve and fulfill your dreams.
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