"I want more people to know they can tell their story, share their knowledge, connect with opportunities and ultimately make a bigger difference."
- Contest master at a district Humorous Speech Contest (2014)
- Taught the Youth Leadership Program at a local high school
- Elected as division governor (2014)
Thanks to the confidence I gained through Toastmasters, I shifted careers from marketing and research and launched a speaking and media business. I did it for one reason: I believe your voice can make a difference. I want more people to know they can tell their story, share their knowledge, connect with opportunities and ultimately make a bigger difference. My new career as a speaker, writer and entrepreneur allows me to bring my whole self—my communication and leadership skills and interests in yoga, wellness and community—to my work.
As a division governor, I oversee 24 clubs and am active in my home club, Hanover Toastmasters. I’m also a member of my local chamber of commerce and its education committee, and I have taught a Youth Leadership Program for teens. As a promoter of wellness—a healthy balance of mind, body and spirit—I stress the benefits of yoga and meditation for public speaking.
Yoga can build confidence, resilience, presence and vulnerability. It teaches you how to be with people instead of thinking about what you’ll say next. Meditation can help quiet the critics in your head so you can tune in to your voice and desires. These practices help center me before a presentation or conversation. I use elements like controlled breathing to calm my nerves and simple poses to improve my confidence, energy and posture. Sometimes I use poses in my presentations to demonstrate a point (e.g., I once guided a volunteer into a headstand to show the importance of trust and relationships to achieve goals.).
I would tell prospective members to visit a few clubs to find a comfortable fit. Expect the unexpected. Most people join to strengthen their communication skills, but the program offers so much more: new friends and new career opportunities! The possibilities are endless.