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December 2022 View PDF
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Donna Lile, CC, ALB

By Mary Nesfield

FROM LEFT: Donna Lile and Caroline Lyngstad
Donna Lile is a member of two clubs in Minnesota. She works as an account manager helping clients develop and implement relocation benefits for staff members and credits Toastmasters with her ability to confidently deliver presentations to her company and ­clients. When Caroline Lyngstad visited the TicTalkers club in Plymouth, Minnesota, she was welcomed by Donna. The mentoring relationship began as Donna helped Caroline gain the confidence to prepare to re-enter the workforce after raising small children.

What was it like to visit the club?

When I first contacted the club about visiting, I hoped I wouldn’t receive an answer—the idea of a public speaking club was terrifying! But with Donna’s warm, personal welcome, I walked through the doors to my first meeting and was struck by how supportive, talented, intelligent and articulate the members were. That gave me the courage to join. 

What did you want to accomplish?

I once was crippled by self-doubt. I couldn’t speak about my past, but the confidence I’ve gained allows me to wield the power of my voice. I am learning to communicate and connect through stories and I hope to inspire others to do the same.   

What have you learned?

I have learned to hold on to hope to get through doubt, pain and fear to a place of peace, forgiveness, self-awareness and strength.
I share my story to inspire, uplift and empower others. And if that helps them recognize and overcome the darkest moments of their lives, I accept the opportunity, privilege and honor.  

What do you value most about Donna’s mentoring?

Donna is approachable, dedicated and passionate about helping others. She cares. She helped me become an active member, a club officer and a mentor. She addresses all my concerns, not just about speeches but about what it takes to be successful—not just in Toastmasters, but in life. I am now employed by my children’s school district. I believe Toastmasters made it possible for me to pursue and gain this wonderful opportunity, and I love what I do.


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