Before You Join

Many people are told to join Toastmasters for the skills they can gain, but aren't told about the work they need to put in. This lesson will go over expectations so you know what you're getting into.

1. Introduction

There was once a guy that took the stairs as often as possible to avoid having to talk to people in elevators. He just wanted to do his engineering-type work, and not be bothered. However, he knew that to advance in his career, he needed people skills. He found out about Toastmasters, and resolved to go to one.

He went to his car one evening, having decided to attend one meeting. He started to put the key in, and...decided that tonight was not that night. Off and on again for half a year, he would repeat this ritual. Finally, someone prompted him to finally take that leap.

Fast forward a few years, and he was the District Governor (now District Director) for Toastmasters over all of Houston, College Station, and Galveston, and a few years after that, running his own consultant business. You would never know he was that introvert from earlier.

This is just one success story from Toastmasters. It's not mine (my own is slightly less dramatic). I've heard many more, and it's always surprising that many of the people who think they can't speak or can't lead end up succeeding beyond anyone's expectations, never mind their own. The program works - if you apply yourself to it consistently and earnestly. 

The intention of this lesson is to make you aware of what you're getting into. If you're not ready to change your life, Toastmasters isn't for you. If you're only in it to get something for yourself, Toastmasters isn't for you. If you can't or won't make the time for it, Toastmasters isn't for you. If you want to make excuses instead of putting in the effort, Toastmasters isn't for you. 

However, if you put the time, the energy, and make it a habit to give back, you'll find that you're going to be a better person for it. Your speaking and leadership skills will continue to be improved and refined, and your improved confidence will spill over into the other areas of your life. I've seen it happen for so many people that put in the work that I'm confident that if you do the same, you'll be all the better for it.