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Words out about Worthing Speakers

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Toastmasters International offers a program for people to tackle their fears around public speaking in a supportive environment with opportunities to develop advanced communication and leadership skills. Worthing Speakers, who have been active for over ten years officially chartered as a Toastmasters club in 2013.

Every members journey is different, and the club’s current president and two business owners share their journeys on how Toastmasters has helped them. For more information visit www.worthingspeakers.club

Ellie and Mayor Alex Harman

Ellie Henderson – Current Club President & Project Manager for a NFP

What inspired you to join Worthing Speakers?

When I worked for the woodland trust my boss asked me to give a talk to the whole charity – about 200 people. I wanted to say yes but I was worried that I wouldn’t do a good job as I Hated public speaking. I had to say no. Afterwards, I did a one-day internal course, but it still wasn’t enough. I joined Worthing Speakers, hoping that I would start to enjoy public speaking.

How has Worthing Speakers helped you – professionally and/or personally?

I have given talks for work since joining. When you work for a charity, it is pretty important to be able to speak with conviction about your work. I feel a lot more confident doing this now. I also this it adds a lot to my CV, especially now I have almost completed a year as President of the Club.

What is next for you in the club and professionally?

I want to mentor some newer members and develop my skills in that respect.

Lynn McInroy – Current Member & author of The Dragonstone

Why did you join Worthing Speakers Club originally?

I joined Worthing Speakers because when The Dragonstone was being published, I needed to visit local schools and talk to the children about the book. I had no experience of public speaking and was very nervous about it.

How has/did Worthing Speakers help/ed you – professionally, and/or personally?

I think I managed a couple of meetings at Worthing Speakers before my first school visit, and it was just enough to show me that I could do it! I don’t think I did a particularly good job, and could do better now, but I at least had to confidence to stand up in front of an audience and talk.

Toby Wilson – Current Member & Manager, Children’s Rights at Council

What motivated you to join Worthing Speakers club originally?

I had just turned 40 and was looking for a new hobby. I wanted to practice and develop my skills in being concise and not speaking too fast.

What entices you to stay with Worthing Speakers/ Toastmasters now that you’ve been with the club a few years?

I enjoy helping others develop their skills by suggesting recommendations as an evaluator. I also love hearing other people’s stories, every meeting is different, and every night I learn something.

How has/did Worthing Speakers help/ed you – professionally, and/or personally?

Worthing Speakers has helped me grow in confidence and its helped me really think about what I say and how I say it.

What is next for you in the club and professionally?

I’m developing my leadership skills professionally and looking into starting a CIM qualification, so the new Pathways is a perfect complement to that.

Susan Payton – Current Member & founder of thebusinessofstories.com

Why did you join Worthing Speakers Club originally?

I have never been comfortable with public speaking (I think it goes back to an embarrassing incident when I was in primary school!), but it’s always something I’ve wanted to do more of and get better at. As a storyteller, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself, thinking that people would expect me to be an entertaining speaker – with lots of stories! – so I wanted to practice and get comfortable with it in a safe environment where it was OK to be a learner and get good, constructive feedback.

How has/did Worthing Speakers help/ed you – professionally, and/or personally?

Whether delivering a prepared talk, an impromptu table topic or fulfilling a role, I have benefitted hugely from pushing myself to regularly step up and speak from the front of the room! I still find it challenging, but I know now that I can do it and that I am slowly but surely improving and getting more confident. I also get a lot from watching the recordings back afterwards and often realise I needn’t be so self-critical – that I do a better job than I give myself credit for!

Claire Bradford – Previous Member & celebrant (creatingceremony.com)

Why did you join Worthing Speakers Club originally?

I joined before I became a celebrant, because it was recommended to me by a friend. I was working as a life coach at the time and I wanted to give talks to local groups. Although I had some experience of public speaking, I wanted to improve my skills and become a more engaging speaker. I had been expecting to benefit from Toastmasters, but I hadn’t expected to enjoy it so much! I particularly liked taking part in ‘table topics’, where you give an off-the-cuff talk for 2 minutes on a random subject that you’ve just been given. It felt like a radio panel game and I enjoyed the creativity and the challenge that came out of it. There was a lot of laughter!

How has/did Worthing Speakers help/ed you – professionally, and/or personally?

Mostly, it gave me confidence, both personally and in my speaking skills. It also boosted my ability to think on my feet and sharpened my creativity.

As a celebrant, being good at public speaking is obviously a must! It’s important in my work that couples and families know what I’m going to say, and we have worked on the words together, so I do work from a script… Worthing Speakers do cover how to read outload engagingly, which is very helpful!