In 2011 I arrived in Oakville, Ontario as a new immigrant. Originally from Venezuela, English was my third language after Spanish and French.
I decided to intensify my learning of the English language through a focused university program. Even though I finished the English program with great marks, I thought something was missing for me. I felt a lack of communication skill and was almost afraid to talk to others. As a Pharmaceutical Product Manager, I needed to change that.
One day someone mentioned Toastmaster’s and I decided to investigate. I’m really glad I did, and really glad I joined Glen Abbey Toastmasters in September 2012.
I thought the motivation for people to join Toastmasters was to become better public speakers and communicators by achieving their Competent Communicator designation at the end of 10 speeches. What surprised me was how many people focus on mastering public speaking and taking leadership roles - essentials skills for dealing with people anywhere. I learn a lot from people in our club that have been Toastmasters for over 10 years.
I’m also very happy that the club experience ties closely with my expectations and goals. Since joining Toastmasters, my communication and public speaking skills have improved considerably. It’s also changed my life for the better. At GATM I have found a very supportive environment and a friendly atmosphere. I have met very interesting people. I get powerful feedback each time I deliver a speech or take on a role. I get to take on leadership roles – this past year I was on the Club Executive as Club Secretary. I have a great time at every meeting.
Who Knew? That here in our membership at Glen Abbey Toastmasters (GATM) is a budding Author with not one, but two books published to date.
That’s right, Paul Dubal, Author of “Crimes against Humanity” and most recently “The Dictator of Britain”, resident of Oakville, and a member of GATM. Paul was recently featured in an article in the Oakville Beaver.
Paul has been a member of GATM since October 2012 and is our current VP of Membership. We interviewed him recently to ask how Toastmasters has helped him as an Author both professionally and personally.
Toastmasters has helped me in so many ways. One of the biggest challenges for an author is to seek an audience for their work and this means a degree of self-promotion. Today this is often carried out in the social media sphere but more often than not means being able to talk about the books.
Gave Me Confidence
I found that the skills I acquired at Toastmasters have been extraordinarily useful in a number of situations. For example when I was conducting a book signing at Chapters, I needed to have the confidence to approach people and ask them if they would like to buy my book. I fully understand that for a customer, buying a book for $20 from a first time author is a risk. I was able to put my ideas together and provide an eloquent and articulate 'sales pitch' about the book. I was also able to explain why they would enjoy reading it, which convinced many people to decide to buy.
Put My Ideas In Order
I think it has also helped in social situations when people have asked me what my books are about. I could spend several hours telling them everything about my books but I suspect they would have fallen asleep or made their excuses and left. The discipline acquired from Toastmasters is that I can put my ideas in order on the spot and provide a summary and key highlights of the book that is short and punchy. It also gives enough information to generate enough interest for the person to check out the book. That skill is surprisingly difficult to attain, and Toastmasters has been invaluable in that regard.
Finally, I hope to promote my books further in a number of ways - to do more online / newspaper (and hopefully radio) interviews. The recent interview I did for the Oakville Beaver received a lot of attention so that will be a good model to follow. I would also like to present at book clubs and other places to promote my work. Toastmasters has given me the confidence to get up in front of any type of audience and speak fluently and confidently and above all, enjoy the experience!!
Paul’s books are available to order in hardback, paperback and in all e-book formats through his website www.paulmichaeldubal.com and at most online bookstores.
Paul we wish you great success in your growing career as an author.
Wow, we're starting our 22nd year as a Toastmasters Club in Oakville. It's going to be a great year, and we've set a modest goal to become the best Toastmasters Club in Canada (in the eyes of our members)
Hope you'll find the time to come out and speak. By the way, if you're already a great speaker - you'll get immense value at practicing in front of your peers, getting great feedback, and mentoring others who would value your experience.
Come and visit any time
Reema Duggal, President 2013-2014 Glen Abbey Toastmasters
Area 52 Oakville Toastmasters Clubs are working together to make it easier for Oakville residents to find a Toastmasters Club on a night that works for you. We've recently launched www.oakvilletoastmastersclubs.org - a one page website with links to all the clubs and the nights of the week they hold their meetings. Check it out, and forward to a friend that might be interested.