What a beautiful weekend we were blessed with in Southwestern Ontario! The weather was perfect for this time of year.  Two full days of sun – it really feels like spring is around the corner.  Of course, we all know that we’re going to get hit with just one more blast of winter before moving on to spring for good.

Sunday morning I drove into to Toronto, to meet up with a group of 17 strangers for brunch! Angela, of Oh She Glows fame, arranged for a group of us to get together and try out Fressen, a vegan restaurant on Queen W. Angela did a great job of reviewing the food and the morning, so here’s the link to her blog, including lots of yummy photos!

I heard someone mention Toastmasters across the table during the meal, and of course, jumped right in to share my experience.  Two of the girls were thinking about giving it a try – and I passed on my famous words of advice – make sure you find the group that is right for you.  I’ve met many people who said they didn’t enjoy Toastmasters, but only visited one group.  Every group is different – the people are different, the way the group is run is different, some are an hour, some are two … if you’re determined to join, then it’s best to try out a few clubs in your area to find the right fit.

A week ago Saturday, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Trafalgar Toastmasters, with a dinner, contest and dance at the Oakville Golf Club. It was a very well attended event – we filled the room with current members, previous members, guests from other local clubs and other non-Toastmaster guests.  There were a few speeches and time to reminisce. We also had the International Speech Contest for our club.  This time of year, there are two contests: International Speech and Evaluation.  It was fun to be a part of the International Speech Contest at the event, as it was a much larger crowd than usual and in a more formal setting.  There were 4 contestants, Hassan Masum, Chris Coderre, Richard Kitney and myself. I found out later that the women in our group tend to avoid competition. I plan on helping to change that! One of the requirements to participate in this competition is to have completed at least 6 speeches from the first manual, Competent Communicator, which makes it a challenge for some of our newer members. It was a great night and the speeches were all excellent.  My speech was called Impossible Dream, and was based on the story of my challenges on the road to becoming an Ironman.  After the votes were tallied, Richard was declared runner-up and the winner was me! How exciting! Richard and I now have a chance to represent our club this evening at the Area contest, against 4 other contestants from different clubs.  Our club has some fantastic speakers, so it’s always a pleasant surprise and an honour to win.

I have really enjoyed my first year in Toastmasters so far. It is such a wonderful organization and our club is friendly, talented and a great place to learn and improve our skills. I am proud to be a part of such a world-class organization and to be a part of our club.

Here are a few more photos from the evening, including a few silly ones of me while speaking! Have a super day everyone and enjoy the sunshine again.

Trafalgar Toastmasters 30th Anniversary

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