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The Toastmaster Challenge

I’m frightened to death, most of the time, about thinking out loud in public, so I cover the cracks as best as I can with foundation, powder and paint. I’m curious to a fault, I love learning and have yet to be stretched to my limit.

However, on the 18th April I am delivering my penultimate speech from the Toastmasters International advanced speakers manual on Public Relations.  This, for me, has probably been the most challenging of the advanced manuals I have yet chosen.

I joined the local Toastmasters club, Casterbridge Speakers, in 2008, primarily to improve my confidence in speaking on ad hoc subjects, in a public arena.  Give me a subject I know and I’m well away but I have always struggled with how others ‘perceive me’ when I’m trying to talk about something I don’t know much about.  

Seven years later I am still continuously learning, honing my communication style in both presenting and leading.  It’s the best return on continual professional development invested.

I chose to study ‘Public Relations’ two years ago as I was, at the time, the Vice President of Public Relations for the Club and thought the learning would support the role. The second project The Radio Talk Show was nerve racking if ever there was … you can hear it for yourself here: Talking On Air

I have struggled to find the inspiration for the last two projects.  That is possibly because my term as VP Public Relations has run out, more probably because the subjects involve a certain amount of role play!!!


In my last post, I mentioned how important a certain amount of challenge is to everyone in their life and in their business … well Toastmasters is one that constantly keeps me on my toes.  I plan to finish this last manual by the end of June, the Toastmaster year end.   Then choose another two advanced subjects to study:  one that I will enjoy doing and one that will once again challenge me … I wonder which will get completed first?

These are the five I have narrowed it down to: if you have a view as to what I will find fun and what will challenge me most, please make it known now!

  • Story Telling
  • Facilitating Discussion
  • Interpretative Reading
  • The Entertaining Speaker
  • Special Occasions


PS if you would like to see how Casterbridge Speakers works in real life please join us at a meeting every the first and third Wednesday of the month at The Wessex Royale, Dorchester.


  1. Think you could have a ton of fun with ‘Story Telling’ – easy and hard at the same time!
    You go girl – knock ’em alive!!!
    Joys, Vanda


  2. I have put the same question to my club members and unreservedly they have said the same. Which should be the second though? I’m tending towards Interpretive Reading.


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