Written by Diana Siller, Senior Operations Engineer, Health Systems Analysis

Two years ago, Diana Siller learned it is possible to tame her fear of public speaking through the Toastmasters Club. Read her story and attend the upcoming Toastmasters Club Open House.

Have you ever felt like your shyness or lack of confidence in public speaking is suppressing your professional and personal opportunities?

Maybe it has kept you from successfully sharing your knowledge and quality of work with your peers and superiors? Perhaps it has kept you from gifting a loved one with a wonderful speech on their wedding or anniversary?

In my case, I’ve seen many opportunities like these come and go, paralyzed by fear. Unfortunately, the feeling that lingers after passing on such great opportunities is always that of regret.

However, two years ago I learned it is possible to tame the beast (my fear of public speaking) and gain control of my life through the opportunities that it brings. I attended a Toastmasters Open House and even though I wasn’t totally convinced, I decided to take a leap and give it a try. I realized “there is no worse battle than that which is never fought.”

So far, the battle is being fought. It’s been a slow but steady learning adventure for me. Nevertheless, from the very first speech I gave, as part of my learning adventure with Toastmasters, I’ve noticed changes in myself. My voice is no longer shaky and my confidence when asked to speak on a moment’s notice has definitely increased. Currently, I’m working on learning how to better structure speeches and how to use my tone of voice to convey my message more effectively to peers, supervisors, and clients.

Are you interested in learning more about Fraser Health’s Toastmasters Club? Join us for our Open House on Thursday, October 18, 12 –1 p.m. (sharp) at Central City on the 4th floor in the Fir Room. We hope to see you there.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Michelle Obama: “You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it's important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”

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