I started with the Flower Mound Toastmasters about 2-1/2 years ago and was looking to improve my presentation skills. I am a CPA and started a sales consultant job for a financial software company about 3 years ago but accountants usually don’t have many opportunities to make presentations and that was true in my case. However, I was hired because I had the right accounting knowledge they wanted and the desire to succeed.
After a few months as a new sales consultant, my boss started sending me links to TED talks and YouTube videos to help me improve my confidence and presentation skills. My company kept giving me very small sales deals to work on while I was improving. At one point my manager listened in on one of my presentations and said he quit counting the “you knows” when he got to 30 in the first 5 minutes. Meanwhile I watched many of my peers receive incredible accolades and perks for their sales successes.
I found Flower Mound Toastmasters Club. I always volunteered for Table Topics, listened intently to the evaluations, and I found it was getting easier to stand up front and give speeches that were engaging. It took me almost 2 years to get my Competent Communicator. As a result, I was creating new and better habits for my presentations at my job.
After about a year of Toastmasters my boss said I had made the biggest improvements in presentation skills compared to my peer group. Then the second year I was in Toastmasters, my presentations greatly improved and I was asked to work on some of the largest sales deals for my company. I applied my Toastmasters training when I got into a sales presentation in front of a whole room of executives, analysts, and specialists and I spoke with conviction, had a logical flow, and cut down on the “um’s” and “you know’s”.
I just found out that 2015 sales deals that I directly helped close came in at #3 overall in the company among all our sales consultants. This achievement gave me huge recognition and I was also awarded a company paid President’s Club trip to Kauai with my husband this Spring. Without Toastmasters, this never would have happened!
Toastmasters has really given me a tangible reward for improving my presentation skills. Thank you again for the encouragement and an incredible Flower Mound Toastmasters club.