Sunday, October 17, 2010

Q & A with Valley Speakers President Peter Lin

Q: You've been with Valley Speakers for two years. What motivated you to join, and what keeps you coming back?

Five years ago I was very self-conscious, self-judgmental and lacked confidence in public speaking. At the time I was a software engineer so I was able to perform my job without much speaking.

After making a poor presentation at work and feeling bad about it for weeks, I decided to join Toastmasters. Toastmasters gave me the opportunity to learn how to speak in public in a supportive environment where I was able to develop confidence.

Q: Can you think of specific instances when you were able to apply skills learned at Toastmasters in real life, whether at work or at home?

By participating in Toastmasters, you'll realize dramatic improvements in many areas of your life:
  • At work, communication with your employer and associates will become more effective and productive.
  • At home, interactions with family and friends will be easier, more enjoyable and more fulfilling.
  • In your community, you will become more effective in getting things said, planned and done.

Q: What do you say to those who are afraid of public speaking?

Toastmasters has improved my communication skills in my personal and social life. I am now confident when I speak in public. I actually think public speaking is fun and interesting. I've learned technical skills such as voice variation, gestures, eye contacts, content organization, time organization, and how to avoid grammatical errors from the manuals.

Q: What is your big idea for the future of Valley Speakers?

Community outreaches – there is a need in our community to improve public speaking skills. Valley Speakers Toastmasters plans to host short-term speech training and contests to introduce and promote Toastmasters in our community.

Enhanced club programs – The club's programs and topics are reviewed and approved by the executive committee to ensure topics are appropriate and interesting. The club also plans a quarterly debate within the club.