Motivated Excitement & Country Charm at Coolongolook School

Primary School Students are the true essence of our future and learning the ways of the world in their younger years.  Today, I had the privilege of speaking at Coolongolook Public School as an ex-student Guest Speaker.  My intention was to inspire these beautiful students to believe in themselves and focus on a future without limitations.

I am passionate about helping people with my encouraging and motivating speeches.  Challenged to design a speech… to connect with students from Kindergarten to Year 6, as well as relating the information to benefit adults.  My speech was incorporated into Grandparents Day with visiting parents, grandparents and special friends.

Successfully, I delivered my message to keen listening ears and interested individuals.  What truly captivated me… was the attention span of these primary school-aged students.  During my 30-minute speech, all students were focused with engaging eye contact and listened so intently.

It was a pleasure to speak to a group of individuals that showed me respect and could relate to the information that I presented.  I thank the Principal and Staff of Coolongolook Public School for their kind invitation to return to my own Primary School to speak on this special day.  I have so many fond memories of my primary school years here and I enjoyed the morning reminiscing and seeing the changes within the school.

Coolongolook Public School is a small country school with a charming country community.  Similar in size to when I attended, the opportunities of attending a small school proves there is no disadvantages to success in life.

I was so grateful to be able to speak with several students over morning tea, lunch and when visiting their classrooms.  From interesting conversations, expressed thank you’s, hugs galore and a personal drawing… my morning was truly inspirational from both sides.  Small country schools offer a special something and I witnessed this today in the welcoming atmosphere… from students, parents, grandparents and teachers alike.

Two students had impacted me through our conversations, their attitude and heartfelt interactions.  So I gave them both “My Journal” as a gift to encourage and motivate them in their future.  We can all do with a helping hand in life so should be looking for opportunities to help somebody else where we can.

I was very impressed with the musical learning opportunities now at Coolongolook Public School and enjoyed a performance.  When I was at school I played percussion instruments like the triangle, castanets and tambourine.  With their real musical department having progressed enormously, to learning guitars and drums… simply amazed me.

Feeling nostalgic, I was also able to sing along with the School Song.  Surprisingly, I even remembered most of the words, even after 30 years.  It was great to see and hear familiarity, but also to see progression.

Speaking of my fond memories of Coolongolook Public School and how the impact of my education led to my success in life… was encouraging for listeners.  The highlight for me, was meeting students and the dedicated school community, and listening to how my words were perceived and related to their individual lives.

Once again, my passion to share my love for life and the motivation to persuade others to see their own beauty within… makes me feel empowered.

Take care, Karen.

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“If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.”

~ Ronnie Lott

Speaking to Inspire at Empowering Anxiety Event

Last night I had an opportunity to speak at Katie Godden’s Anxiety Solutions Workshop at Nemingha.  This empowering event, with 50 attendees, shared strategies to help women manage anxiety and stress.  Courage and confidence to find our own way by prioritising our own wellbeing was the key message delivered.

I shared my personal story when anxiety was crippling my life and when life changes revealed a future that scared me.  After raising my children and now needing a new life purpose, it was scary not knowing what the future will hold.  As women, we do question our position in life, our purpose and knowing who we really are.

When I started to lose that grip on my life, worry set in.  The WHAT IF cycle had hold of me.  As a renowned control freak, I love order and structure.  I was the organiser and the strength to get things done in my family and beyond.  This was proving to be a struggle.

Anxiety used to rule my life.  Anxiety used to control all of my decisions and lack of decisions.  Anxiety doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone at any time.  We can experience anxiety at different levels, in different ways, sometimes more severe than others.

It is not about the anxiety… it is about… WHAT YOU DO ABOUT IT.

I made a choice to get help and put myself first.  I was determined to change my life around.  I put strategies in place.  I learned to say NO.  I set boundaries for my family to know what was important to me.

I realised that I cannot be there for anyone else unless I take care of myself first.  I set my own goals for my own future.  This formed part of my mission of personal growth and self-discovery.  Whatever it is that you want in life, you are all capable of achieving it.

I am now able to manage my anxiety and convert it into nervous energy that motivates me.  I listen to my body and mind to know what is best for me and the ones I love.

When you are back in control, the anxiety doesn’t control you.  There is so much self-satisfaction about taking on challenges and no longer worrying excessively.

If somebody told me 6 months ago that I would be public speaking, there is no way I would have believed it.  I feared public speaking all of my life.  Now, it is just another challenge and an opportunity to share my story to inspire others.

All we want in life is to be the best person we can be.  To be at our best, so we can take on life.  When we are at our best, we are happy, really happy.  Everyone deserves to be happy.  That happiness is contagious and will flow through to others.

It was a privilege to be able to speak and inspire other individuals last night on a topic that is rarely spoken about.  I am grateful that those 50 attendees walked away knowing their own worth and have started that inner process of taking back control.  50 beautiful normal everyday women, just wanting the best for themselves and the ones they love.

We all have the capability of being true to ourself, taking care of ourself and accepting that we deserve it.

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Thank you to Katie Godden for putting this empowering program together to help us all change our lives for the better.  And thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to speak and connect with others.

Also thank you to Nemingha Public School P&C for applying for funding through the Primary Health Network (PHN) to bring awareness and assistance on a very important topic that needs to be spoken about. Anxiety is very common, yet very misunderstood.  This event brought clarity and useful strategies for moving forward.

Take care, Karen.

“You can’t stop the waves,

but you can learn to surf.”

~ John Kabat-Zinn

Toastmasters Reclaims Motivation

How does one go from feeling overwhelmed with a mind full of chaos, to a sense of calmness with empowering motivation?  Step outside your comfort zone, play the game of life and allow Toastmasters back into your busy schedule.

My mind was feeling like a complete mess with so many work activities and commitments.  I was starting to feel like that image of the calm looking duck upon the lake… with those webbed feet madly paddling beneath.  At what point do we say enough is enough?

How many times in life do we question our direction and our choices?  We allow ourselves to be dragged along, ensuring that we do everything that we must and somehow try to saviour a little time for yourself.

I had been crossing off events from my calendar and any activity that was not work-related got scratched.  Trying to free up some space in my daily schedule.  But was I crossing out the correct choices for me?

Tonight I made that decision, without planning, stepped outside my comfort zone once again.  I had not attended a Toastmasters meeting for months.  Thinking I needed a break and I wouldn’t miss it for a while.  But what I noticed was that I was losing my confidence.  That confidence that was starting to develop when speaking to a group… had started to be lost.

Nervously I jumped into Tamworth Toastmasters again tonight and I am loving the outcome.  Feeling full of motivation with a feeling of complete support and friendship, I have realised that Toastmasters is what is missing in my life.  I am keen to work on my next speech already.

From a morning with back pain and lacking the enthusiasm to do anything more than office work… to a vibrant and interesting evening.  Have you ever felt the need to pike out and push something aside?

After nearly 12 months of no real haircuts because farming finances became far too important to be spending it upon me.  I finally went back to my hairdresser, feeling guilty that I wasn’t able to support her business when the drought had impacted farther afield.  Almost like magic, a simple haircut… no colour, no style… just a haircut, lifted my spirits.  It felt like a load off.  A fringe that had grown out.  A good tidy up, far exceeded expectations.

Then the doctor visit for the dreaded pap smear.  Ladies, I know you understand!  Say no more.  The anxiety and stress around this visit clearly subsided.  Then to review my health care plan.  NOOOO!  I have put on 2kg.  Feeling sorry for myself again about now.

Waiting at the pharmacy for medication, one brief phone call was to change my thought process and how I might react.  A lady cared enough to phone to see how I was going and to make sure everything was OK.  Truthfully no not OK, but I was reminded of what Toastmasters could do for me.

A simple phone call encouraged me to come along tonight.  Without any paperwork, no plans, no badge… I rocked up to the meeting.  Within minutes I felt almost at ease, was speaking on an impromptu task and took on the task of evaluating a speech.

It absolutely amazes me how I can be so nervous yet so calm and excited, all at the same time.  I am so very shy when it comes to speaking, but something ignites within me and I share my passion verbally.

The highlight of the Toastmasters evening for me, was being told that my impromptu speech comes straight from the heart and is spoken with complete honesty.  That is exactly what I want to be able to do when I speak to inspire people.

I think we all have more ability than what we realise.  Every time I hear somebody speak, whether it is a newcomer or a more experienced speaker… we under-estimate our own ability yet think everyone else speaks wonderfully.

Toastmasters gives you the opportunity to improve your communication skills, build confidence and leadership skills, all within a fun supportive learning environment.  We all share our experiences, share stories and help each other.  We laugh and enjoy the evening, and we listen to interesting speakers.  Some of us share knowledge and educate, some share inspiration and uplift us and some share their unique passions in life.

I would like to extend a formal invitation to you if you live in the Tamworth area to attend our next Tamworth Toastmasters meeting, as a Guest.  It will be held on 9th September at West Tamworth League Club, Phillip Street, West Tamworth, 6:45 for 7pm start.  Come and see for yourself what Toastmasters can offer you.

If you live outside this area, I invite you to seek out your closest Toastmasters club and encourage you to challenge yourself and see how your life will improve.  You will be more confident, will have better communication skills and life just becomes more interesting.

Be the best person you can be and with Toastmasters you may just discover that person hiding within.  If I can do it… so can you!

Take care, Karen.

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“The Three C’s of Life:

Choices, Chances, Changes.

You must make a Choice

to take a Chance

or your life will never Change.”

~ Zig Ziglar

Outspoken Transformation & the Beauty of Speaking to Share

How can your life change in only 3 big days?  Connect with a room full of inspirational like-minded men and women.  And what better place for my soul searching journey… than the Gold Coast QLD Australia!

I had no idea the powers that be would ensure this time that I didn’t miss the obvious clues.  The solution is to take that energy and wisdom within my heart, mind and soul… release it… and allow myself to change people’s lives.  What a beautiful future before me!

How did I not see the obvious suggestions and requests over the last year or so?  People were asking me to speak at certain events.  People suggesting that I had the capability of coaching and guiding others.  But why wasn’t I forthcoming to accept this path.

I was standing in my own way… doubting myself… yet so passionate deep down to expand my circle of helping people.  How many of us become our own barricade that stops us moving forward and seeking our real destiny?

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My life has been transformed.  I now believe it.  I am a Speaker.  I have a story to be shared.  A story to allow others to be inspired, to connect and to feel worthy.  A story to lead others into my safe haven to be guided in life and business.

Real strategies, real changes… guaranteed to improve your life by following my specific techniques.  Whether it is to find your passion, strategies to identify your goals, support with hypnotherapy, writing business plans or writing a blog.  The key is to bring you back in control of your life.  I have the tools to get you to where you want to be.

My latest transformation has been unveiled at a 3-day Grow Your Speaking Biz Workshop with Sharon Jurd Events and SMJ Coaching Institute.  Our presenter Sharon Jurd is an international best-selling Author and has been awarded over 36 Industry Awards including the Australian Franchise Woman of the Year.

Her 2IC (second in charge) Diana, is the most organised and efficient Personal Assistant (PA) that one could ask for.  With her organisation skills and structure, the events progress perfectly.  Not only is she great in her work ethic, but she is friendly and helpful… and one of those women that everyone wants in their circle.

Sharon Jurd is a very knowledgeable woman in business and life.  She has a passion for helping people learn and provide real encouragement for you to step up and put it into action successfully.  Her workshop was both informative and very entertaining.  Sharon Jurd just has this unique ability to get in your head, find that soul that needs reviving and may need a little guidance in business and life.  A strong and capable woman that I am honoured to now have mentoring me.

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I was so fortunate to be able to meet one of her mentors Kawena.  A remarkably wise lady at 90 years young… living an extremely fulfilling life… still helping others.  Kawena is an Inspirational Speaker, Winner of the 2013 Psychic Hall of Fame, and a Spiritual/Personal Guide and Mentor.  She shared with us, the power of quality breathing and true happiness.  Her kind words were so captivating, extremely motivating and gave me the inner strength to follow my varied business path.  An amazing guest speaker!  An amazing woman!

Another guest speaker that we had the pleasure of connecting with was Karen Sydne from New Zealand.  She shared her wonderful story and passion for life.  Karen Sydne is a Speaker, Author and Coach.  Her words of encouragement, motivation and very helpful business advice, were all delivered with perfection.  A very inspiring woman with a real story to share and a powerful message to deliver.

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My business journey has been shared alongside other inspiring business owners.  Being in a room full of like-minded, caring and passionate people, with a desire for personal growth is simply amazing.  These are the sort of people I love to be around.  People that intrigue you, delight you with their stories and spark that little something within you that brings you to the top of your game.

My time was shared with these successful people and I was honoured to share my journey with such spirited individuals:

  • Rosemary O’BrienRosemary O’Brien Coaching, a Mindset to Success Coach.  Rosemary is an amazing woman that is passionate about inspiring and empowering people to respect and believe in themselves.  A beautiful woman with valuable skills in this industry, bringing so much value to her clients.
  • Suzanne McTier-Browne, Good Health & Pain Relief Clinic, Rockhampton QLD.  Suzanne is the Author of Drug Free Pain Relief, an advanced Bowen therapist, reflexologist and massage therapist.  An inspiring woman with so much knowledge to share.
  • Melanie Tate, CEO and Founder of Puddle Jumpers, Adelaide SA.  A non-profit organisation set up to support the most vulnerable children in need, those who do not live with their birth parents.  Melanie was inspirational in her determination to succeed with this much-needed charity and her genuine love for its purpose of allowing kids to be kids.
  • Bailee Phillips, a Support Volunteer at Puddle Jumpers, Adelaide SA.  Bailee is a kind and fun-loving young woman, with a passion to help children overcome obstacles and enjoy time to be kids.  She has a truly beautiful soul and a very caring outlook.
  • Kim BorgOzwide Photography based on the Gold Coast QLD.  Kim is an amazing Professional Photographer that shared his beautiful photos with us and spoke of his photography tips.  I loved his perfection of natural beauty captured in his photographs.  A versatile man offering his services across the nation.
  • Eliza Job, Turf Tines, Gold Coast QLD.  A renowned innovative business and home of the Phantom Tine developed for maintaining beautiful lawns and turf.  Eliza is a talented, self-motivated business woman who is very pro-active in her fields of expertise and encouraging fairness in the workplace.
  • Pauline Swain and Graham Swain, Farmers and business-owners.  They are renowned in the local farming community for their family farming businesses in Somerton, near Tamworth and Gunnedah NSW.  An inspiring couple with skills in Hypnotherapy and Speaking.  Pauline and Graham are a wonderful couple that will bring inspiration and support to the farming communities into the future.

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It was a pleasure to meet these inspiring individuals and to hear how they all want to bring value to so many lives.  These are the sort of people I hang around… wonderful people that bring out the best in you.

And of course me, Karen Weller ~ Freelance Writing & Admin Services, Tamworth NSW.  I am passionate about encouraging individuality and self-acceptance, bringing clarity and order to business and personal lives, and seeing people happily succeed.  With a background in farming and agribusiness management, I am pro-active in keeping up with resources and expanding my knowledge base.  I enjoy learning new skills, meeting interesting people and challenging myself where I can.

My stay at the Mantra Legends Hotel in Surfers Paradise QLD, whilst attending the Grow Your Speaking Biz Workshop has been wonderful… a home away from home.  Large rooms, comfortable surroundings, delicious food and lovely staff.

I ended up with a King Size bed, which was very comfortable, although I still managed to almost fall out.  Not used to sleeping in such a large bed without my hubby next to me and I slept right on the edge.

Whilst I have been enjoying myself, perfecting new skills and networking here on the Gold Coast QLD, my wonderful husband and youngest son have been managing the farming property and business.  I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to pursue something that I am passionate about.

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The next phase of my life will involve setting up my new business with more focus on the direction and the services that I now provide.  The farming business will run alongside, whilst I share my time between both businesses.

Now that I have raised our 2 wonderful sons, this is my new purpose in life and I am taking the opportunity to enrich many lives.  So now my life has been expanded as I now will speak at events or functions.

When you let your guard down, show a little vulnerability and take on the challenge… life feels magical.

As your story begins to unravel and listening ears are quiet in wonderment… changes are taking place for others.  It is beautiful when someone understands that they have the power to improve their own life and I have the tools to get them there faster.

Take care, Karen.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams

because we are living our fears.”

~ Les Brown, American motivational speaker & Author

 

CWA Conference Aspires Leadership & Friendship from Albury

Country Women’s Association of NSW (CWA) members bring an abundance of knowledge, energy and inspiration into Albury NSW for this year’s Annual State Conference.  From business meetings, honourable guests and informative workshops… to social activities, historical tours and State Committee displays… there was never a dull moment.  And I have caught it on camera, then compiled a video to share with you today.

I had the privilege to attend as a Delegate for Tamworth Evening branch along with my friend Kylie and a group of ladies from our region.  Women from all walks of life coming together with their unique backgrounds, experiences and expertise to seek a mutual resolution of motions.

CWA aims to improve the lives of women and their families through their democratic process of a policy-setting agenda and an extensive range of activities.  Many opportunities lie within all levels of CWA to be involved and seek the support of local issues of grave concern.

Starting with a combined Ecumenical Service and raising $2,884 for the Albury Wodonga Cancer Research Fund, members once again unite and connect socially.  The Official Opening entertained and inspired members prior to the Business Sessions commencing.  The keynote speaker was Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC Governor of NSW.

The CWA Medical Research Fund has raised $34,000 to donate towards endometriosis.  A debilitating disease affecting many women with symptoms of pelvic pain and fertility issues.  An interesting medical presentation has identified through research the importance of potential protein biomarkers of endometriosis.  CWA members have voted to continue supporting endometriosis through their Medical Research Fund for another year.

Interestingly CWA has opened 12 new branches over the last year; 11 Evening branches and 1 Sunrise branch.  CWA is now appealing to younger generations and working women that have a desire to become involved, having an opportunity to attend meetings that are more convenient.

Women join CWA for a variety of reasons such as friendships, social connections, educational opportunities, sharing of experiences, learning cookery skills, creating handicraft items, to discuss local agricultural concerns, the policy-setting agenda… and the list goes on.

International information was shared on the CWA Country of Study for this year which is Papua New Guinea.  Other cultures are interesting and CWA members have the ability to learn new and fascinating information.

Business Sessions continued throughout the Conference where policy motions were discussed, amended as needed and then voted upon.  A diverse range of topics arose in the scope of agriculture and environment, health and social security, transport and telecommunications and Constitutional changes.

Important resolutions were sought from CWA branches and successfully made CWA State policy for topics such as rural crime, improper use of drones, travelling stock routes, food safety standards for meat and milk, erecting a wildlife overpass, dairy industry issues, public cancer clinics, post mortems, supporting nurses, health industry pricing, drought relief funding, scoliosis, Automated External Defibrilators, horse traffic road rules, and truck-specific rest areas.

CWA, as the largest women’s organisation in Australia, plays an important role in lobbying the Government for change and improvements across so many aspects of our lives.  I am very proud to be a part of such an hounourable and progressive organisation.

As a shy individual, with the thought of public speaking terrifying me all of my life, I chose to step up and speak at this year’s State Conference.  This decision aligned well with my current journey of personal growth and challenging myself.

I spoke against a motion and explained my reasoning, without falter, in front of 500 other members.  When a Past State President asked for me (and another member) to assist in the re-wording of the motion to incorporate the relevant concerns, it felt amazing to be part of this process, working together for the desired result.  The motion was to review a weed classification, educate and research.

Another highlight for me, was winning 3rd place in an annual essay competition presented by the Honorary Editor of the CWA Journal.  This was the first time I had entered a CWA competition, so I was very excited.  The essay topic was “In modern times, do we have the capacity to harness the power of empathy for one another?”  I found this topic very engaging and relatable, therefore very passionate to write about.

Socially we had a very entertaining week away, with plenty of laughter, great meals, dancing and friendly conversations.  I also caught up with some old friends and was delighted to see them again.  CWA brings a great bunch of women together with big hearts, thoughtful personalities, compelling stories and a myriad of experience.

Since the drought has been ever so heavy upon my shoulders, I valued my week away so very much.  I spoke with my husband every night, checking that all was OK on the farm, and appreciated the time out with CWA members and the uplifted feeling that had surrounded me.

I would like to share my amateur video with you all reflecting on the fun, the engagement and the memories of the happenings with CWA State Conference in Albury… through my eyes.

Take care, Karen.

 “Don’t let anything defeat you.”

~ Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley

Video Credit: YouTube and Karen Weller

Toastmasters Proves To Be Life-Changing

Who cringes at the mere thought of public speaking?  ME for one!  It is Toastmasters International Week.  The week to reflect upon and promote the intense personal improvements that are waiting to be unveiled for all.

Toastmasters is a self-development group of people that are aimed at helping members improve their communication and leadership skills.  Toastmasters was established in 1924 and now operates in 52 countries with more than 200,000 members in over 8,000 clubs.

Only a few months ago, I joined Toastmasters International and ever so quickly… my life has improved, in confidence and my public speaking skills are starting to emerge.  Despite feeling anxious and somewhat overwhelmed at speaking publically, Toastmasters has incredibly helped me overcome my initial fears and is helping me develop some insight into the art of speaking.

I wouldn’t say miracles have happened in this very short time, but my involvement at Toastmasters has certainly improved my confidence levels and ability to not “run away” at the mere thought of speaking to an audience.  I like the structure and opportunities presented at each meeting.  I also like the supportive members that assist and guide with their friendly natures and mutual desire for personal improvement.

Our level of confidence improves with our ability to control our nerves and overcome the fear.  Toastmasters helps you to overcome that fear, control your nerves and increase your confidence.  Leadership skills are the great underlying strength in Toastmasters with their structure, organisation and operation.  Toastmasters can help you improve your ability to think more quickly, learn meeting procedures and have an evening of fun and enjoyment.

For me, I like to speak from the heart and give an emotional authentic style of speech.  My problem is I like to write, so of course, I can prepare an engaging speech of some sort.  But presenting a speech is my struggle.  When I stand up, I lose the words, I don’t know what to say.  This is my challenge to overcome and I have enjoyed the journey to date.

I attended my first meeting to check it out and observe as a guest.  Then I joined up on the spot, despite thinking that “I am way out of my depth here”.  I believed I could never speak in front of people like this, even though it was only a small audience of about 12 people.

But I was on a recent mission to challenge myself and gain personal growth.  Nevertheless, I joined up because I knew that would make me return and I would not give up without even trying.  I am really a scrooge and money is very valuable in farming… so in my mind… if I paid the membership, I would have to return to get my money’s worth.  I know… I am a little eccentric… but it worked for me.

Toastmasters has produced a new program called Pathways that allows members to choose their own unique path, subject to their own aims and desired outcomes.  I find this very personalised and more dedicated to the individual.  I also enjoy the online opportunity of my pathway.

The new program Pathways was introduced in 2010 with 5 core competencies:

  • Public Speaking
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Management
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Confidence

There are 11 different Pathways to choose from, based on your own objectives and to develop those skills as you embark on this new experience and journey.  Through answering questions about my aims and purpose, several Pathways were suggested.  I chose “Innovative Planning” and was guided to the tasks and their purpose.

So I was keen, although nervous, at the next meeting to present my first 5-minute speech the “Ice Breaker” which is all about introducing yourself and learning the basic structure of a public speech.  I would normally have quit before I even started… because I feared public speaking so much that I would even refrain from asking questions for the lack of words.  I have recently managed to shift my mindset, so I was very nervous yet very eager to begin and get it over with.  Surprisingly under the nerves, I actually enjoyed presenting my speech and my passion in life to the small audience.

As part of my new challenge for self-improvement, I elected to take on the assignment of the “Inspiration” segment at the next meeting.  My short speech entailed Christmas and the festive season and an inspiring poem.  I also enjoyed doing this, despite the nervous energy within me.  I am still amazed by how a supportive group of people with a mutual interest in improving speaking skills can encourage me to be so involved.

At following meetings, I have continued to take on an assignment role where needed, in an attempt to make myself step outside my comfort zone.  This has lifted my confidence and improved my ability to speak and find those words somewhere within.  I do feel empowered to explore and enjoy what Toastmasters offers in developing my communication skills.

My next big speech will be in a few weeks, so I have been thinking about where to begin.  The topic can be about anything of my choosing.  I would like to talk about drought in Australia, the mental health of farmers, the empathy of strangers with drought support and the unspoken yet heartfelt gratitude of farmers.  As a farmer, this is quite an emotional topic, so I am not sure how it will come together and be presented.  I would like to try presenting a speech without having it written on paper, word for word.  But I am fearful that my true message will get lost when I forget all the words and I will feel disappointed.  I must talk to some more experienced fellow Toastmasters to get some advice.

Toastmasters really is a supportive and positive learning environment with opportunities for members to develop communication and leadership skills.  This leads to self-confidence and personal growth.

Anyone over the age of 18 can join Toastmasters… male or female… from any career or background.  I encourage you to make enquiries at your local Toastmasters Club as you will be amazed by this incredible life-changing experience that will improve all areas of your life.

Take care, Karen.

“The thing you fear most has no power.

Your fear of it is what has the power.

Facing the truth really will set you free”.

~ Oprah Winfrey

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How To Have Courage In Public Speaking and Succeed

Courage is the commitment to begin something without any guarantee of a successful result.  But courage also allows you to fail and learn a powerful lesson… therefore you don’t really fail at all.  If you never courageously take a risk you will never accomplish anything in life.  It is my time to challenge myself and to confidently learn public speaking skills with my local Toastmasters International club.

I took a risk tonight and stepped way out of my comfort zone, delivering my first structured speech at Toastmasters.  I was nervous but excited… ready for the challenge and looked forward to suggestions and improvements from my fellow Toastmasters.

I joined up only last meeting and was keen to step up and give it a go tonight. Courageously I stepped up to the lectern, delivered a 5 minute “Ice Breaker” introductory speech about myself and what I am passionate about.  I felt relieved when finished, but I also felt a sense of satisfaction, that I was courageous enough to speak in front of a small audience.  This was an achievement in itself.

Proudly I accepted an Award for being voted the Best Speaker on the night.  Secretly I thought I may have got a few sympathy or encouragement votes for being a “virgin” speaker.  But I did feel my passion and words were from the heart, and was very content with my first speech.

The beauty is other members give you feedback with an evaluation of your speech.  This includes detailed commendations and a recommendation for improvement.  I still have so much to learn, skills to develop and confidence to be formed.  But I am on the right track and have found the right place.

My favourite part is the support and guidance that fellow Toastmasters give you.  It is with their positive reinforcement that I have been able to have faith in myself and believe that I can do it.  There is no such thing as failure, it is all a learning curve.

Success is having the courage, determination and perseverance to see something through.  If you have the courage to begin, you will certainly have the courage to succeed.  Believe in yourself!

Take care, Karen.

“Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you’re scared to death.”

~ Earl Wilson

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