Read and listen to what these Toastmasters say about why they joined Toastmasters and how you might benefit from joining a club. Toastmasters will change your life as it helps you develop communication and leadership skills.

Read what Patricia Torres from the PAHO/WHO club shares about her Toastmaster journey.

Toastmasters is considered a testing lab for learning about public speaking and leadership. For me it has been much more, including invaluable things for an expat, such as practicing my second language, English, networking and getting to know my co-workers better.

I joined the PAHO/WHO Toastmasters Club as a newcomer to work - and to the United States - in 2016. I didn't know anyone, and suddenly I found myself in a demanding work environment, not only because of the scope of its mission but also because of its multiculturalism. Communicating, and doing it right, was a key factor! Toastmasters has helped me to do it in a very kind, encouraging and motivating way, focusing different aspects when communicating.

Delivery. I have learned to value multiple aspects of communication, such as vocal variety, the use of visual aids and the effect of pauses. In addition, I have learned to present evaluations in a friendly and positive way, which has been very useful in meetings at my work.

Content. This learning has taken place in super interesting meetings that cover many topics related to public health, naturally, but also personal growth, hobbies and personal interests, and many others. At our last meeting, for example, participants had the opportunity to talk about mentoring, death doulas, challenges and skills developed during the pandemic. So interesting!

Technology. When we probably had learnt a lot and where in our comfort zone, we went to the virtual world, and we had to do all this online! We are learning about body language in virtual meetings, how to make eye contact through a computer and many other skills previously limited to people handling visual media.

The next challenge to our club will be the hybrid world. I am looking forward to seeing the lessons I will learn in Toastmasters and how I can apply them when going back to the office again.