Testimonial: Bart de Boer
I had never heard of Toastmasters but sure enough found a local Bellevue charter and did my first 10 speeches for the Competent Communicator program in their super safe and supportive environment. I did not only learn how to confidently address an audience but also how to hold their attention by keeping my presentations interesting and when appropriate, interactive. This certainly paid dividends as I progressed in my marketing career and was asked to address domestic and international audiences both for training and motivational purposes. Often underappreciated, I want to highlight that the Toastmasters curriculum focuses on leadership skills development as well. This is done by performing in various roles during meetings and by taking on club functions for a year or more. Since many of these skills translate 1:1 to the business environment, I got tremendous value from this part of the program.
I re‐joined Toastmasters in ’08 after starting a new position at Philips. My key objectives at this time were to refresh my skills and learn new ones through the Advanced Communicator program. The new skills I acquired significantly helped me as I transitioned from an individual contributor to a leadership role. In my current role, managing a team I always recommend joining a Philips Toastmasters club (Bothell or Andover) to new hires who need help developing their presentation or leadership skills or those interested in growing the breadth of their skills. We make it part of their PPM and one of the nice things is that my budget pays for it. Since all my team members train the field teams they support on a regular basis, I can see an immediate return on our (very small) investment! Based on my positive experience I recommend that all managers check out a Philips Toastmasters club and make this part of their teams’ development plan.