Toastmasters is an international education organization that teaches public speaking, communication, and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Since 1924, Toastmasters has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders.
My Toastmasters journey started in May 2013 when I joined Corus360 as a summer intern. I attended monthly meetings on and off– mostly listening or joining a table topic. However, at the end of 2016, I made the commitment to start using my Toastmasters membership, provided to me by Corus360. I gave my first speech in January 2017 which I have outlined below.
The first speech in the Toastmasters track is the Ice-Breaker. I chose to base my speech around what events and people have shaped who I have become.
The place that has shaped who I am is the city of Atlanta. Although my family now lives in Kentucky, I was raised here, and Atlanta is my home. I am proud to be from Atlanta. One of my favorite quotes is
“In places like New York, the city changes you. But, in places like Atlanta, you can change the city.”
Think about the impact that Ted Turner and Arthur Blank have had on the city, or how Martin Luther King Jr., who was born here, led an entire civil rights movement. And, something that is very close to my heart– where Outkast created southern hip-hop.
The caption to the slide I spoke to was #TrueToAtlanta because Atlanta is a big part of who I am. I’m someone who hates idle time, and I always have to be doing something. In Atlanta, there is always something going on, and there is something for everyone.
The second big part of my life is where I went to undergrad, Georgia College. I am a proud Bobcat. While it wasn’t Georgia or Tech, it was the perfect place for me. It’s where I met the majority of my closest friends, and at the time I gave the speech, Corus360 employed 10 alumni, all of which have been extremely successful not only at their roles in Corus, but were fantastic additions to help shape the culture.
Arguably, the most important part of what has shaped who I am is my family, specifically my brothers and sisters. They taught me leadership, resilience, and the importance of humor. Without them, I would not be the person I am today.