Toastmasters at 7 a.m.? You bet!

You have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat the Club Awesome Toastmasters. Because we meet Fridays at 7 a.m., I’ve had fellow Toastmasters from clubs that meet in the evening wonder if our members are even coherent at that hour.

Yes! Well, mostly. I’ve been known to make excuses about having been up late the night before and not being as sharp as I ought to be. Certainly, there are times when a member will have an early business meeting somewhere else and can’t attend. We work around those things.

Yet Friday has become one of my favorite days of the week because Club Awesome is such a great way to start the day. If you’re not familiar with Toastmasters International, it’s an international non-profit organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills. Toastmasters provides a standard educational framework, but if you visit a few clubs you’ll find each one operates a little differently. I enjoy Club Awesome for the mental exercise, for the laughter, and most of all for the people. By the time one of our meetings ends at 8:30, I’ve usually learned something new about business, gotten a different perspective on life, or both.

I joined Toastmasters because I needed to get out from behind the keyboard and up in front of a group of people to practice my communications skills. I’m a professional writer and editor, but I  would often stammer my way through a speech or presentation. I’m still far from the best speaker in the club, but I’ve gotten a lot better with the help of my friends and mentors. That in turn has helped me raise my professional profile and probably helped me win my current job.

Before finding Club Awesome, I visited with one of the local clubs that meets in the evening. It’s also a fine group, but I could never figure out how to commit to attending its meetings regularly, given my other commitments and all the juggling of schedules my wife and I do to keep up our kids’ activities. Friday at 7 a.m. was just about the only slot left open in my schedule that I could commit to. Once I attended my first couple of meetings as a guest, I couldn’t wait to join and become an active participant.

One of these Fridays, I hope you’ll set your alarm a little earlier and join us. Guests are always welcome, and you can attend for free until you’re ready to sign up.

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