A Return on an Investment

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By Nationstar Speaks Toastmaster,
Eboney Jones

Sometimes in life we invest our time, talent and treasure into things that don’t immediately show benefits, but still add great value in our lives. Things like education, dieting and saving money involve a good bit of delayed gratification in order to see impact. There are other times in life where things we invest in show an immediate return that allows us to enjoy the fruits of our labor. For me, that is Toastmasters. When I joined Toastmasters, I thought it would help me become a better public speaker and improve my career. I was not expecting the diverse set of skills that I have acquired or the personal growth I have experienced.

I have learned how to communicate my thoughts clearly and effectively. Presenting speeches has been extremely useful in preparing me to present my research. Fulfilling a role as an evaluator is excellent practice for learning to provide meaningful feedback to peers. Participating in Table Topics has also taught me how to think on my feet in case I’m ever called upon to share input on a subject when I’m not prepared to speak.

I have also found that Toastmasters has empowered me in my position at Nationstar. I find myself more willing to take on challenges, step up to the plate, and to step out of my comfort zone.  I am more apt to volunteer for difficult projects and tasks that have helped enrich my career.

Toastmasters has also helped tremendously in my personal life. I have learned to fight through the butterflies and nervous energy in times when I would have previously shied away. In May 2015, my father passed away after battling a rare brain disease for 13 years. His illness and death has been a difficult journey for my family, however my Father enriched the lives of those around him in such a profound way. I wanted to be sure I honored and memorialized him by sharing what he meant to me at his funeral services. Speaking on behalf of my family during such a difficult time was something that I know I wouldn’t have been able to do without the practice of stepping outside my comfort zone.

I am tremendously grateful for the way that Toastmasters has enhanced my life. I look forward to the many different ways I can grow and continue to get a return on investment.