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London Corinthians Testimonial: Emma, Writer and Translator

December 17, 2012
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Emma loves Corinthians for the camaraderie amongst its members

Q: When and why did you join London Corinthians?

I joined London Corinthians in the summer of this year (2012). My seeking out Toastmasters was part of a resolve to “inhabit myself more”, as I put it. This means: working on focus and self-presentation, in order to be more firmly and unmistakably present in the world.

Speaking skills are an area in which my recently-concluded undergraduate education really fell short. Given the fact that all my doings in the world — from writing stories to translating to teaching — are language-based, effective delivery is essential, so it was an obvious next step.

Q: How has it helped you as a public speaker?
Having the opportunity to speak in front of a group of people regularly means you lose your sense of inhibition fairly quickly. Toastmasters is also incredibly feedback-based. Experienced members are able to offer very concrete suggestions when it comes to things like editing a text for performance (right down to the number of words per minute!) or dealing with interruptions. Through this, you quickly feel a lot more secure. 

Q: Why do you think Toastmasters has been so successful in producing top public speakers?
See above: its emphasis on detailed, constructive feedback and sustained practice. We live in a society largely focused on teaching us to keep our head down and neatly slot into some kind of pattern. Toastmasters makes it impossible to hide, and allows everyone’s unique energy to come to fruition.

Also, the organisation’s broad basic concept means it attracts people of incredibly varied backgrounds. There seems to be less of a risk of the “echo chamber” effect you can sometimes get in other group settings.

Q: Why is LC the best TM club in London?
What attracted me to London Corinthians immediately was the camaraderie and repartee among its members. I believe it’s the second oldest club in London, and some of the members have been there since its inception. That creates a very special energy and solidity. 

Q: What final advice would you give someone wanting to improve their public speaking ability? 
Join a Toastmasters club (obviously). Practice in front of everybody in your life who will listen to you. Focus on the elements of the experience that bring you pleasure, so that they overshadow whatever terror you feel. And carry on and on and on and on.

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Working or living in the London Victoria area? Want to know more about becoming a better public speaker? Visit London Corinthians on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Thursdays @ 7.30pm.

Find out more about us on our website: http://www.londoncorinthians.co.uk/. Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LondonCorinthians Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LonCorTM

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