Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Q&A Session with TM Faye Dunn

Q: When and why did you join Toastmasters?
A: I attended my first Toastmasters meeting in May 2008 as a guest, and became a member three months later. I was a very nervous speaker then, and was frustrated by my mistakes with English grammar. I joined Toastmasters to become a better speaker and to improve my English, since I grew up speaking Cantonese.

Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I am a tax auditor in the Australian Taxation Office, and since 2003 I have hosted a monthly radio “tax talkback” program in the Cantonese language as a tax specialist.

Q: How have you grown as a communicator and leader since you joined Toastmasters?
A: Before I joined Toastmasters, I could not speak in front of a group of people. Each time I tried, my brain went blank, my heart palpitated and my blood ran upside down. I am now a calmer speaker. Although I am still nervous, I am able to control my nervousness.

A few months ago, my employer held a training session and a few of us took part in the presentation. I was the only presenter who did not simply read from the script. A few years ago, I would have done exactly what the other presenters had done. My Toastmasters training has not only made me a better communicator, it has also made me a person who is not afraid of standing out in a crowd. This quality is in line with the leadership skills I have learned in Toastmasters. I am now president of the Tuesday Chatters Toastmasters club. This was once unimaginable, but the training that Toastmasters provides has given me the skills and the courage to lead.
Q: What do you like best about your club?A: All the members are very positive and inspiring. When the club was new, everyone talked about how nervous they were when they spoke in public, and I realized I was not alone. Since that time, I have achieved what I was aiming for, but I have also gained a lot more. In four years, I found my voice, discovered some hidden talents and built solid friendships. I have become a better person since joining the club.

Q: What have you done in Toastmasters to gain leadership experience?
A: I have been the club’s vice president membership, education and public relations. I achieved the Competent Leadership and the Advanced Leadership Bronze awards. Since I became club president this year, I have overseen the creation of the club’s newsletter and have organized social functions for members and their friends. I have implemented the club’s mentoring and guest-welcoming processes, and have planned and organized a Moments of Truth workshop.

Q: What is the most important thing you would tell your friends and family about Toastmasters?
A: I am infatuated with the Toastmasters journey. Toastmasters can awaken our social conscience and inspire us to be better people. What I have learned has exceeded my expectations. The longer I stay involved, the more I discover about myself. It gives me great pleasure to know that I am in a boundless journey.


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