An e-mail came across yesterday for our company’s Toastmasters chapter. There’s an introductory meeting next week. I’ve seen a lot of people who stutter mention Toastmasters. Particularly Pam. I wasn’t sure I’d get a chance to join here in Saudi.

So in the interest of accountability and overcoming any sort of fears about speaking, I’ve accepted the meeting notice. It’s on the calendar.

Keep in mind that the majority of the people who will be there are non-native English speakers. (I’m assuming it’ll be in English and not in Arabic …) So I suppose I have a bit of a language edge there. But of course the stuttering is there to pull that back.

I have read what to expect, but I’m obviously still nervous about the whole thing. Mainly around the voice screaming in my head that’s saying, “You’re voluntarily signing up to speak to people. You’re an idiot. You will be nervous, you will sweat, you will stutter, and you will fail.”

I have this image of myself getting up in front of people and not stuttering. But I also remember getting up in front of people at last year’s open mic and stuttering a lot more than I could have imagined.

So there’s that.

Anyway, it’s on the calendar. My dear readers now know about it, so I have to go and report back.


  1. You will love it. Toastmasters is such a great supplement to any work that someone who stutters does on his or her speech. I’ve been a member for 9 years and it has done so much for my confidence. I use Toastmasters for the same reason as anyone does – the opportunity to practice effective communication and to become a better speaker. The supportive environment and meaningful feedback you get is so helpful. If your company is having an introductory meeting, it sounds like it may be a new club. Hopefully, the club will get one or two strong and supportive club sponsors who will act as mentors as the club gets off the ground.
    Have fun with it and be sure to stutter well!

    • Hi Pam! Turns out the club has been around since Sept, so relatively new, I suppose. But the people who put it on were just as you said — open and supportive. The weekly meetings seem intimidating, but I think it’ll end up being a great decision.

  2. Go for it! Its all about building confidence, a long road but worth it in the end. Try deep,slow tummy breathing to calm yourself beforehand.

  3. corporateand30plus says:

    Great decision! I signed up to Toastmasters last year October. I cannot imagine a more warm, friendly and rewarding place to train your public speaking skills. And meet people who understand what you’re trying to overcome. Have a wonderful time and meet great people. I hope you share your thoughts afterwards!


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