February Featured Toastmaster: Mary Davidson

Mary Davidson

Mary Davidson is a member of The Chapel Hill Toastmasters Club. She is a Professional Organizer, Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. Mary was born in Vermont where she spent the first half of her life. The second half of her life was spent in New Hampshire, Connecticut, West Virginia and now North Carolina. Ms. Davidson is writing a book about setting goals, achieving them and realizing your life as it passes in front of you. The book is called ‘Getting A Life’, and is planned to be on sale in the fall of 2010.

Joseph Joel Sherman was previously Vice President of Public Relations for Chapel Hill Toastmasters. He is the director of Business Tribes Management Consulting.

Joseph Joel: Why are you a Toastmaster?

Mary: I am a Toastmaster because I want to keep my speaking skills sharp. I also learn something new at each Toastmaster meeting that I attend.

Joseph Joel:  What is special about Chapel Hill Toastmasters?

Mary: The Chapel Hill Toastmaster club is special to me because of the diversity of the group. The wide range of speaking skills makes me feel challenged in some situations and helpful to others in other situations with my abilities as a speaker.

Joseph Joel: Yes, we do have wonderful diversity.  Could you please share a favorite Toastmasters moment that you especially enjoyed for found to be inspiring?

Mary: One of my favorite moments was when I challenged myself to participate in a humorous speech contest. When they were asking for participation, all of a sudden my hand flew up and I was in. It was a goal I set for myself and fulfilling it was a great experience.

Joseph Joel: Did you volunteer to participate in the humorous speech contests before having any idea of what you were going to speak on? Where did you get the idea for your humorous speech?

Mary: Yes, I volunteered before I could stop myself. I had no speech planned. I got the idea for my speech by picking up many objects around my house and trying to find a speech in each one. Nothing. I picked up my Toastmaster’s manual to make sure I qualified and that is when I got the idea to speak about what was expected in a humorous speech. I just turned the requirements into a funny situation.

Joseph Joel:  Was this your first speech contest or have you competed before? Mary: This was my first contest. Joseph Joel:  What participating in the humorous speech contest like?

Mary: It was very humbling and believe it or not, serious business, HA!. It took much of my time in preparation.

Joseph Joel: What did you learn from participating in the contest?

Mary: I learned what a good humorous speech is really all about.

Joseph Joel: What would you recommended to people who are considering entering a contest but are not sure if they are ready?

Mary: When you enter a contest, up until the contest is over, you will only think about your speech. You will eat while practicing . You will bathe will practicing. The entire commute to work is practicing. You won’t hear what anyone else is saying in your life because you are always rehearsing your speech in your mind. It is worth it but this is something that will happen to you and I’m just letting you know.

Joseph Joel: What speaking goals have you set as a Toastmaster? What are you doing to meet those speaking goals?

Mary: My goal for 2010 is to finish the Competent Communicator Book.  I am at speech #4 at this time.

Joseph Joel:   This is a great goal.  What have you learned from  your first four speeches?

Mary: What I have learned is that people want to hear what I have to say. They relate to my stories. I can motivate and inspire people. That is all I’ve ever wanted.

Joseph Joel: What do you plan on learning in your next speeches as part of the Competent Communicator manual?

Mary: I plan on learning how to make my speeches longer. I plan on trying out audience participation.

Joseph Joel: What leadership goals goals have you set as a Toastmaster? What are you doing to meet those leadership goals?

Mary: I would like to speak at a seminar at the Annual Fall Conference. I will have to look into the requirements for that.

Joseph Joel: What would you like to speak on?

Mary: I am writing a book called ‘Getting A Life’, it is about setting goals to achieve the life you want. That is what I want to speak about.

Joseph Joel: What is your background in setting goals?

Mary: I am a Life Coach. I have helped my clients achieve goals that they have set for themselves. I have achieved all of the goals I have set for myself and I want to expand on this ability.

Joseph Joel: Do you apply what you learned in Toastmasters to your work, academic studies, community or faith based organizations?

Mary: Yes, I do get hired to do some motivational speaking. I am a life Coach and Professional Organizer and I speak on both of those subjects.

Joseph Joel: How does Toastmasters help your motivational speaking?

Mary: I try out speeches at Toastmasters. I get great evaluations at Toastmasters. I make contacts at Toastmasters. I get inspiration at Toastmasters.

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