Toastmasters Alumni Newsletter, Friday, January 13, 2017
As the founder and owner of Stumbling Blocks Team Building Seminars, former Toastmaster Barbara May has a lot of experience and first-hand information to share about overcoming stumbling blocks at work and in life. Like many people, she was terrified of public speaking, and joining Toastmasters helped May to overcome her fears. When she was 46, a health crisis showed May what her unifying purpose was: helping others get past their stumbling blocks.
Portrait of Success
Her Stumbling Blocks Became Building Blocks
How Toastmasters turned a terrified speaker into a huge success
Barbara May has extensive experience and first-hand information to share about overcoming stumbling blocks at work and in life. She has interviewed business owners on Learning & Job News, hosted Access Television's May We Talk? and she has facilitated more than 500 career and employment workshops.
Like many people, she was terrified of public speaking; joining Toastmasters helped her overcome her fears. May says,
In fact, when she first started interviewing business owners on the Learning & Job News in 1996, Neil Wilkinson (1993-94 Toastmasters International President) was the first person she interviewed.
She has accomplished much, including acting in several television commercials and getting into the Guinness World Records by performing in the longest stand-up comedy show in history.
“I always encourage people who attend my workshops to join Toastmasters because it is a great way to build their communication and leadership skills, and it looks impressive on a resume,” May says.
May has been presenting workshops and motivational talks about effective communication, coaching and career planning since 1995. When she was 46, she suffered a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. She said, “Every moment felt like a hurdle, like a trial, as I experienced it, so every moment looked like a victory as I looked back at it.” This health crisis showed May what her unifying purpose was: helping people get past their stumbling blocks.
I am grateful for my Toastmasters experience because it helped me get past my public speaking stumbling blocks and started me on a journey doing what I love.”
What's the first step?
Call Barbara May. Discuss your team's biggest stumbling block(s) with her. Then bring her in to work with your team. She'll help you work together, steadily improve your performance, be motivated, stay with the company, and grow as leaders. And, most importantly, get past your stumbling blocks.