Interview of Olivier

Olivier is one of the club’s most active members. He has accepted to answer our questions and give some insight into what Toastmasters has changed in his life.

Stuttgart International Toastmasters Club: Please, introduce yourself to our readers !
Olivier: My name is Olivier, I am 33 years old and work as a project manager. I am French and have been living  in Germany for more than a year now.

SITC: How have you heard of Toastmasters ?
Olivier: By word of mouth: A German friend asked me to come with him to a regular meeting in the Freiburg Fritz Club. I followed him… and came to the following meetings afterwards!

SITC: What has been your Toastmasters track so far ?
Olivier: I joined Toastmaster for the first time at the Freiburg Fritz Club, in Germany. This was in 2003. I had a 2 years’ break and came back in 2006. For professional reasons, I had to move  to the Stuttgart area for a couple of months in 2007 and visited the Stuttgart Club. Then in 2008, I returned to my home club in Freiburg, but not for a long time…. because I had to move once more to Stuttgart, but this time for good! So logically, I joined the Stuttgart Club where I am now.

SITC: What are your goals for this Toastmasters year ?
Olivier: In my job I don’t speak so much English now. So we could say, Toastmasters helps me to maintain my level, although this is not the main aim of this organization. I would also like to finish my Communication and Leadership Program before the end of this year, so that I could earn the Competent Communicator (CC) Award.

SITC: What were your expectations when you joined ? Have you filfulled them ?
Olivier: There were no real expectations. I’d rather say a discovery.

SITC: What do you like best in Toastmasters ?
Olivier: When you speak at Toastmasters, risks are non-existent. You are allowed to make mistakes. This helps you a lot if you need to build up your self-confidence, which is essential for public speaking.

SITC: Have you made significant progress ? In which field?
Olivier: Curiously enough with Toastmasters, I have definitely overcome my fear of speaking  in a foreign language in front of other people. I really worked on my self-confidence. It was the most important thing for me. The next step will be my pronunciation.

SITC: Do you have an example of a real  situation in your life where your Toastmasters skills were helpful ?
Olivier: You have got 10 minutes to convince an Austrian, a Japanese and an Englishman in front of you that you are the best choice for the job they offer. I didn’t get the job, but I got my message through! Without Toastmasters, it wouldn’t have been possible.

SITC: What do you think is required to become a successful Toastmaster ?
Olivier: Nothing special. Just preparation, self-confidence and willingness.

SITC: What do you like best about the Stuttgart International Toastmasters Club ?
Olivier: The Stuttgart Club is a very good group, homogeneous and very dynamic. People come from all over the world with different backgrounds and different objectives. It is very motivating.

SITC: What would you tell a person reading these lines and hesitating to come to a meeting as a guest?
Olivier: You have nothing to lose but everything to win. So just try!

SITC: Do you want to add anything?
Olivier: Hmm… No, not really!

Thanks Olivier for this great interview ! We are sure that you will become Competent Communicator this year !

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