The meeting was very well organized and the atmosphere was very friendly and nurturing. Most of the members were native speakers of English and I couldn't understand much of them because of my lack of English skills. Yet, I felt being welcomed! The day I attended the meeting for the first time, I decided to sign up for the club and I became a member officially. During my stay in Hawaii, I attended meetings regularly and at the last meeting I did my first speech myself in the meeting, which was called 'Ice Breaker'. I wrote my script, practiced it, and delivered it. It was a very new experience for me and I really enjoyed it.
I transferred my membership in 2012 when I came back home in Japan. I like the organization because it gives me opportunities to immerse myself with English, which is precious especially in my place. My curiosity about the organization brought me to it's biggest event, an annual international convention. In 2012, I went to Orlando, FL to attend one. I just wanted to see everything so that I could decide whether I wanted to fully commit to it or not.
The Toastmasters International Convention I attended for the first time was great. Around 2,000 participants gathered from literally all over the world. An amazing thing was that they all spoke the same language, English. I was very fascinated with the situation. Many people had strong accent including me but at least they used English as a common language. If you attend some type of international event like this, translation service would be available. But not for Toastmasters. I felt like I saw the future of the planet, where people can communicate much effectively and easily by using the same language. "This is it!" I thought.
Since I joined Toastmasters in 2011, I attend the international convention every year. Orlando in 2012, Cincinnati in 2013, Kuala Lumpur in 2014, Las Vegas in 2015, Washington DC in 2016, Vancouver in 2017. And I will be going to Chicago this year for sure. Actually, I've booked the hotel already!
Toastmasters surely opened a new door for me to get global, to go outside of my county. Interesting thing is that Toastmasters has been for 90 years. I found it only because I set my goal to be a speaker. The law of attraction! "Everything is already here." You just cannot see it unless you are ready.