Meet a Toastmaster: Joanne Linnay

Meet a  Toastmaster: Joanne Linnay!

Joanne Linnay climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Joanne Linnay (right) conquered Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

We are always amazed by the incredible feats our members accomplish, here we caught up with Joanne Linnay!

Why did you join Toastmasters?

I was first introduced to E & Y Toastmasters when I met a member at a random coffee meet-up. Being new to Cape Town, and determined to make the most of my short 7-months in South Africa, I thought TM would be a great way to meet new people, while improving my public speaking skills. I couldn’t have been more thrilled with my experience at E & Y.

How has Toastmasters help your communication skills, personal growth, and career

I recently participated in a Hackathon event, and somehow ended up being ‘volun-told’ to present my group’s findings. I was completely out of my element, surrounded by programmers and designers, but felt so at ease in front of the crowd. My group ended up winning 2nd overall, as well as best presentation, and walked away with a cash prize, a gift certificate and crates of fine beer (Castle and Black Label), and I think my TM experience had a little to do with our success that day! Besides helping me win beer, my involvement with TM has made me more confident- whether it be presenting to a large group of people, or having to network in a large room full of strangers.

What is your most memorable Ernst&Young Toastmasters experience?

My most memorable E & Y experience was the Black Label whisky evening. Although I don’t drink whisky, the evening was quite memorable- entertaining, full of energy and great speeches and conversations

Recommendations/ Suggestions for club improvement?

Ernst & Young Toastmaster’s s reputation is telling – everyone recommends or knows of E & Y. So keep up the momentum! Some small suggestions- I like the idea of newer members being Evaluators for more advanced speeches. Speakers get to hear a new perspective, but knows enough to take it with a grain of salt; and then newer members can benefit from key suggestions from more advanced members.

It was great seeing members using TM practically- practicing speeches they would have to give at work, for example. Perhaps a round of Table Topics for mock interview/ mock marriage proposal, or whatever life event is coming up in your life!

I love the Mentorship program available, but will love to have more structure and engage  peer coaching experience. In my own experience, life just got so busy that I didn’t take advantage of having a mentor as much as I should have. Perhaps having a more structured program available would have helped? For example, if members are keen, they could meet once a month in person.

Overall, I have had fantastic experience at the club! You are all doing really fantastic, and it is apparent that each member is putting in 200% effort to make the club amazing!