Updated: Oct 6, 2022
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.
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, “The experience also gave me the confidence and skill to stretch out into other areas, like television and stand-up comedy.”
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.”
Toastmasters Alumni Newsletter, Friday, January 13, 2017