My journey started with Toastmasters
I came to the United States in 2004 from Osaka, Japan. I had thought that my English would’ve become perfect just by living here. Nope. It didn’t happen. Being a programmer doesn’t require speaking. After five years, I realized that I needed to take action. That’s where Toastmasters came in. I joined Professional Women Toastmasters to improve my English in December, 2009.
It was a wonderful experience and opportunity. I learned not only public speaking but also leadership skills. The lessons that I have learned were priceless.
But after five years or so, I started feeling that something was missing…
Then I met StoryMasters
During my Area Governor term in 2014-2015, I received an invitation to StoryMasters. It’s an advanced Toastmasters club that specializes storytelling skills. To be honest, I was skeptical about their rave reviews because 1) I’m not so easily impressed and 2) people tend to give generous compliments. Oh, I was SO wrong! The charming ambience, well organized agenda, warm welcome, their entertaining yet professional approach – the whole experience blew my mind. The quality of their stories and feedback was another level. That was exactly what I needed. I joined right away although I didn’t know anything about storytelling.
Beginning of My Storytelling Journey
In October, 2015, I competed in a Humorous Speech Contest with a speech titled “How to Poison Your Roommates.” I had competed in speech contests before, but this contest was different in so many levels. With guidance of StoryMasters and Janine Burke, I stepped into the world of storytelling for the first time.
I’m still learning the art of storytelling. It is truly thought provoking and fascinating. Now, I regularly tell stories at the Fanatic Salon Theater and other venues.
I don’t know where this storytelling journey will take me. I just keep doing what I love.