Inmate Letters


Letter from Brigitte R.G.

Plane State Jail

Dayton, Texas


       Speaking in front of an audience brings a negative connotation to the majority of most peoples’ minds. I too was a member of that percentage. Despite two courses in speech, I dreaded the lectern. I quaked at center stage, despite being a Thespian of Troupe 2806. When I first approached the lectern, I was terrified. A frenzy of flapping, flitting butterflies overtook me. I wanted to conquer that ground, that feeling of misfitting. I wanted to be able to flow fluidly with words wrought of wisdom and witticisms. I joined Toastmasters. At my first club meeting, its members were warm and welcoming. I actually felt a puzzle piece locking into place. I determined then and there to do my best to attain the poise, power and personable attributes these members possessed.

    A greater depth of insight into the dynamics of the club comes from its manual, its members, and its mentor, Mr. Jim Arnold. Our mentor, Mr. Arnold, gave me two main truths that I hold on to. He told us that we are speaking, to place our focus on our audience and not to focus on ourselves. Secondly, he told us the nervousness comes from when we are speaking, if we are not being fully honest or being who we are not. The practical application of truth in life confirms the validity of that truth he shared and makes us know it not only from an intellectual standpoint, but also from an experiential standpoint.

    Toastmasters has given me an excellent foundation to build upon. I became a peer educator as a direct result of the club. Every aspect of the club is to enhance, empower, and encourage each person to hone their speaking skills. The tandem concept of leadership and communication prevalent in its mission of the club, fosters self-confidence and personal growth. A winning reality of Toastmasters International that leads to pronounced production of self-esteem.