Speaking never came as a challenge to Kim Davis, ACG, ALB. Speaking like a professional was another thing.
Davis is community relations director for Mosaic in Lubbock, an unabashed fan of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Tech Red Raiders and a secret fan of Barry Manilow. The Midlothian, Texas, native and Texas Tech grad last saw Manilow perform in 1981, and another concert is on her bucket list.
She’s also Division F Director for Toastmasters District 23. In her role, Davis will oversee the various area directors in the Lubbock, Midland, and Odessa regions, along with eastern New Mexico. She is a member of the Toasters, Downtown, and Lubbock Professional clubs in Lubbock, Texas.
How did you find out about Toastmasters, and what brought you into that first meeting?
I was at a job fair and picked up a brochure at the Toastmasters’ table. I was familiar with Toastmasters and knew it would be something beneficial to me in my job but I had never checked it out. The information I received that day was the motivation I needed to move forward and get involved.
What was it that brought you to your second meeting?
Toasters is a very energetic and vivacious club, even considering it meets on Thursdays at 7 a.m. The energy in the room and the welcoming atmosphere was quite different from the predetermined idea I had that it would be uptight. It wasn’t anything like I expected.
How are you using your Toastmasters skills outside of the organization?
Because I represent Mosaic in the community, I definitely feel more confident in sharing our mission and our message and speaking on behalf of the people we serve. One of the most beneficial aspects of Toastmasters is Table Topics. Learning how to effectively speak ‘off the cuff’ helps you to be prepared in any situation. Although I am still striving to be perfect, I certainly feel like I speak with more polish and professionalism now.
What was the light-switch moment where you realized what you did in Toastmasters had a tangible effect on what you did outside of Toastmasters?
I am called on to speak on behalf of the Lubbock Chamber from time to time, and one day it just — clicked this is not so intimidating anymore. I had been in Toastmasters at least a year when I realized how much it was helping me on a day to day basis.
If you could go back in time and see yourself attending that first meeting, what would you tell yourself?
I do not have the fear of speaking in public like most people but I knew I needed more polish. I would tell myself that it is ok to be a little afraid and be willing to listen. Hearing the opinions of other Toastmasters is one of the most valuable features of the organization.
What would you like to do with this office in the coming year?
I hope to be in regular communication with my area directors. We are holding monthly conference calls. I want to be as available to them as they need and not leave them feeling left to do things on their own. I think one of the values I add is having just completed my term as Area Director. The things I learned are still fresh on my mind. I can share the things that I wish I had done. They can take advantage of that knowledge and set goals for their areas. Hopefully, this will help them accomplish things throughout the year and they will not have to scramble to achieve Distinguished Area in the last few weeks of the Toastmaster year.