This week’s Faces of Four interview features Division C Director Orlando Redden. Orlando is a seasoned Toastmaster who has spent much time honing his leadership skills, especially now in his tenure as a member of the District Leadership team. Let’s take a moment to get to know Orlando.
Tell us a little about your Toastmasters career (e.g. How long have you been with the organization, what clubs do you belong to, what made you join, etc.).
My Toastmasters career started back in 2012. I joined Toastmasters for a different reason than most. I wanted to work on my leadership and 2nd my public speaking. At that point I have been in sales for a very long time and I wanted to change from the front line into management. I have heard of Toastmaster before and decided to look into it. I found a club that specializes in leadership. I thought perfect. After joining the “Leadership Club” in Oakland, I found out they were the go to club if you needed help with anything Toastmasters related. Because of that and my desire to work on my leadership skills. I quickly fell into leadership roles, and learn the joy of being part of multiple clubs. At one point I was an Area Director, VPE and Secretary. When I moved to SF I took some time away from Toastmasters. I tried a couple clubs and found a home with the Fightin 49ers. Which I am currently the club President. Come Visit us some time.
How has Toastmasters helped you in your professional career?
Toastmasters has improve my leadership skills but also took my public speaking and speech writing to a leave I didn’t even consider before joining. I had to write a lot of speeches with all the roles and volunteering I did during Toastmasters. I was able to write a speech. Then turn around and give it the next day. This helped me get a job. The interview process was interesting, speed interviewing with the managers(table topics helped here). Then I was given 3 slides to give a 10 minute presentation to sell the top sales people their own product. With my schedule and the interview times I had to write the speech, go to work at 6am and be at the interview at 5:30pm to give the presentation. Thank you Toastmasters! I was called and offered the job by the time I hit the elevator. I have since left that company but now I am manager and the leadership skills I have gained from Toastmasters is priceless and helps me in my day to day role as a leader. Also on the subject Toastmasters helping professionally. I remember what one of my fellow Toastmasters told me. “Any time I wanted a promotion I would go back to Toastmasters.” He was proud to give the graduation commencement speech at his own graduation. He is also a VP at a company in San Mateo. Beyond my own experience. His words added to my belief in what Toastmaster will do for my career.
What is the best public speaking advice you’ve ever received?
I have learned a lot in my Toastmaster career. I will give you a couple.
Each speech in reality is 3 speeches.
1. the speech we practice. 2. The speech we gave. 3. the speech we wish we would have gave. The more we practice the closer those 3 speeches will be to each other. Knowing that don’t sweat it. There will ALWAYS be those 3 speeches. Just learn from them all.
Your speech isn’t a play.
No one knows what you are going to say besides you. While in the moment just give you speech. Once the words have left your mouth there is no getting them back. The upside is everyone thinks that is what you meant you say. Just speak with confidence because you have a message that needs to be heard.
4) What has surprised you the most about yourself since you joined Toastmasters?
What I have achieve while being a member. All the small and large victories.
5) What are your interests and hobbies outside of Toastmasters?
I am a Division Director. So you are telling me there is life outside of work and Toastmasters?
I am just kidding. Outside of Toastmasters I enjoy spending time with friends, watching movies.reading, catching a show, reading, workshops, random adventures and facing my fears. I am one of those people that would rather live life excited about what is coming up verses afraid. I am also willing to try almost anything once.
6) How would you describe the perfect meal?
This is a tough one. I like a lot of different kinds of foods and we eat for some many different reasons. If I am on the go. I would like something quick and light. If I am out with friends and we want to catch up. Quite and the restaurant takes pride in the service and product they provide. If my friends and I our out to have fun. Then the energy in the restaurant should reflect that as well. Which lucky for me I live in San Francisco and there are restaurants for every mood and occasion.
7) What is a fun fact most people don’t know about you?
I started working on Project 6, Vocal Variety and ended up writing a children’s book and I self published it.
What would you like to know about Orlando? Please feel free to drop him a question in the comments below.