Di Riddell - Your Voice Matters

Di Riddell

Your Voice Matters - Confidence Beyond 50

It touched my heart …. you could just feel it!


What did? The confidence, openness, support,  encouragement, inspiration and motivation I saw and felt at a Toastmasters meeting this week.


It is about how we see it…

Confidence, glass half full

Yes I am passionate about this organisation. I have seen it transform people’s lives, provide them with the skills to improve  their professional and personal lives, take on leadership positions or simply to improve their level of confidence.

 And yes…I have been a member for 35 years. Why did I join? To improve my level of confidence…more about my journey in a future post…today I am talking about the ‘heart in Toastmasters’

It was started in 1924 by an American Dr Ralph Smedley who saw a need for his fellow businessmen to improve their communication skills, it has flourished and grown into 122 countries and expanded their communication and leadership training materials to meet the needs of today’s world. His intent and the success of the program is that the training is conducted in a pleasant social atmosphere.

    Dr Smedley established Toastmasters with four principles

  • Let’s keep it simple
  • It is a do-it-yourself activity
  • Based on belief in the individual
  • We learn in moments of enjoyment.


These four elements were delivered in action and in bucket loads this week. It is not just about the program, it is not just about how wonderful someone is, it is not about being in your face.

It is about how the amazing members of this club support each other. This is not something you can write in a manual…it is something you see, hear and feel. The human spirit being touched. And I was!

So why you ask was this different? Because they have 3 extraordinary members who touched my heart.

Confidence caring hearts

One young man who has recovered from a major stroke when he was 15 [now 22] which took away his powers of speech. He has recovered remarkably and has almost all his speech back: he wears very dark sunglasses, because he is susceptible to minor seizures, and consequently has trouble reading fine print. He responds better to what he can see than what he can hear.

♥  A young lady who has  mild/ moderate cerebral palsy and is can walk unaided but slowly. She  needs the lectern wheels locked so that she can stand and use it as a support. The area most effected by her palsy is her speech where she is very self-conscious as it can be hard to understand. When she makes a manual speech she usually gives the audience a copy so that we can follow her: this de-stresses her and her fluency increases.

And the other young man who has severe cerebral palsy and is wheel-chair bound. His speech is clear and easy to understand although he finds it difficult to control his eyes while he is talking.

These three young people were bubbly, chatting, involved and loving being there.

The other members of this club are incredibly ‘there for them’. In the words of one member… they support them in everything they try – they are gutsy young people who definitely have something to give to society.

Many of us struggle with confidence at some stage of life and come up with 101 excuses about why we can’t do X,Y or Z.

These young people have taken what they do have (not on what they don’t) and are making amazing progress. Three gutsy young people stepping way out of their comfort zone. I am humbled to see how effectively they deal with their world.

Confidently connected

And… I absolutely admire and am inspired by the support of the other members of that club. These members have made it possible for these extraordinary young people to develop the skills to express themselves and make the difference they want to make in their world.

Yes it touched my heart…that is what I love about the organisation…the level of true support, encouragement and inspiration that flows. And yes you can’t pin that down, or weigh it… but you can see, hear and feel it!

I feel blessed that I was part of that club as a guest for a moment in time.

What obstacles have you overcome to be where you are today?

Who has touched your heart?

Confident questions and roses


As always I love to know you have been … I would love to hear your story or thoughts……


Warm regards Di…and what …you are asking… does this woman do?

I am passionate about mature women having the confidence and personal presentation to support their life choices.

If that is not happening for you…let me help you… with one on one coaching, small group activity or workshops…

Especially The 3B’s ..Be seen, be heard and be visible. (available soon)

Would you like to know more?  Slip over to  https://diriddell.com/confidence-coaching-2/