Meet Our Buddy: Gustavo Matias

Where are you from?

Very proud to say that I was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Where do you live?

I now live in Sunny San Diego, CA

What are your top 3 favorite activities?

Sometimes is hard to believe I’d ever say this, but I really enjoy taking speaking opportunities and happy whenever I get the chance to talk to people the way I imagined and can connect to people in a deeper level.

On a more physical side, Capoeira has become a passion of mine which I truly enjoy doing twice a week with the group I’m part of. For those having no idea what that means, I recommend Googling it, it’s a fascinating art.

Third but not least, using my brain as much as possible through building software has been a pursue of mine for over decades now, and whether is for the company I work for or a side-project, coding has been a skill I enjoy honing.

What brought you to Toastmasters?

The strong desire to turn my weakness into a strength with communication and leadership at work and relationships with whoever I get to meet.

Why Buddies?

It’s online, so it’s very convenient. It’s also the most diverse and exuberayting community I’ve ever been part of, this is precious and worth nurturing and seeing the seeds we’re planting growing overtime.

I also believe online communication is already mainstream, and Buddies platform is a way to practice for the “real”digital world we interact with on a day-to-day basis be it through a Podcast we get invited to talk, Youtube or Instagram live session we’re part of, a remote interview with our dream company, work meetings and whatnot. Digital is the present and the future, knowing how to navigate and present myself in those situations is becoming even more important to me.

How much have you grown since your first Toastmaster meeting?

I still remember to this day. Toastmaster sounded great in theory as I researched about this non-profit organization, but very awkward and uncomfortable at my first meeting; Imagine I get called to answer a Table Topics, and although I have the courage to do so, it’s one of the most terrifying few seconds. I remember feeling like time is going slower than usual and that words are slowly coming out of my mouth without making any sense at all, until I almost run out of breath, have no more thoughts in my head to share and decide to abort by going back to my seat as quickly as possible while my inner-critic gets louder and louder.

Nowadays, I nearly don’t care as much and am way more comfortable talking to a group of people regardless of the perceived outcome, specially if I know I did my best.

How is Toastmasters helping you in life?

I’m happy to say now I’m able to more comfortably stand for much longer in front of a group of people to talk about various subjects and have done for probably hundreds of times by now, whether it’s at work or any other group I happen to join, I have no plans to stop anytime soon.

Who are your top 3 favorite speakers?

  1. Haroldo Dutra Dias (Brazilian Spiritualist Speaker)
  2. David Goggins (Ultra-endurance Athlete and Speaker)
  3. Trevor Noah (Comedian and TV host)

What’s your top 3 favorite speeches?

  1. Conhece-te a ti mesmo (Know yourself) – Haroldo Dutra Dias
  2. David Goggins Interview at Joe Rogan Experience Podcast (It’s an interview, but there are amazing bits and power on how he speaks to the audience)
  3. Elon Musck’s Interview at Joe Rogan Experience Podcast (Another interview I know, but I loved how he talks in a very intelligent and thoughtful way, I like speeches that feel more like a conversation than a one-way only speech)

What kind of communicator and leader do you want to become?

I’m going to become a leader and communicator who is natural, relaxed, comfortable and confident on my ability to deliver and talk despite the situation or event, able to answer and ask questions to engage people and facilitate conversations in a harmonious and entertaining way.

Where do you think you can go with Toastmasters in 12 months ahead?

In the next year, continuing giving speeches, signing up for roles every meeting taking the most challenging/difficult/uncomfortable roles and expanding the practices in Toastmasters to my work, social situations and family that is going to drastically continue to help me find opportunities to serve more people around me as I’ll be better at expressing myself, communicating and leading as opportunities arise.

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