The EBS 60 Second Interview – Deena Blacking
Deena Blacking is a paralegal at Hickman & Rose Solicitors, where she specialises in civil liberties, inquests, and international law. She hails from Ireland but considers herself an internationalist and unbound by citizenship. She divides her free time between friends, volunteering, and triathlon training.
What brought you to EBS?
During my teens I was an excellent public speaker. I won international competitions and spoke in front of thousands of people. I stopped public speaking after I left school and didn’t realise that, no matter how good you think you might be at something, if you don’t practise it, you lose it. I had a horrible experience in a debate one day in March of 2012 (it must have been a Wednesday) and on the bus home I googled Toastmasters. I emailed Taz and turned up for my first meeting the very next day!
Was it everything you expected?
Everything and more. I felt so welcome and encouraged.
How long have you been a Member?
Almost 2 1/2 years.
Did you have any expectations before you came?
What surprised you most about EBS?
The mix of people who attend.
What has been your greatest learning as a Toastmaster?
That there is more to life than a nine to five.
What is special about EBS?
The positivity and enthusiasm that everyone has, brings and gives to the club and to individuals.
What do you like best about coming to our Club?
Having a friendly, helpful space away from law in which I can practise and improve my public speaking.
What do your friends and family say about you since you joined?
That I am mad for going to a 7am meeting.
How has becoming a member of EBS affected you/ your life?
I have met some fantastic people and made some amazing friends.
What was your biggest fear before you came?
I didn’t really have one.
How does public speaking impact your life?
I love it. I want to be a barrister, so hopefully I will be able to make a living out of it (albeit with legal argument thrown in!)
Is there anything else you would rather be doing on a Thursday morning?
Swimming in the Iron Monger Row Baths in Winter, or in the London Fields Lido in the summer.