So says Anna Frummerin, a wellness expert from Sweden who was recently named Winner of the Advanced Toastmasters Southeast Asia competition.
It’s yet another award for Anna who has a long list of credits in a successful career - Health Pedagogic, Personal Trainer, Certified Executive and Life Coach, Action Learning Team Coach, and MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) practitioner with more than 20 years’ experience working in the corporate sector.
Born in Stockholm, Anna decided at a very young age to leave her homeland and explore the world. She first went to Italy, a country that caught her imagination. With her blond hair, confidence, great sense of humor and endless charm, there’s no doubt Anna proved rather popular to Italian men.
But it was a fellow Swede who stole her heart, not one of many adoring Italian males. That man was Anders Frummerin, whom she had worked with in the same company in Sweden after finishing her studies.
She tells how she first laid eyes on Anders at an awards ceremony: tall, extremely good looking with thick hair and blue eyes. He was delivering a speech that really impressed her. They met later at a private party and fell madly in love. It was meant to be, says Anna
Since 2016 the couple and their two children have resided in downtown Bangkok.
As a young girl, Anna lived in northern Sweden, and then moved to Gävle for her university studies. Immediately after graduation she headed to Stockholm to begin a career in the pharmaceutical industry.
As far back as she can recall, Anna displayed great interest in people’s health, or perhaps more appropriately, their lack of good health. As proof of that interest, she went on to earn a degree in the new field of wellness.
Beginning her career as a sales representative, she eventually became responsible for five countries marketing various different portfolios as product manager.
“It was a hectic time and I often felt guilty as I did not have as much time for my family as I had wished. Thankfully my family did not blame me for being so dedicated to my work.”
The chance to live a less stressful life came in 2016 when her husband was offered a job in Bangkok. The family did not hesitate to leave Sweden for a new adventure in Asia, but the children were, at the beginning, not too thrilled.
Anna saw a possibility to take a break, to reflect on her life and relax. The first years in Bangkok were spent concentrating on her own wellbeing. But it didn’t take long before she started to study to become a PT (Personal Trainer).
She wanted to get in shape, but coaching was her real passion, so when she heard about ICF (International Coaching Federation), the world’s biggest coaching organization, she decided to study the subject and eventually became an Executive and Life Coach. In March 2018, Anna won the highest credentials in exam.
Today Anna coaches and organizes workshops and training session, but she has already taken the next step in her career.
Earlier this year, Anna won The Advanced Toastmasters Club Completion Southeast Asia 2021 award.
When most of us hear the word toastmaster, we think of weddings and other formal events, but Toastmasters is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1924 by Ralph C. Smedley with its main office located in Englewood, Colorado, USA.
Throughout its history, Toastmasters has involved more than four million people in 145 countries, teaching them to learn public speaking and leadership skills, and to become a confident and professional speaker. Every club operates as a separate entity, but has to follow a set of requirements leading to chartered status to be recognized as official Toastmasters Clubs. Meetings concentrate on Public speaking, Communication, Leadership, and Confidence.
In Thailand there are currently about 30 clubs, with another four of five planned.
The first Toastmasters club Anna visited in Bangkok didn’t feel right for her. The clubs are all different. A friend suggested Anna try another, The Advanced Toastmasters Club. Here she immediately felt that she belonged.
This club is located at Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit soi 20 and there is another one at The Tawana Bangkok on Surawong. The people she met were like-minded from all over the world and the atmosphere very warm and welcoming.
Anybody can become a member of a Toastmaster club – business professionals, entrepreneurs, teachers, parents, graduates and housewives. The aim is the same: to become a confident speaker.
Anna says that becoming a member of The Advanced Toastmasters Club has enriched her life. “The best thing I have done in my entire life (except giving birth to two wonderful children).” She has become a confident speaker and she has learned how to think on her feet, getting out of her comfort box.
“I have participated in Public Speaking Contests, winning three and second in one.”
“To deliver a speech in public and to keep your audience’s attention is not easy. You are not allowed to have a cheat sheet. Speeches for the competitions are about six minutes long and to remember everything and perform in a confident and professional way is hard and takes nerves,” she says.
“I practiced so many times Anna confesses, but I would never have been able to win without my mentor, Mr. Arnie Aniel. He has been with me the whole way, inspiring me, listening to me, and encouraging me.”
“It’s the teamwork that is so important and having someone who stands up for you and tells you honestly what you are doing wrong and what you have to improve, while praising you when you do something good is really important.”
Nowadays Anna tells people to give Toastmasters a chance. She insists it can change one’s life for the better. “It’s never too late”
Anna’s winning speech was a very personal and honest speech about her and her husband’s relationship. How they fell in love, how later they became like strangers to each other, how they looked for help and how they found the way back to each other.
Anna realized that it wasn’t her husband she wanted to fight, but herself. She had turned into a person she didn’t want to be and she learned how to change her mind, understanding herself, acceptance and trust. Today she and her husband don’t fight, but support each other.
“We have become a winning team and we know today that we can overcome problems, find solutions and accept each other’s differences, seeing it like something valuable.”