What if you knew a secret society of people who had the formula to convert a metal into gold? The epitome of mastery every scientist wishes to achieve. The epitome far from possible.Yet the one who achieves it is called the Alchemist. And here is the good news for you, I have found that society. The society who have the secret formula. The formula to convert metal into gold, ordinary into extra-ordinary and guiding raw talent into world class leaders – Fujairah Toastmasters Club.
Becoming a good speaker is a long journey. And often this journey without guidance merely remains a long journey with a unclear destination.The roots of my journey go back to the time I was four. Just another kid among the millions with wandering thoughts. I was living the best phase of my life. No stress, no goals and most importantly no one to tell you how to think. You have all the freedom to perceive the world in your way. Living your most imaginative dreams. Thats when I accidentally watched Winston Churchill best speech ever. I had no idea what he was talking about, but his presence and his delivery of the speech was good enough to move that four year old kid. It mighty impressed me. And since then I have a dream to be a speaker of that class.
Being the youngest toastmaster I was very nervous on my first day. With a thought of whether being the youngest toastmaster would actually benefit me or vice-versa, I went in for my first session. To my surprise neither did happen. Every member is treated equally. That made me comfortable on the first day itself because I neither wanted to pampered nor bullied. I have my space as the youngest toastmaster and an identity that fuels the desire to beat the best. And finally after a couple of weeks it was my turn to give my first Project Speech. It was my first opportunity to be a Winston Churchill. Taking a deep breath and gathering confidence I went up and delivered my speech. Definitely,it was no where close to my dreams of being the best yet I understood where I stand as a speaker. The destination seemed a lot more visible than before. I had taken my first step to turning my dream into reality. Believe me, it was a confidence booster. Forget all you have heard about hypnotherapy and all the other abstract things. This is the best help you could do to yourself. What more could I have asked for? I was also awarded the ‘BEST SPEAKER OF THE DAY’. Since then its been a one way journey, steps taking me closer to my dream. The destination still far away but closer than yesterday.
And after one year at ‘Fujairah Toastmasters Club’ I would say that joining toasmasters was the best thing that could have happened to me. Yes, I joined with an intent, a desire to be great speaker. But after joining Toastmasters I realised how wrong I was about them. I always thought it was club that helped you improve your public speaking skills. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! It has a lot more to it than just public speaking. It has another dimension to it and very few know about it. If you are reading this and have been hearing about this club, let me tell you, you don’t know the best part of being a Toastmaster, like me! The major flaw with the current reputation of toastmasters is that most of you believe that it is a program for speakers to get together and practice. Since most of you don’t do any public speaking aside from occasional meeting you end up considering it as a huge investment for unsure benefits.
Dear readers, Toastmasters helps you improve your ‘communication skills’. The core idea of this club is to help you get better at dealing with people. To help you develop self-confidence. And more importantly prepares you to become a leader. It gives you an opportunity to experience them and improve unlike many sessions where you are only told. Hence, toasmasters is for everyone not just aspiring speakers. Definitely, you could add the public speaking dimension to it as well. In short, a personality development program different from the rest. A leader learns from experience and by taking initiative. In toasmasters we learn. Our mistakes are highlighted and we are trained to make sure that we do not repeat that mistake. In toasmasters we inculcate a habit of taking initiative. We take up different role like Toasmaster Of The Day, Joke Master, Grammarian, Table Topic Master and many more. The most basic characteristics required to be a good leader. And who doesn’t want to be one? Now, moving on to the fun part. Something that makes every meeting of toastmasters so interesting. Something that makes me want to go back and be a part of it. Something that makes our members so loyal to the club. The secret only known to us, its members. Every meeting is different. Project speeches to table topics to group discussions to educational sessions to keynote speehes to panel discussions. The creativity of the members adds spice to its variety. Together, it makes every meeting a success. Learning along with entertainment gives us the most memorable four hours in a month. So, let me bulletin the best bits of a toasmasters meeting:
- Improving your communication skills and listening skills
- Experience your mistakes and learn from them. Mentors to help and guide you
- Initiative and leadership encouragement
- Becoming more confident as a person
- Improve your public speaking skills in front of an audience
- Enhance creativity by suggesting improvementsSo, dear readers, Toastmasters has got a lot more to it than its reputation. Yet no one talks about them. It is almost as if the other parts of a toasmasters meeting are a ‘members secret’. Now, I have put you all at an advantage. TOASTMASTERS IS FOR EVERYONE! Anyone who wants to break his shyness forever, Toastmasters is the place. Anyone who wants to be more social, Toastmasters is the place. Anyone who wants to be a better speaker and leader, Toastmasters is the place.
“Don’t judge Toasmasters based on the success stories you have heard and read about. But judge us on the failure stories because we have so few of them.”