i have decided to post all my speeches here, so i can allow others to refer to them, and help them to work on their CC Manual.
Toastmasters : A Game Changer
( Me sitting, slouched, inverted cap, outshirt, making gangsta signs) Hey Ya, all. This was me 7 years ago. An IT nerd who cared a heck to the world, to my future as long as I could develop the best software, hack into govts servers and get this self acclaimed pride of being just another IT guy in my own cucoon.
I didnt find the need of any form of growth, the need to connect, the need to be competitive. I was the typical Goan , happy go lucky chap.
But one day, Anil came to me and said. Ray join toastmasters.(face look up on right). I asked him why ( one hand why?) He said it would be good for me to speak properly, to be a leader . But in my mind, i felt there was no need to speak, I was sure my job didn’t want it too. Leader and me ? (Ha!)(what rubbish) I would be doing no public speaking. Oh such a waste of time. ( Negative irritated face).
(Stand up from chair) . But it got me thinking, (Einstein thinking). And got it confused. Suddenly I realised I was in a dilemma. I decided to attend a couple of meetings as a guest, but In my same style, t-shirt , jeans, caps, uncombed hair, Unbothered, A guy with no goals.
During the toastmaster meetings, I saw people give talks, I saw people make mistakes , but they were encouraged, uplifted.
Deep inside something triggered, but I kept looking back at my cucoon ( look and point at the chair) . What should I do. I was fighting myself, and from within. Deep, really deep
Then finally it hit me . I needed the change, I need to do better. But again, doubts creeped in! Is toastmasters going to help me, will it really take me there. I was probably never noticed at work due to this passive attitude, I never got the required promotion, I never got the increment I desired , because I realised I never took initiative in anything.
I was basically stagnant. I decided to make the change( inshirt, comb air, fix cap). I folded my sleeves(foldsleeves) and got to work. I researched about skills, I researched in detail about toastmasters.i started to attend and take down notes, notes of everything how the
toastmasters spoke, what their wore, what was great about themselves and started practicing it myself.
After being a guest for few meetings i felt it was too easy, i could just talk about IT for every topic and probably pass all my projects. But i was not doing, any justice to myself (hands to me) . So i challenged myself, that i would not give an IT Topic unless it was absolutely required. So my first speech (show 1 finger) was about myself, where i spoke about how people “identify who i am”, my second topic(show 2 fingers), i got
a Gun, a M4 Carbine to the meeting to talk about fears of Guns, my 3rd topic (show 3 fingers) i stressed about protecting our passwords online, my 4th topic was about yummy goan food(massage tummy) and my 5th t opic today , is about how Toastmasters has and is continuing to help me. 5 Challenging topics , alot of research and alot of courage to come forth and deliver. But with it was alot of encouragement and support (point to all) .
But Toastmasters didnt stop there, they pushed me to seargent at arms, i was forced to come on time, it was very difficult, traffic, other committments, i was requested to be a gramarian in our last meeting. i was a table topics master, i took everything willingly with fear of failure , but with a challenging hope to succeed. now there is discussions to be the president… Wow! Alot to do , alot to learn.
So how has toastmasters helped me? Toastmasters didnt give me a new job, or an increment or a new position. It Paved a new path for me to walk on. A Confident and more professional path. It made read more, listen more and final deliver accurately. I would now attend meetings with my top management teams, i would research into solutions. My ideas was widely accepted, my suggestions would be problem solving. last year i led a political movement back in India, i managed to harnest into the power of people and common man. Just Last month, i managed to run a major campaign to save trees from being cut. i was able to lead people, lead my project teams, i was able to make an impact.
Toastmasters helped me to build a trust between my capabilities and myself. It has helped me to trust people more and to work with colleagues and friends in a positive way. make new friends, connect to new ideas and finally reach out in my own way to make this world a better place. Toastmasters is a game changer, it has for me and it will for all of you.
Over to you ,sir TM.