16. A New Series: My Personal Journey in Public Speaking: 3. First Impressions - Joining a Club

Last week, I shared about my first visit at a Toastmasters Club meeting. That was in February 2007. By April, I became a member of that club, an in house club sponsored by an international bank here. Organised by members whom were staff of the bank as well. Cool.

The first items I received as a member were the Competent Communication (CC) Manual and the Competent Leader (CL) Manual. I will explain the manuals later in a subsequent post. Suffice to say, as I flipped through the manuals, I was excited, because now I have the tools and have enrolled in a systematic program to improve myself.

My first few action items as a new member include:

  1. Attend the next meeting (we meet every two weeks at the same time and venue, so scheduling and setting aside the time is essential)

  2. Participate in Table Topics as often as I can (impromptu speaking was never my thing, but I wanted to change that);

  3. Speak to my mentor (a mentor, or more experienced member was allocated to help me in preparing my first few speech projects);

  4. Read the first Project in the CC manual;

  5. Skim through the CL manual to plan what i needed to do in the coming meetings

My first impressions:

  1. The meetings are very structured and tend to get repetitive;

  2. The members are very kind (they tend to give encouraging feedback);

  3. The program / projects are very organised and makes sense;

  4. The CC manual seems very basic (later I began to appreciate this fact);

  5. The CL manual requires role playing for so many roles! (Seemed unnecessary at that time, but I began to understand the logic after a while)

My emotions at that time:

  1. My fellow members, also my colleagues, are extremely nice and kind, very encouraging;

  2. I was nervous when having to speak during Table Topics, nervous but eager to try;

  3. I found my answer! I took my first step! Now to Step 2 and beyond!

Note: At the time of writing Toastmasters is in the process of rolling out Pathways, a new way to engage members in Education, you can click here to see what it is all about.

Some Links for the interested:

What is Toastmasters

How to be a member

Where to find the club nearest to you…. Have a feel

The Toastmasters Main Website

Stay tuned to see how Toastmasters continued to develop me in my ongoing journey....

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