"I don't think people realize that engineering, is a highly creative field because engineers are not good at selling the profession"
-DTM Nita Patel. This summarizes why I joined Toastmasters. Being an engineer and later, an entrepreneur; I have faced many situations where I've been clueless while converting my ideas and knowledge in to words that could be beneficial to my brand and others. A few months ago, I read the book "Hooked: How Leaders Connect, Engage and Inspire with Storytelling" in which, authors, Gabrielle Dolan and Yamini Naidu beautifully described how we can utilize stories to convey messages. At the same time, I discovered the new Toastmasters Club that had just begun in my neighborhood.
Early Days of JLT Dubai Toastmasters Club "If you are offered a seat on a rocket ship don't ask what seat, just get on!" As she is for the millions of female professionals around the globe, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is huge inspiration for me as well, since the time I read her book 'Lean in' back in 2014. Hence, her above quote was the closing statement of my Icebreaker speech to inspire the audience, after introducing the daring explorer in me. This is what precisely happened when I contacted the club president and sponsors to join the Toastmasters; they offered me the position of VP- Membership of the club which was in the pre-chartering stage. Without any second thought, I accepted the club officer role and with the support of our area director TM Deepa S, my mentor TM Rizwan and the club president TM Sudhir, I began contacting the previous guests to try and convince them to join as members. One of the biggest advantages that I got from this position was the opportunity to create a special bond with each and every member and guest.
Contest Season It is the contest that delights us, not the victory"
- BlasĂŠ Pascal This was my motto while competing in the evaluation and table topics contest at the club level. But I got the opportunity to represent our club in the area level. Our mentors and other senior members spent their valuable evenings to guide and train us. We utilized the various resources available to us on the TMI website, as well as the videos of contests to improve what we understood about them.
Receiving Second Runner up price for Table Topics -Area level
Humorous contest chair with Winners, Area director and Chief judge
All the hard work paid off when our club clinched the first prize in the table topics, and claimed the position of second runner up in the Humorous and Table topics categories where we competed against very experienced and seasoned toastmasters of the neighboring Toastmasters clubs. It was a huge honour for a new toastmaster like me, to be a part of the organizing team as the Humorous speech contest chair. Yes, The Toastmasters journey of me and my club has just started, but the improvements I have made within this short period of time, is priceless. As Walt Disney put forth eloquently,
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."