The Joy of being a Toastmaster BY TM KANNA NARAYANAN, CL Recently, I received a surprise call from one of the top-notch consultants in Dubai who conveyed a Client’s interest in my profile, for an anticipated Senior Management position. Never a person to say NO to an opportunity, the curiosity in me got the better of me and I had accepted proposition. The interview was scheduled on a short notice, leaving very little time to do my homework especially when the Job Description was not provided to me. Nevertheless, I showed up for the party believing in my own skills and experience since I had nothing to lose, as a matter of fact. The interview kick started with the usual pleasantries and we got down to business. Little did I realize, besides relying on my skills and experience the Toastmaster Kanna had also piggy backed on me. I was confident, poised and had a calm demeanor and posture of a wellgrounded individual who knew his whereabouts. Let me share as a post mortem of what and how it happened: As I started to explain myself, Project speech 2 came into focus and the
objective is “Select an appropriate outline which allows your listener to easily follow and understand your speech”. I pounced on as the opportunity unfolded. I clearly and meticulously explained my background and where I came from including my education, my hobbies and my passion. Then we moved on to the next domain of my professional contour, where in the objective of Project 3 came to the fore, “Project sincerity and conviction and control any nervousness you may feel”. I was in my elements as it was an icebreaker going through all phases of the Toastmaster journey. As I Delved deeper into the Technical foray, Project 4 objective automatically came to my rescue which is “Select the right words and structure to communicate your ideas clearly, accurately and vividly”. The transition was smooth and the words were flowing like a torrent, seamlessly aligning with my thoughts and vocal chords. When a question popped up asking about my Leadership skills, Project 5 Objective played an important role “use stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact to express your message and achieve
your speech’s purpose”. I demonstrated my ability as a leader and a communicator through some well-coordinated hand and body movements ensuring the right impact on the listener. By now, the nervous energy had dissipated and I had the Toastmaster in me completely dominating the proceedings. As we moved from one topic to the other, fully knowing that he was gauging me in all aspects of their requirements, I brought out the other qualities of a good Toastmaster while weaving my personal story, namely vocal variety, appealing to the Listener’s interest using logic and emotion eventually ending the Interview with a flourish. There was little doubt in my mind that the Toastmaster in me combined with my skills, knowledge and passion had helped me to ace the interview leaving the interviewer no choice but to call me for a final round, which I anticipate happening in the coming weeks, as I pen this article.
Toastmasters is a journey and not a destination. The countless hours I have spent in ANTC comprising of selfless and warm-hearted individuals egging and encouraging each other has not only left an indelible mark but has transformed me into a compassionate human being and a likeable personality (even my Wife likes me these days!!). I could only credit myself for having chosen to tread on this journey with engaging, like minded individuals which has not only brought in some memorable laurels but some wonderful results as well, much to the chagrin of my competitors. I am proud of being a Toastmaster and especially a part of ANTC. “Lots more to walk, Lots more to explore, With ANTC leading the way Conquering play!!!!!”
PR Awards Submission: Golden Quill Award