Essence of Toastmasters Journey
The life of human being is full of challenges. The challenges appear before us as Contests, Competitions or Examinations etc., Therefore, the Contests are part and parcel of life. The Contests are the ridges that embrace the prominences while climbing on the mountainous path of a Climber Toastmaster and the challenges of Contests to be outstripped with determination and fortitude. Life becomes insipid without the presence of Contests and it invigorates us in taking part in contest. We are in a juncture wherein the Contestants of our Saud Bahwan Toastmasters Club have participated in all the Contests ,such as , Club , Area and Division levels and are awaiting the long cherished, most prestigious and coveted DTAC 2018, to be held in Millennium Hotel , Muscat , Sultanate of Oman. Being the VP-PR of Saud Bahwan Toastmasters Club, Pertains to Division D, Area 65, District 105, and the Toastmasters Journey as well I feel honored indeed to express my feelings and experience with my Toastmasters Companions.
The event in the offing is quite stimulating and the enthusiasm and feelings of us are profound indeed. Following is the brief recapitulation on the Contests we have already undergone and the way it has enriched ourselves for the forthcoming event. a) Experience as a Contestant b) Experience of observing of the other Winners c) Organisation of the Contests a) Experience gathered as a contestant is colossal and it can be equated with the preparation of an athlete. An athlete has to undergo rigorous practice, and thereafter takes part in Club /area /district /national/International levels. The same scenario is replicated in the arena of our Toastmasters too. To begin with, I selected a theme or Concept and crafted the speech for the International Category and kept rehearsing the delivery to acquire the excellence. While going through this Progression, I could conceive innovative ideas, learn how to develop a Concise, Clear and Crisp speech, economize the usage of words and restrict it within
850 Words. We developed the skill of applying our points / sub points, using body language ,eye contacts , vocal varieties , facial expression , diction, stage management , Prop handling techniques, doing research , data collection etc., and all these helped us to become a better speaker, confident , well-organized , flexible, courteous , calm and composed.
For the sake of preparing myself for the evaluation contest , I watched out the Speech Evaluation conducted in various clubs and through the videos, listening to the speech closely , viewed the method of analyzing the speech microscopically delivered by the speakers and identifying the Strengths and Weaknesses ,noted the Salient Features of the speech presented differently and need based recommendations given appropriately by the evaluators for further improvement. Table Topics is the symbol of instantaneousness, Spontaneity, Persistence, Intensified listening skill, presence of mind and being equipped with these elements help the speaker for impromptu speaking. We kept practicing various topics having it taken from numerous sources, so that, we the speakers should always be ever-ready, natural and extemporaneous to stand tall for facing any kind of topics. It pushed us to build up the quality of comprehending the topic accurately, kept ourselves always enriched with acceptable and appropriate Quotes, got conversant with the lives of historical and existing leaders, current events and the intrinsic logics for supporting our views. Crafting a Humorous speech requires to have amassed the happenings around us regularly among our colleagues, family members, children, and friends and especially it ensures to letting ourselves down in the hands of our Life Partners. Sometimes, in order to create a situation wherein humor will develop, we played our role as a fool in front our superiors, listened to the Music and enhanced the quality of Humorous speech by adding on the same.
. b) It has been a boundless learning experience of observing the winners in area / division contests, other than the club contest. As long as, we are within the club, the sphere is
limited and also the capabilities of the members are known to us. Once we come out of the club and take part in area/ division contests, we come across the following; 1) Multifarious and Rich Concepts – We become astonished by witnessing the Speakers, from all walks of the Society , perform on the stage with many new contour of thoughts , Philosophies, Ideas, Speeches compatible to the Attendees , Ascendancy of Language , Clarity of the theme , Appropriate Conclusions, Viewpoints , Values , Beliefs and different ways of Life. 2) Resourcefulness and Confidence – Almost all the performers achieve a high level of Self-confidence and containment. 3) Strength of Mind ; The kind of determination , will power ,Resilience , Fortitude, Grit, Power of Continuance of performance on stage observed in the Speakers is indescribable and we are bound to get motivated and purified. 4) Sphere of Network - The venues where Area/ Division Contests occur are the places where we meet many strangers who turn out to be friends in a very short span of time ,it builds up the new relationship , expands the circle and thus we become familiar in our Toastmasters Fraternity. 5) Boosting - We get stimulated , Encouraged , Spurred , Motivated to Create new things, inspired to get into action and conceptualize plans to incorporate in our next project speeches we deliver in our club sessions or during next contests. In Marketing Management we learn four Ps, but I strongly believe the Contests outside the club teach us the plethora of Ps linked with Public Speaking. Through the speeches delivered before the Audience , we have understood true meaning of the words – they are – Purpose , Prophecy, Perception , Passion ,Perseverance , Proficiency, Peachy , Perky , Profound , Placid , Perfection, Positivity and Powerfulness. c) While organizing an event , such as , Area / Division Contests , we have carried out numerous activities, such as , consolidation of Toastmasters playing several roles , undergone brainstorming to evolve new and innovating themes and have gone through various stages of difficulties and finally achieved grand success. We have realized that, shaping up an Area and Division Contest also requires an enormous amount of energy, efforts, enthusiasm, spontaneous participation and Commitment
Other than the above, everything to go on well, the event essentially needs to have the following: 1) 2) 3) 4)
5) 6) 7) 8) 9)
Advanced planning Organizing Financial Sponsors and Budgeting Allocation of Responsibilities to right candidate â€“ it`s a difficult task as many Senior Toastmasters may agree to take up minuscule role and you need to convince them explaining the significance of the role , about his support for the Contest and finally leading to acceptance of the role by the TM. Making arrangement for suitable venue and the things needed for conducting the event Selection of the panel of judges and the Chief Judge Conducting of OJT ( On the Job Training) and contingency plan Selection of the Messages to be conveyed through various role players Making the right decision in time.
The benefits are massive and far-fetched while being associated with the Toastmasters Activities , taking part in regular Club Meetings, delivering the Project Speeches based on the Toastmasters Manuals , taking the help of the Mentors , recommendations given by the Evaluators and other Club Members to the Speakers , playing various roles during the ongoing weekly / bi-monthly sessions , playing the role of TMOD and conducting the Session , taking up the responsibilities of Club Officers and assigning the roles to members . Besides, depth of the activities beyond the club, such as, go in for the roles as several Director and Officer Positions, organizing such events like Area / Division Contests is perceptibly unfathomable. It certainly assists the Toastmasters to acquire tremendous growth, develops marvelous Communication Skills in them, and gets structured physically and mentally. In the process, the Toastmasters become much more intelligent, it instills intangible Infrastructure in the Toastmasters and they get elevated to an invisible, incredible and unattainable height. The association with Toastmasters Movements has helped in the professional arena of yours truly by way of conducting several Meeting on daily basis, answering to the Queries instantly to the other colleagues, Power Point Presentation, handling the visitors from various countries and writing up the swanky report on the happenings.
Further, the image of Toastmasters Network in Oman has spread across through word of mouth to many places where there are no clubs, to date , and the people are keen to know about the happenings and our accomplishments. Let me share my experience with all of you. Recently, I had received an invitation from one of the Prestigious Group of Schools, situated in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India, and I had conducted a session lengthening a duration of 2 hours 30 Minutes singlehandedly in front of 135 students. The students and the members of the Management of the School were captivated during the proceedings of the Session and expressed their keen interest to begin the Gavel Club. The details of the initiation of the said Gavel Club activities will be published soon in our next News Letter. Be Healthy! Till Next time! Happy Reading!