Who ever hears the name of Toastmsters for the first time thinks it’s a culinary club.
That’s what I thought when my mother first joined Toastmasters, I was excited that I will get a chance to taste great food, and yes I did get that chance, but she wasn’t the one who cooked. It was the restaurant they ordered from in every meeting.
Well Toastmasters helps to develop communication and leadership skills.
In 2004 my mother took a decision to in role me and my brother in Youth Leadership Program (YLP), at that time I was reluctant and I was afraid of speaking in-front of people with my weak English. At that time I understood everything but wasn’t able to construct a proper sentence and communicate with others in English.
I still remember the day when we had to attend an introductory meeting, and Toastmasters Mohammed Saleem from PACT asked me “What’s your name and age?”, and I stood up shivering, I couldn’t see anything, darkness was in-front of my eyes. I couldn’t say my name properly, but I said my name nervously and sat down. That was the worst moment for me, that fear resulted in having severe headache for two days continuously.
For 8 weeks I, my brother, my cousins and all my friends been in this program. This program encouraged me to join Gavels Club (Pact Orators Gavel Club, POGC). Gavels club is affiliated with Toastmasters and for teenagers who are below 18. I discovered myself and my skills after joining gavels club, in a very short time I was able to speak confidently even if I did not have proper words to express myself so I managed to explain in very simple and understandable words. Along with developing my speaking skills and vocabulary, I focused on my accept and pronunciation of certain words. I have been told many times “You have that Arabic Accent in speaking English”, so my goal was to speak a neutral accent ( I don’t even know what it means LOL).
I was 18 when I joined the first Advanced Toastmasters Club in Bahrain called (Bahrain Advanced Toastmasters, BAT) instead of joining a normal and regular Toastmasters Club. Advanced Club is for those who have completed their basic 10 projects ( Competent Communicator projects ). I have learned many things from my senior Toastmasters in a very short time. I had quality time in that club and was the best experience I have had in Toastmasters.
Then I carried on my journey to become a charter member of Young Adults Toastmasters Club following that after many years again became a charter member of newly opened Toastmasters Club called (Bahrain Eloquent Toastmasters) and still a member. I have sponsored few clubs and mentored one. I have tried my best to evaluate in Arabic Toastmasters clubs. Participated in contests and got first or second position. I am taking my journey slow and at ease. The things are used to fear I enjoy them now just like Table topics 😀 .
I am a toastmaster since 2005. Toastmasters was the platform I needed to discover my self, to have enough confidence to express myself. The confidence I gained was not only to speak in public, but to be confident about anything in life. Where I am standing today, what I have done in my life and the opportunities I have had a partial credit goes to Toastmasters.
It’s never too late to discover your skills or polish them, conquering your fear will make you master of yourself.
Life will change .