How I started Toasting..
I joined Toastmasters in my first year of university. I remember going to the matriculation fair and seeing the booth. Although I did not sign up there. I did keep a mental note to revisit the club when I had a chance.
I had been very nervous of public speaking then. I remember being made to deliver an inspirational speech at a workshop in secondary school. We were supposed to inspire and motivate our groups with speeches, to get them to rise against the other group. While the ‘leader’ of the other group gave a great speech, I, having been “saboed” by my group to be the ‘leader’ made a complete fool of myself by copying the other leader’s speech.
4 months after joining NUS, I joined the NUS Toastmaster’s Club. The meeting was in a tutorial room in the Science faculty. I was warmly welcomed and quietly sat at the back of the room. Everything was going fine, the speakers introduced the club, and how things worked and started of the meeting. And then, they asked everyone to introduce themselves! I still remember the butterflies in my stomach when I it was my turn. I had prepared my introduction before hand and was rehearsing it in my mind. When it was my chance to speak, I stood up and froze. I couldn’t get any words out of my mouth. After muttering a string of words which didn’t make any sense.. I sat down.. This was going to be a looong ride..
It took me another 6 months before I did my first speech at the club and many many more to be loose the fear I had of speaking in front of an audiance. I also ended up taking up a role in the ex-co of the club and hosting many meetings. It was a great experience and it taught me not only speaking/communication skills but also made me conformable is many situations I’d have been otherwise very nervous in..
That’s how I started with Toastmasters.. :)
You can listen to the episode of the The Public Speaker here..