I’ve already mentioned in passing that I joined the Toastmasters Club with Gec. Thanks to my public speaking experience from preschool to college, I already have some ~communi-kay-shen skillz~, but I wanted to enhance them and to meet new people while doing so. With Gec’s support, we went for it.
We decided on the Metro Manila Toastmasters Club after reading that they met near my office. They meet every Monday at 7PM, alternating between the Rotary Center in Roces (a few minutes’ walk from my apartment) and Il Padrino in East Fairview (their delicious pasta is worth the commute). Finally, something to look forward to at the start of the week!
I made my mind up to join right after my very first meeting. It was that good, you guys. Everyone was very friendly, warm, and welcoming. They made you feel right at home with their conversation, and were interested in what you had to say.
The meeting itself was very enjoyable. Talented speakers gave speeches about various topics. The evaluation, I was glad to discover, was given tactfully and in such a way that it was constructive. No wounded feelings or pride here—both praises and areas for improvement were discussed. This is important because as a TM, you naturally want to improve, and proper feedback is the best way of achieving that.
Last Monday, I gave my very first prepared speech as an official member. That speech is what we call the icebreaker. You’re supposed to introduce yourself to the group by regaling stories, anecdotes, or whatever makes you feel like the audience has gotten to know you better.
I started mine by saying:
"When I was planning my icebreaker speech, I thought it was going to be easy. All you have to do is talk about yourself, and that's easy for me to do because I'm very self-absorbed."
That pretty much hit the nail on the head.
After my speech, I received feedback: mostly positive, but also a note that I tend to speak too quickly (a symptom of nerves). I also got questions from other TMs curious about what I said in my speech, and asking me to expound about my life. Haha! It’s nice to know that my speech intrigued them. :-) No doubt they’ll be hearing more about myself in the weeks to come.
So far, my time in the club has been immensely satisfying. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend Monday nights, drop me an e-mail at ela_kaimo[at]yahoo[dot]com and we’ll make sure you have a full TM experience!