After joining Toastmasters for three years, it got me thinking that the club has “mold” me to a new me. Before I joined Toastmasters, words are my enemy and I can see my younger me has less interest in communicating with people. I despised small talks because I didn’t have things to talk about. It doesn’t mean that I lacked of hobby or less reading materials. Eventhough I read more than now (things that I should do better now!), I just cannot translate what was in my head to things that I wanted to talked about. All conversations went inside my head and I hated myself evenmore.
Conversations are meant to be conversed, not being kept in a locked place inside our head. I learned from Toastmasters, especially in speechcrafting, that ALL of sentences need to be spoken out loud. Just like how our brains process how we communicates, listening for speaking skills and reading for writing, Toastmasters is a safe place to train spoken communications. I didn’t feel any pressure to speak to people. My friend Krishna —a fellow Toastmasters — once jokingly told me “Come on, we are in communication club. We should not hesitate to communicate with others!”.
Two days ago, there was an invitation to Networking Day in Ngalup.co. The topic was about sociopreneur. I decided to come to the event to promote my homeclub. Meeting new people is thrilling and exciting! (The perks of being an extrovert!) I met new people and introduced myself as a Toastmaster, telling them that I am in a club which trains communications, leadership and public speaking. To my surprise, they were like “Oh… no wonder you speak like that… You’re a communicator!”. I feel so delighted to find a new side of me. A communicator… Hmm!
If you want to join Toastmasters International to be a communicator, I can tell you it is the right place for you. It is the right place for the right attitude. It doesn’t mean that being a Toastmaster is a magic pill. It doesn’t mean that since day one you join the club and voila! You can beat your fear in meeting new people, you can be a smooth talker and you can go up the podium delivering your amazing speech. No. It takes time to get there. You might not even realize that you change. I just realized this after three years. It is not an overnight work. It is a process of learning together, on how to be a better communicator. It also means sacrificing time and money to learn from the communication experts. It means that you need to feel bored and questioning yourself on why you join Toastmasters. This happened to me and here I am, proudly saying I am a Toastmaster!