I had always yearned to speak to a large audience yet I did not know how, until Garth Thomson delivered a Table-Topic to a team of interns that I was part of. Ever since that day, in November 2016, my passion and love for public speaking manifested itself in the form of participation in every Toastmasters event I found myself attending. The passion became autonomous and enormously grew so much that I just could no longer restrain it. Now I let the passion run loose and it does as it pleases when met with any audience that needs to hear what I have to say. I always have something positive and meaningful to say, thus I try my best to always say it when the opportunity presents itself in the form of a speaking stage!
My core message was about conquering the hurdles we encounter in life. Tough message to deliver in 5-7 minutes because the story was a lived experience which I hoped would encourage individuals to conquer any hurdle they encounter in their lives. The choice was influenced by the realisation that we all have different hurdles in this race we call life. As different as the hurdles may be, they still need to be conquered for us to finish the race as winners irrespective of what position you are placed at the end of the race. However, if you’re racing against yourself, the position will have little to no significance, but the significance will be the fact that you finished the race!
- Trim unnecessary sentences in your speech. This is a lesson I learnt from my many coaches known by their Superhero names Frankly Speaking Advisor, eHub Hall of Fame Custodian, The Future French Spokesperson Madame Chatterbox and Madame Sunsets’N’Love.
- Progressive practice makes permanent. Practicing your speech is an important factor in gaining confidence in both yourself and your speech’s intended message for your audience.
- Always compete with yourself first before competing with others. See what it is about yourself that you want to overcome in the contest. And as you do that, be your most authentic self as you compete with yourself.
- Never forget to leave your heart on the stage! Always leave your heart on the stage!
- My timekeeper is way more competitive than me.
Honestly, the goal was just to have fun and better my speaking skills in the process. After receiving some stern coaching, the goal was then to be MYSELF more than anything.
“Every human experience is a story” – Timu, therefore your own lived experiences are stories worth sharing. It is only when you authentically share your stories that you become EFFECTIVE, and the more you smile with authenticity while sharing your story is the more you will become CONFIDENT as a speaker and as a human being making a beautiful difference in this world. And, like every coach would say when they give you speaking pointers, ‘do not forget to have fun’, and always remain and be TEACHABLE!
I have been an active Toastmaster for the past 5 years spanning across 3 different Toastmasters clubs. Presently, I am a shareholder at L’Avenir Toastmasters Club – An Anglo Francophone Club in Division L, the first of its kind in District 74.