Semi finalist Nandi Mtonga

I am member of Northriding Toastmasters club which chartered in November 2019. I represent Division S. Notwithstanding the date my club chartered, I have been a Toastmaster since November 2018.

I am still in the process of developing a passion for public speaking. Being introduced to Toastmasters helped me see and appreciate the endless possibilities I can unlock with my voice.

That we should have no regrets about our choices and experiences. We can always find the silver lining in everything so that the time we spend is worthwhile. How we perceive ourselves makes a difference and influences who we become. In essence, we should make the choices which lead to experiences that ignite emotions which make our time worthwhile and worth remembering.

As I pondered what message to share with my fellow Toastmasters, I remembered a poem which I wrote where I was reflecting on the time I spent with my dad; the laughs we shared. I realized that time is non-refundable and because of this I was reminded to be intentional with the choices I make and how I spend my time  – to enjoy every moment because I cannot recover lost time. This resulted in time becoming a golden thread throughout my speech.

I have learnt the power of team work. I’ve learnt to be humble and have a teachable approach to everything. Most importantly, I have learnt a lesson in gratitude. Through each contest I was showered with words of compassion and support, votes of confidence and praise, all of which inspired and humbled me. I say thank you to all those Toastmasters who stood by me and gave me feedback along the way.

In the 2020 district contest, I placed second. This year I hoped I could do better and be placed first. My goal was to share my story and reach the top by doing so.

First – know that you are not alone. If you believe in God, as I do, you’ll know that He is always with you. Even if you don’t, we all have to start somewhere. Second – have faith. Believe in yourself. Regard yourself in the way you want others to regard you. Speak and think of yourself in the same way you do those you look up to. Third –  just do it and then do it again consistently until you are a confident and effective speaker. Place yourself in an environment that grows you like Toastmasters International. Retain the good constructive feedback, let go of what wears you down.