New Member Moment – Shirley Chibonda

I am Shirley Chibonda, a member of Evolving Ladies Club, in Harare, Zimbabwe, since March this year. Previously I had a vague idea of what Toastmasters was about. In October 2020, I gave a presentation on breast cancer awareness to the club and was invited to stay until the end of the meeting. I had joined the meeting midway so I did not know about evaluators and table topics. Thank goodness, otherwise I would have struggled to do my presentation.

The evaluators gave very constructive feedback. I was amazed to find out that the process is so thorough with grammarians and ah counters! I realized that this was something I really needed given that my line of work involves making presentations to colleagues and the public.

I was invited to a few more meetings, including being an emissary in two other clubs, which was quite interesting. That same emphasis on constructive feedback still holds. Since joining, I have learnt that Toastmasters is not just about public speaking but learning effective communication and developing leadership skills as well as networking. The meetings are so much fun! I am excited about this journey I have embarked on.