Frustration can be a double-edged blade. As you grab hold of it, it cuts you. And as you start using it better and better, it aids you into slowly dissecting your life problems, layer by layer.
That frustration of a bad presentation led me to the most complete N.G.O. that makes leaders and speakers for a living.
I first came here with an open minded curiosity. And it had astonished me because I was greeted warmly by one of the members, which later became my mentor.
I had in front of me a group of people that could speak in public not only in Romanian, but also in English.
I barely knew a thing or two about leadership or the technicalities of being a better speaker.
I started to take on technical roles at first, and my “payment” was in giving one speech at every two months. I could fully enjoy their attention and wise words that were coming from the elders.
I got to see them lead by example and manage their words splendidly!
Although the feedback was hard to digest for the first few months, these fellows were the kindest and most positive people that I have ever seen!
One year later, as I went through the two basic manuals, I started to focus more on the leadership track. And I did this after being elected as a Sergeant At Arms. As I was struggling to find the best location possible for a meeting, I started to take roles every week. Becoming an Officer made me into a more serious member.
Furthermore, as I gradually ascended on the staircase of the Competent Leadership manual, I got glimpses of what it's like to be a leader.
As a young practitioner of medicine, in my job there is little or no opportunity to build teams or get positive feedback. At best what you can do is lead yourself.
And as I emerged from the TM lab with some lessons learned, I applied them in real life.
Especially time management skills when dealing with patients and throughout the entire day.
As we do rotations in between hospitals, it is an opportunity to be the best team member there is. And all thanks to Toastmasters!
At the end of one of the modules, I gave written sincere, positive feedback for my colleagues.
And what I have seen exceeded my expectations. It sparkled the sincerest reactions they could muster! I've seen tears of joy, child-like smiles, and even got warm hugs after that!
In the workplace, we do not regularly have time for praising others for what they were, not for their work. And not expecting anything in particular for doing so.
Toastmasters is about helping YOU in giving something valuable to the world.
But how can you help Toastmasters help you?
Choose a mentor that makes it easy for you to feel understood.
Become a mentor, and strive to become the best version of yourself in order to lead him to success.
If you can teach it, you will surely know it by heart.
Also, the mentee will provide opportunities and questions. And by solving those, it stimulates your growth even further !
Take on a role in every meeting possible. The Easyspeak portal shows you if you haven't filled a particular role in a long time. Keep in mind, we are here to learn, not to brag about being the best G.E. (General Evaluator) there is. There is an opportunity in every role, even if you consider yourself as a “veteran of the roles.”
Become a Club Officer. You have new specific responsibilities, past the regular club meetings. You have the opportunity to engage In a mastermind group for the benefit of the entire club.
Finally, take responsibility for your own actions. One evening, as a Sergeant I have had technical difficulties, that led to the meeting starting late. In the end of it, during my rapport as a G.E., I acknowledged my mistake with dignity and I assumed it publicly.
I've come here to become a better speaker. And I remained in order to become a better leader.
Which one of those best fits your needs?
Author: Horațiu Stănculescu, CL - Secretary of Toastmasters Cluj