Friday, August 20, 2010
My journey to the Toastmasters world was sort of by chance!
Five years ago, my wife asked me to accompany her with a few friends who have just graduated from a professional trainers program to 'shop' for a Toastmasters club to join - so that they can use it as a platform to practice their new found skill.
My role was merely as an escort. There were a few clubs that were visited and Maxis Toastmasters Club was the last one on the list. I have heard about Toastmasters before, but only in some vague references and never understood the full details of its operation.
My academic background was in the field of Mass Communications, and in the corporate world I have held positions as Advertising & Public Relations Manager, Media Manager, Sponsorship & Events Manager, Sr. Brand Manager, Marketing Manager & so on - and it was part of my job to conduct public speaking and dealing with the media on a regular basis.My first encounter at the Maxis Toastmasters Club meeting was quite an interesting one.
I remember, we were late - as usual, partly to blame the KL traffic and also locating the right meeting room at Maxis. When we finally found the room, we discovered it was packed with rather dignified individuals seated around a table in a large boardroom. Soon, I realized that there was a well structured agenda in conducting the meeting and everyone was rather disciplined. Suddenly, the aura of the Toastmasters movement clipped a couple of positive notches up, in my brain!
We took our seats and as a formality we were asked to introduce ourselves. I sat comfortably and was enjoying the proceedings. Then came the Table Topics session and my name was suggested - I was caught off guard! But, it was a pleasant experience and I started to enjoy those special moments - although for just 2 minutes.
I soon realize that the Toastmasters bug has bitten me and there's no reverse gear! I am thoroughly fond of my club and since then I have never failed to take on a variety of roles from being Table Topics Master to Evaluator, a Speaker to Ah-counter, as General Evaluator for other club meetings to taking part in Contests - every bit of it was of immense joy to me.
I have seen many members upon completing their 10th assignment and achieving their coveted CC title leave the club! This is very disappointing. I have always felt that there's the need to lend continuity and to give back to the very club that has groomed one to be a CC. Only in that manner could proper mentorship be administered. I felt duty bound to play a more effective role in promoting my club to a higher level.
Currently, I have completed my ACG & CL and definitely eyeing for DTM in due course and will definitely stay on with my club, "The Club of Champions" and the "President's Distinguished Club".
Yours in Toastmastering,
Wan Chee Wing, President-Maxis Toastmasters Club 2010/2011