Project 10: My Toastmasters Journey

April 3, 2011

Project 10: My Toastmasters Journey
By Ramana Boyani

On 23rd March 2010, I started my Toast masters journey, with my Project 1 Ice breaker. On that day I spoke about my 4D principle.

DESIRE…. DECISION……….DETERMINATION …and…….. DESTINATION……

A splendid good evening to my fellow Toastmasters and Guests…

Today I have reached my first milestone in the Toastmaster’s journey. My 4D rule really worked, in achieving this goal.

Because, I had a very strong DESIRE to overcome the fear of public speaking… I took a DECISION to join the Toastmaster club. On my first day itself, I signed-up as a member. I took the challenge of completing 10 projects in 12 months with a strong DETERMINATION…. With a blink of an eye, 12 months have passed. Today, I am at my DESTINATION of completing my final project to become a Competent Communicator.

Many people think that, they are not good at speaking …. They feel shy to talk to others. But I feel that every person has got a talent. Every person is like a diamond. Some are kept on the show like our US President Obama, and some are lying in the mud like us. The more you polish the diamond, the more it shines. Toastmaster is the best mechanism to polish your communication skills.

Toastmaster’s journey has changed my life in 2 aspects. :

1) Personally
2) Professionally

Personally… To do projects we have to read lot. Through that, we will gain knowledge. By giving speeches consistently, we can correct our mistakes with the help of, our excellent evaluators. Apart from that, we also learn time management and leadership skills

Professionally… Few months back, I attended a seminar on Construction law. During the tea break, I had a chat with the speaker Mr.Jonathan Choo, who is one of the leading Arbitrators in Singapore.

After few days, I sent an email to him asking whether he was willing to visit our office, to conduct a seminar on construction law. I know he is very busy man and a very expensive lawyer. To my surprise, he accepted my invitation and agreed to conduct the seminar at our office without any charges. I sent an invitation to all my colleagues, including our CEO.

With my Toastmasters experience, I arranged the meeting successfully. I did all roles like Toastmaster of the Day by introducing the speaker, Timer to help the speaker on his timing, Sergeant at Arms to arrange snacks for my colleagues, and Vice President Education, arrange the program,. I was very glad that my busy CEO attended the seminar.

Because I was very proactive, I secured more points in my Appraisal and received a big bonus during this Chinese New Year. I take this opportunity to give a big ‘Thank You’ to my Toastmaster club.

I strongly believe that, to achieve something you must be with the right people. The people around you must be very positive, supportive and have a lot of initiative. If you are with pessimistic people, you will never grow. Even if you want to improve yourself, the people around you will not encourage you.

There is an interesting story about this.

One day, a boy found an eagle egg, and put it into the nest of a prairie chicken. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks, and grew up with them.

Thinking he was a prairie chicken all his life, the changeling eagle did what the other prairie chickens did.

He scratched in the dirt for seeds and insects, to eat. He clucked and cackled. He could fly a little height from the ground with thrashing wings. After all, that’s how prairie chickens were supposed to fly.

Years passed, and the changeling eagle grew older. One day, he saw a majestic bird flying in the sky, with its golden wings.

“What a beautiful bird…What is that? He asked his neighbor.

“That’s an Eagle, the chief of birds”… “But don’t give a second thought. You could never become like him” advised the neighbor chicken.

The changeling eagle listened to his neighbor and never gave it a second thought. After some years, he ends his life thinking he was a prairie chicken.

What about you? Are you content to scratch in the dirt, or would you rather soar in the sky? If you would prefer to soar, you have to be with the right people. If you stay with successful people, you will become successful.

To conclude, I suggest our guests to join us and be part of this wonderful Toastmasters journey. Dear my seniors, please continue your projects and polish your speaking skills by attending the toastmasters meetings regularly and consistently.

Friends… I assure you… you are with the right people at the right place…that is….our Kowloon Singapore Toastmasters Club.

Back to Toastmaster of the evening….

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You are welcome to visit our Kowloon-Singapore Toastmasters Club (KSTMC) if you are living in Singapore.

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Pay It Forward and Make a Difference!

February 27, 2011

Hi, The following is my contest speech. The title is “Pay it Forward and Make a Difference!”
I want to share the message with you and hope that you will like it…
By the way the contest is over, I am the 1st runner up for it.

Yetti
Kowloon-Singapore Toastmasters Club

——-
KSTMC International Speech Contest 2011
Title: Pay it Forward and Make a Difference!
By: Yetti Chiu

Do you know more than 22,000 children die every day around the world?
That is 15 children dying every minute…
The main killers are poverty, huger, and malnutrition.

We are lucky! We live in a well developed country. We have plenty to eat. We have clean water to drink. We have good health care system. Our children here receive proper education and grow up in a healthy environment.

But in many poor countries, people are starving. They don’t have clean water to drink. They are forced to drink dirty water and may get diarrhea or other sicknesses. But they cannot afford to see doctors when they are sick. That’s why many of them die of preventable diseases and illnesses. Very few children can afford to go to school. Children begin working as garbage pickers as soon as they can walk. Waste dumps are toxic, but there is no other choice. If those poor children do not collect money by selling the rubbish, they would have nothing to eat.  Quite often, gangsters force children to take drugs so as to control them. Some parents even have to sell their children into prostitution so as to support the rest of the family.

Yes, the world is unfair!
Don’t you want to make the world a bit better?
All children need love and care! They should have their basic rights and have the chance to receive proper education.

Make a difference!

Some people may think…Yes, the poor children are indeed very unfortunate. But it is impossible for just one person to change the world! Our ugly world is like that… It is a fact even though it is cruel. How can one person alone change the world? It is impossible…

Yes, one person’s efforts may not be enough to change the world…

But think about this statement: “I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do!”

The quote is said by Jana Stanfield at the “I Can Change the World Tour” in November last year. The tour was a program for a group of kind-hearted professional speakers to raise funds for the homeless children by making use of their speaking talents. They want to touch lives and make a difference. They pay it forward, giving generously without asking for any returns.

You may wonder at the meaning of “pay it forward”. “Pay it forward” means somebody does a nice thing for you, and instead of paying them back, you “pay it forward” by doing a nice thing for other people. The words come from the movie with the same title.

The story is about Trevor, a 12 years old boy living in a small California town. He accepts the challenge that his teacher gives his class by coming up with a plan to change the world for the better. Trevor chooses 3 persons for doing those favours. Instead of having them pay back, he told them to “pay it forward” by choosing 3 other people for doing favours to.  It’s like a human chain letter of kindness. The idea is to positively change the world and make a difference!

Have you heard of the organization “Doctors Without Borders”?  The organization “rejects the idea that poor countries deserve third-rate medical care and strives to provide high-quality care to patients.” Some of the kind-hearted doctors, nurses and other volunteers make use of their professional skills to help people who are caught in crises around the world. They save thousands and thousands of lives every year. They pay it forward and make a difference!

If you have some kind of talent or professional skill, think about how you can make use of your talent or skill and make the world better. Make a difference!

But it does not matter whether one has a talent or possess a professional skill or not. Everyone can contribution if we have the “heart”.

We can all do our part.
We can donate some of our money to charities.
Why not sponsor a child?  Build a better world for the poor children…

At World Vision Singapore, it costs only Forty Five dollars per month to sponsor a child. I think most of us can afford that.

Every little bit counts, any amount is welcome.

My husband and I have been sponsoring a few children in the past 12 years. We feel happy when we see those smiling faces from the photos of the children. They can get a proper education and a healthy environment for growing up because of the money that we donate every month.

One person may not be able to change the world, but we can change the world by one person at a time.  We cannot do all the good the world needs, but the world needs all the good we can do!

What might this mean for toastmasters?

We are toastmasters and we can speak. You may consider choosing topics that can make the world a bit better for your project speeches. May be you can influence some of your audience and make a difference. And your audience may influence some others and make another difference!

Why not start now, Pay it Forward and Make a Difference!

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"Free Tips for Successful Public Speaking" by Jim Key, 2003 World Champion of Public Speaking

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