The utmost urge to polish my communication skills rose at my subconscious mind and asked me to google Toastmaster club near me. There were quite a number of clubs that appeared on my phone screen but the first one in the list caught my attention because of its 4.4star rating and obvious reason being close to my residential apartment.
The very first meeting I attended at KTC as a guest was the one which introduced the members with “Pathways” system. Since in my professional arena I had to deal with a lot of computer related work it sounded damn easy but later I came to know from a member that it would take minimum 2 years to complete one program in pathways. Later I attended the 2nd and 3rdmeeting as guest. I understood the flow of activities happening in a normal Toastmaster meeting. What took me to surprise about these activities is the attention to detail that every member carry when they are vested with a role. I personally feel evaluation session is treated with paramount importance. Every sentence uttered by each member is closely assessed along with suggestions on areas of improvement. The efficiency at which the agenda being executed in every KTC meeting is extremely enjoyable. My 4th meeting at KTC, I was inducted as a member.
Toastmaster Kochi consist a panorama of members coming from all walks of life holding different professions ranging from, as youngest as, a college student to even the founders of Kochi Toastmaster club. I have seen this sort heterogeneous crowd only in my parish. I found here an opportunity to learn from all the members. And for sure the journey of learning is in progress.
A sound mind lives in a sound body. In the TM context, this means the ambience of the venue for KTC The place wherein which the weekly meetings being conducted is one class apart. The feel audience imbibe because of the venue is priceless. Very sophisticated sound system, well-designed seating arrangement, area which is spacious enough to hold 40 – 50 and most importantly the galaxy imitated ceiling. For me personally, I am influenced to an extend by the environment around me. At the KTC venue, even the walls and mics encourage anyone to deliver a scintillating speech.
As a kid to any toastmaster even to stand in front of the audience and speak something sensible seems a gigantic task. I remember first time I spoke in front of the fellow members was in a table topic session and I knew I was not sharing any sensible idea. But still, I received appreciation for the courage to at least address a crowd in the form of loud applause. I feel sometimes a small word of appreciation does matter a lot to beginner speakers, here in KTC every single person is being supported by fellow members. Since there are many roles to perform in one single meeting itself everyone is getting a chance to do a role which in a way is helping the person to build courage to speak. None is judged pathetically like the reality TV shows we see rather the evaluation is always segregating the person’s strong and weak points. Thanks to the sandwich method of evaluation.
I began as a table topic speaker at KTC but I have so far in this 3 months from October 2018 to December 2018 travelled through the roles of timer, ah counter, TTmaster, and MC for the 2018 Christmas meeting and also gave my icebreaker from Pathways. Every time I have been given a new role I take it as a challenge to prove my best to myself. And every role taught me the considerable practical issues to execute it perfectly. All those meeting I have attended at KTC so far has definitely helped me sculpt the good speaker in me. I feel immensely happy and overwhelmed by the support I have received from my fellow Toastmasters. KTC has given me an opportunity to come out of my comfort zone, encouraged to stand on the dais and speak with confidence.