Friday, December 30, 2005

      My First Toastmasters Session

Nearly end of 2005 already. Time flies; it always does.

I attended the first Toastmasters session today. During this sabbatical, I've discovered that I have really poor communication skills. Hence I thought this might be an avenue for me to learn about effective communication. It was with much ambivalence before I stepped into the venue. The room was full of strangers. I had to make myself attend.

Instead, it turned out a fun and interesting event. It was a good practice ground for presentations, and to learn to mix around with people from different walks of life, different age groups. The atmosphere was encompassing. The people there made me feel welcomed.

On evaluating others’ presentation, the evaluators did it in a very encouraging manner. Never criticizing on the short-comings of the candidates in a harsh way. Now that is indeed something that I should learn from.

BTW, I was voted ‘Best Table Topics’ speaker. Table Topics is a form on impromtu speaking when a topic is thrown to the candidate and he immediately have to give a 3-5 mins speech on the topic. That’s quite a feat that I am quite please with. Not a bad achievement for a first timer. Maybe I really have a flair for public speaking.

I feel that this is one ‘ECA’ that I will enjoy participating in. The interaction was really fun, and I feel this is a place where I can develop and expose my strength in presentations; at the same time, I can learn to listen well and to give encouraging feedback to people around me. Not the depressing criticism that I always throw at people. It only weakens relationships.
For a long time in 2 years, this is one of the times that I really feel alive in participation. Only now do I realise that I was 'dead' for some long. Sad... ...

Maybe by participating in activities like this, I can focus on contributing more of my talents and less on what are outside my circle of influence. Then I can be a less grumpy person. I certainly hope that this move marks the start of a good year ahead in 2006.


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