Through the years people have suggested I participate in Toastmasters International, a place where members improve their communication and leadership skills by regularly giving speeches and gaining feedback, but for some reason, I kept postponing it, but one day I decided to attend my first meeting.
My experience entering the room was magical. I felt the positive energy from all those around me, something that I haven’t felt for so long in a group setting.
While I was attentively listening to the speakers, I kept asking myself, “why did I postpone coming here?” but I couldn’t get the answer.
At the end of the first half, the Chairperson announced the exciting portion of the Toastmasters meeting—Table Topics Master. I confess that I had no clue what it was.
During the break, while I was talking with one of the participants I asked her if she had participated in that, and she answered, “Yes.” Can you tell me a little more about it?” I asked, “Of course,” she replied, “it is simple, think about a Fortune cookie, you open, you read the message inside, you give an impromptu talk in front of everyone.”
We walked back to the room after the break. The Chairperson asked for a volunteer. I surely wouldn’t miss that chance! I did what I was suppose to do—I placed my hands inside an envelope, and without looking, I grabbed a piece of paper— written on it was a quote. I read it, and soon after in a few words, I covered the topic in a way showing knowledge, emotion, and passing along a message of encouragement to others who attentively were listening to what I had to say. It was indeed one of the most significant few minutes of my life. I don’t remember how long it took me, but I know it was less than 2 minutes.
After everyone had their turn and the ballots were collected, the members chose me as the best table topic speaker of the night. “You are a natural toastmaster speaker,” someone said to me. Moments like this make you feel good about yourself and what you have done so far.
In the end, I had the answer to my question. I hadn’t been ready to pursue my dream to become a motivational speaker. After that moment, I was.