The Toastmaster’s club is an international organization which offers anyone great opportunities to develop communication and leadership skills through public speaking.
I became acquainted with this club through a former teacher at my school, who was an active member of the Toastmaster’s club in Canada, and through the Internet, I found out that a club exits in Okayama city. Naturally my inquisitive mind took me to one of the meetings held in Okayama one day of September, ’01 and my first encounter with the Okayama toastmaster’s club made a great impact on me. The meeting was conducted only in English, and Japanese people as well as native speakers of English were expressing themselves articulately. For me, my lack of confidence would normally have caused me to avoid making speeches in public; therefore, I was totally impressed by the confident manner in which all the speakers delivered their speeches. So I said to myself that if I could take on the challenge of public speaking which I loathe the most, I wouldn’t be afraid of confronting any new challenges my life was to offer me. From that day on, I have been stumbling my way up through the experiences with the toastmaster’s club.
My first interest in speeches traces back to my high school days when I encountered the ever powerful speech, "I Have a Dream." delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr. As we all know, the thresholds of events in the course of history have witnessed many such powerful speeches that would unite and inspire people to move towards higher goals, and they have never failed to enrich me despite the passage of time. Well-delivered speeches are just as uplifting as a beautiful piece of art, where you are invited to share the precious experience with the creator firsthand.
Conveying our ideas and emotions in an effective manner is a great communication skill to master to help improve interpersonal relationships. As the world becomes more globalized, this communication skill is also an essential medium to enable us to participate in the international landscape as well as help us keep abreast of world events. And I am confident that the Toastmaster’s club benefits us all in offering us both inspiring moments and a great means to cultivate communication skills through public speaking. My two years’ experience with the club has helped me become a much more confident speaker, though I still get butterflies in my stomach every time I stand in front of an audience. However, I would like to make sure that the efforts I put into the toastmaster’s experiences will bear fruit in a slow, yet steady manner. My fellow toastmasters’ commitment to self-development always inspires me to face new challenges and I feel very grateful for being a member of this wonderful club.