a ToastMaster now :-)

Hey folks, whats going on? Congratulations to all those who have admits with them and very best of luck to all those waitlisted folks. I know how it feels being waitlisted. I will definitely be joining you all in the next season.

This post is to inform you all about the ToastMaster. Recently, I decided to join the ToastMaster Club of my office. Unfortunately, the offices of Oracle are widely scattered across Bangalore and to my bad luck, we don’t have the club running at our office then. I joined the club 3.5 months back, used to walk down for 3 miles once in a week for 1 hour session. Meantime, I gave my Project One Speech – IceBreaker. I, also, took up various roles such as Toastmaster, Table Topics Master and Grammarian. At the same time, I realized I have a lot of TM enthusiasts in my office building too (my office has close to 1000 employee strength) but the only reason they don’t join is because none of them wanted to go to another building for an 1 -hour session. I thought of putting the idea in front of the Central Committee of the Toastmaster Club of Oracle. Trust me when I say it is not easy to convince people especially when they have seen similar events dying their natural death in the past. By consistent and factful presentation of the idea, the central committee gave a green signal to the idea for a 3 month trial basis with a condition that I have to get 15 sincere and committed members for the TM club in order to run the office club running smoothly.

We started with a bang. I took the whole responsibility of managing and organizing the opening session. I wanted to leave a mark so that people get the idea why should they become a TM. Fortunately enough, when the first mailer went, a Consulting Director approached me to lend a hand because he has been a TM for 16 years with ATM Silver certification under his belt. I felt like winning the qualifying race. I, immediately, convinced him to give an introductory, inspirational speech of his own experiences of being a TM. A lot of new joinees, also, joined for organizing the session. You know how it goes: Fresh Blood is always eager to get himself dirty while the OLD tries to stick to one thing only. I roped in an experienced  speaker from the other office to deliver a demo speech and so does his evaluator. All was well planned. We sent emailers to the office employers in order to keep the curiosity and enthusiasm high.

Just before the D-day, when we met in the evening for the final checklist, we found out that one of the volunteers fell sick and thus, the responsibility of putting up the posters at each floor for marketing purposes, has not been done yet, Immediately, we took print-outs but by that, it was 8.30 PM. I instructed the facility officer to get the posters at each floor up by the early morning. Also, I instructed the facility officer to get some more chairs and water bottles for the session at the conference room.

When I came to the office the next day at around 10 am, I was surprised to find that the posters were still not up. I had to immediately rush to meet the facility officer and the posters were made available at the cafeterias and notice boards in 1 hour. At the scheduled time, the turn out was exceptionally good – almost close to 50+ people and the feedback of the opening session was just awesome. 26 people showed interest in the club and I am expecting their membership and coordination to run the club at my office successfully.

One thing for sure, whether an event becomes successful, depends on various factors some of them out of our control. I have been involved in hell lot of events starting from university convocations, social events to office events. But there is one thing in common: I cannot change the way people thing but then I can definitely try my best to make people think for some time. I cannot make their decisions but I can  definitely influence their decisions. And if we do our job to the best of our resources and ability, we can force them to rethink their decisions. Initiating the TM sessions at my office building was just yet another attempt towards it. Wish me Luck that this initiative carries on and I could manage to improve not only myself but also few other people around me.

Meanwhile, I continue to go to the office building also so that I could learn more and I prefer to give my speeches there so that I can guide the people back at my office. One more suggestion to all my fellow applicants, people who know and who don’t know about ToastMaster International, please go and enroll, It is an amazing place to improve mutual public speaking and trust me whether we get an admit or not, its going to be a treasure in the our own treasure hunts called Life, where we hunt for our unique most brightest gem. Getting an MBA degree is not only about changing individual’s life but also about making an effect in the live of few others around us. So, don’t hesitate to take risks and initiatives even though you may see Hell lot of obstacles ahead down the road. Good Luck!!!

Few Links about ToastMaster International:

1. Official Website: http://www.toastmasters.org/

2. Wikipedia Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toastmasters

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