My journey with Toastmasters International started back in December 2014, when I finished my Master’s degree in Public Policy (in Seoul, South Korea). I was a very shy person and lacked confidence. I had poor interviewing skills, even poorer communication skills (both spoken and written), and no public speaking abilities. Despite that, I still believed that I was good at them. A friend suggested that I attend a Toastmasters meeting and give it a try. I am very happy that I did.
I decided to attend Melbourne University Toastmasters in February 2015, as I wanted to be with my peers (young people from university, despite having already graduated), instead of other Toastmasters clubs that I assumed would consist mainly of “experienced, older” adults. From the first meeting, I tried to get involved with other people for the round robin and table topics. I could see that I was a terrible speaker: I lacked eye contact, had no body movements, and was saying too many discourse particles. There was no structure to my impromptu speaking whatsoever. I soon started to learn from the positive critical feedback and constant practice. Toastmasters was not only the key to my success in becoming a good public speaker, but it gave me the confidence to believe in myself in front of a crowd.
How far you have come:
For me, it seems like a while ago since I first started. Well, counting from my first Toastmasters meeting to now, it has been approximately 2 years that I have been with Toastmasters International.
I had been with Melbourne University Toastmasters (MUTM) in Melbourne for 6 months, before becoming part of High Intensity Training (H.I.T.) Toastmasters in Santiago (Chile) for 8 months and returning to Melbourne to join 4 Toastmasters clubs. I became an officer in 3 of them. I am also Area Director of R34, which includes Ringwood, Croydon, Whitehorse, and Yarra Valley Water Toastmasters.
What you have achieved in that time:
I have helped MUTM club to achieve 6 DCP goals so far in 2016/2017 which is high.
What your future plans might be:
[Editor’s note: D73 News plans on augmenting this article with links to resources related to the elements of Luka’s article.]