It has just been one and a half years that I have joined a Toastmasters club. Though I had known and heard about it from many of my friends who are Toastmasters, I never took the initiative. A long-time back, a veteran Toastmaster once told me, “Just attend one meeting and you will know what Toastmasters is all about.” I kept postponing that one meeting for years until last year when I pulled up my courage to attend one meeting of Bodhi Toastmaster club. And here I am now enjoying not only the weekly meetings of our club but also taking the opportunity to visit other clubs whenever my time allows me.
At Bodhi, we are all educationist that meet every week. The main objective of joining the club was to break the monotony of our work and meet fellow Principals and talk about something very different and chill out. We laugh, enjoy, go out, and at the same time learn to improve ourselves. As I took up different roles in our club meetings, in no time I was pulled up to the ex com and given the responsibility of VPPR. This motivated me further to visit more clubs and learn from fellow Toastmasters. I took an active part in Area, Division and District events. With my active involvement in various clubs, I have recently been given the responsibility of Area A1 Club Growth Director. I not only developed communication skills but also developed leadership skills.
I think I have developed myself as a good Public Relations Officer and am networking with various professionals apart from educationists. I have learned to collaborate, use digital literacy, work in teams, take up leadership roles, evaluate others, mentor colleagues, and be a better communicator. I have learned to be a good listener and now I have the patience to listen to my students, teachers, staff, my daughters and most importantly to my wife, very patiently.
In this short time, I have visited almost all of the Toastmasters Club in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, and Dharan. I wish to have visited all the clubs in Nepal very soon. Recently, I was in South India and took this opportunity to visit Vellore Toastmasters Club which is a part of District 82. I had a completely new experience of how a meeting could be conducted. I think that visiting other clubs broadens your outlook and allows you to learn something different.
My message to all my fellow toastmasters is, when you have an opportunity knocking your door, raise your hands and grab the experience. It takes only a second to raise your hand from down here to up there. In our careers and life ahead, it is not only what we do that matters but also what diversity we bring in our lives. I am sure that Toastmasters is a journey that you will not regret.
Chandrayan P. Shrestha, VPPR, Bodhi Toastmasters Club