I have never been good at any games, not even computer games. When my friends would level up all the time, I would struggle in level 1 or level 2 and eventually lose interest in the game. So when I joined Toastmasters, and learned about the pathways program, the same fear gripped me. Like the games where I sucked, the pathways program also had levels. And like in the games, you needed to clear some hurdles and obstacles to Level Up.

The hurdles and obstacles in the Toastmasters Pathways program though, unlike games, are real life hurdles, such as fear of speaking and struggling to channel your thoughts. These real life hurdles are like barriers to level up not only in the Pathways program but also in both personal and professional life settings. As a result, this was even more unsettling and unnerving.

However, what I have found at Toastmasters is the collective will to help you succeed and remove these hurdles. Right from the first meeting, I was encouraged to take roles and speak. This gave me confidence to start giving speeches as well. In the 9 months that I have been a member at Tourism Toastmasters club, I have completed my Level 2 in the Visionary Communication Path, given 7 speeches as per the pathways manual and also participated in two area level contests representing my home club.

What I have learnt in this time is that every Toastmaster project helps you understand yourself, which makes you more self aware and also helps you figure out how to best approach a real life problem. I am convinced that as I level up in my Pathways journey, I am also levelling up as a better communicator, a better leader, and a better human being in my real life.

So to all my fellow Toastmasters: Let’s level up, not only in pathways but also in all aspects of our lives. 

Amod Niraula, Tourism Toastmasters 

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