DTM Suman Shakya


District Parliamentarian D41

The Journey Continues…

There is a District 41 ‘Expand Award’ encouraging clubs to add members and split into two. Both clubs get awarded. In Nepal, we did one better as Division ‘A’ last year (2019-20). We created 3 Divisions by adding 17 clubs to the base of 18!

Since Toastmasters started in 1991, it took 18 years for 18 clubs to be established. Thereafter, in a single year, 17 clubs were added (technically 18 but one succumbed to Covid-19 pandemic challenges). It proved the momentum that was built after joining District 41 in 2017, helped accelerate the growth of clubs in Nepal.

This term (2020-21) too, the journey continues. Led by three brilliant leaders – Majestic Moon Pradhan, DTM, Awesome Anish Dixit and Amazing Avish Acharya – and their team of Area Directors, Toastmasters movement in Nepal are in safe hands. They have understood that cooperating collectively as a team, collaborating closely while being confidently competitive does bear positive results.

Visiting Toastmasters in-person or virtually, to meetings in Nepal, have lauded the quality of members in their ability to communicate. A conscious effort made over the years to make club meeting experience engaging and motivating have borne fruit. Proper preparation by speakers according to the objectives and insightful feedback by seasoned evaluators has time and again proved to be the backbone of growth for clubs in Nepal.

Joining the District has offered more leadership opportunities. While members have grabbed their chances to develop as a leader, there is a growing sense of possible derailment to Toastmasters journey as a speaker. Increasing number of events, contests and connecting to a wider group globally sidesteps the primary individual goal of improving public speaking. Hopefully, my fears are misplaced.

I personally chose the District Parliamentarian, when given an opportunity to serve at the District 41 leadership team this term. I hope to improve the quality of Council and Committee meetings by introducing Parliamentary procedures not just at the District level but also at the Division, Area and possibly Club Executive Committee meetings as well.

To prepare ourselves to function as a District, a dream we harbor publicly, a virtual Toastmasters Nepal Country Office has been formed. A chosen team oversees the larger effort to ensure quality, prepare pipeline of prospective clubs, manage public relations and smoothly operate the administration. This team hopes to provide consistent and seamless Toastmasters experience throughout the 3 Divisions.

Both tasks mentioned above are tall ask no doubt. If the goal does not look challenging, perplexing and stimulating enough, it is not worth the determination. I extend my good wishes to the 3 Division Directors who will drive Toastmasters movement in Nepal this term. In my own way, I will continue to contribute to the growth. The journey continues.