June 2014 saw a new me, determined, dedicated, and daring when finally, after observing a few Toastmasters meeting at Himalaya Hotel and Yalamaya Kendra for Everest Toastmasters, I finally took an oath. I had some bigger dreams- a leadership role already in hand then serving many Professional Accountants from South Asia and the Middle East and raising their voice to ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, UK) as International Assembly member. 

With the priceless experience from Toastmasters that enhanced my communication and leadership style, I tried something which a fellow member from my region had never tried in global front- running for Global council election for ACCA. It was a tough, taxing, and tedious trial with plenty of loops to be connected and numerous dots to be joined. 

 “Life is full of blessings and it’s an honor to live and lead a meaningful life” my late father’s legacy inspired me to give back to the community and mankind. Mid-November 2017, I collected my bags and flew to London to see many ACCA members for their support and to also attend the first AGM of ACCA in person.

Exactly a year earlier, during my International Assembly meeting in London, on a cold and cloudy morning, I had visited the ACCA Toastmasters club in Central London and even bagged Better Table Topic speaker award. During my election campaign, my enhanced persuasive speech skill, Project 9 “Persuade with Power” from the Competent Communication manual, came handy. I was in the same Deloitte Building 5th floor ACCA Toastmasters meeting delivering a 10-minute educative speech on the “ACCA global council and how to vote.” There I met fellow ACCAs from different parts of the World who were keen listeners. I felt humbled and headstrong when twelve professional accountants/ Toastmasters came to me and assured me that they would vote for me. After listening to my persuasive and passionate speech, they were moved and motivated. Getting elected to the council would have been a heroic win but nevertheless their kind words empowered me to lead, learn, and live a meaningful life.

Biraj Pradhan, President, Professionals Toastmasters

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