Toastmasters is Just Waiting for You

Posted March 17, 2015 | 3387 Views

As a child, I developed a competitive spirit. In trying to be my personal best, I was always eager to outdo all my rivals in study, in serving as class committee member and in community activities. After entering the working world, the hectic schedule, the routine plus the complex relations between co-workers made me tactful and accommodating. I buried my fighting spirit deep inside until the day I joined the International Toastmasters, where I found myself again a confident and fearless person, full of positive energy.

Among the numerous Toastmasters’ activities, my favorite is the bi-annual competition. As long as one’s speech is well-written and the delivery is compelling, one can move through the different levels of the competition, going all the way to the final global competition. As a person who desires spiritual riches, the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that the stage can bring is addictive.
       
The 2014 autumn competition commenced in August. The competition encompassed clubs in region 85, which covers both north and east China, and culminated at the beginning of November in Qingdao. The competition included three contest categories. I chose the English evaluation contest, which I’m most familiar with, and the Chinese humorous speech contest, which surprised all my friends. I had never once tried Chinese humorous speech, but Toastmasters is the place to challenge myself and make the impossible possible. The key point was that there was no risk. The worst result would be losing the game, and that’s not a disgrace at all!
       
For the English evaluation contest, I didn’t need to prepare a lot since it’s an impromptu speech competition, which depends most on the daily practice. But the Chinese humorous speech competition required a prepared speech, which entailed a lot of time and effort. The champion of the previous competition told me that only when the speaker talks about the subject that he/she knows best, will he/she sound confident and sincere. It didn’t take me long to decide to talk about the love between my husband and me, and the title was “What on Earth is the Love?” The challenge was that I didn’t think I had much of a sense of humor, so I wasn’t sure how to make audience laugh. Fortunately, there are a lot of competent people in Toastmasters, so I turned to them for help. I contacted eight club members, who gave me practical advice and added a lot of humorous elements to my first draft. I was deeply touched by these people. I became friends with some of them from working on the speech. Some of them were contestants in the same competition, but we gave advice to each other without reservation. I was impressed by their sincere contribution without expecting any economic return or commitment. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, my fellow Toastmasters!

I did a good job and made it to the autumn regional competition. On the big stage in Qingdao, I delivered my speech in a very relaxed manner, since it was no longer a competition for me, but a moment to give my thanks. I shared what love is and what sincere feelings and mutual support mean to me.

Through the competition, I have harvested heavy trophies, but also sincere friendship. In Toastmasters, we deliver speeches and give comments; we take part in competitions, and we help each other! I like the feeling of being together with everyone and sincerely hope that you can join us!

I am Ni-Ni Zhao. I’m FedEx!

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