Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Participate, Practice & Perform

The mantra behind toastmastering is "Participate, Practice and Perform". By actively participating in club meetings and other toastmaster events, we can NOT only learn from our mistakes, but also from others'. Speaking is analogous to swimming. Excellence in swimming is achieved by jumping into the water and not by watching from shore.  Similarly, reading books about communication or watching others talk isn't suffice to improve our communication skills. We need to constantly practice and perform to improve our speaking skills. 

Also read: 

Chennai Toastmasters - A BIG Thanks to YOU
3Rs of a Successful Toastmaster

Distinguished toastmasters achieve success, by years of continued hard work and commitment.  I read a story about Socrates recently, which was an eye opener. A young man asked Socrates the secret of success. Socrates told the young man to meet him near the river the next morning. They met. Socrates asked the young man to walk with him into the river. When the water got up to their neck, Socrates took the young man by surprise and swiftly ducked him into the water. 

The boy struggled to get out but Socrates was strong and kept him there until the boy started turning blue. Socrates pulled the boy’s head out of the water and the first thing the young man did was to gasp and take a deep breath of air.

Socrates asked him, "what did you want the most when you were there?" The boy replied, "Air". Socrates said, "That is the secret of success! When you want success as badly as you wanted the air, then you will get it! There is no other secret". Isn't this true for Toastmasters also? We need to have the burning desire to excel in communication and leadership. Burning desire to excel will translate to commitment and consistence which will in-turn guarantee success in Toastmasters.

Do you want to be a successful speaker/leader? Do you want to be a Distinguished Toastmaster? You should get started now, with your journey!! Participate, Practice and Perform …
Published in SpeakOut on July 2010

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