EY Toastmasters Youth Leadership Programme

This is a blog written by a participant of EY Toastmasters Youth Leadership programme, recently held at El Shaddai. The programme’s last meeting will be on the 7th March 2012.

 WEEK 1

Honestly , joining Toastmasters was one of the last things on my mind when I was planning this year.

Although I’m an extrovert and I love being around people, having to perform a speech in front of people is the most nerve-wrecking thing possible for me.

Only after I sat down for the first evening , did it dawn on me that I had actually signed up.

I was incredibly nervous because for some reason in my mind I thought that the instructors would force me to stand up and do a speech in front of everyone and I’d just stand there like a mess not knowing what to say or do. However as soon as Loyd started his introduction speech I immediately felt much calmer.

His personality was so striking and I was instantly engaged with what he was saying. During the evening we were given a presentation about the overall course and did a few unprepared introduction speeches about one another which was very relaxed and amusing. Later on Sandra told us an enjoyable speech about herself which she later explained some of us would be doing the following week.  Every step and detail was explained to us so that we knew exactly what it was that we needed to do.

I left toastmasters that evening feeling completely excited and couldn’t wait for the next Wednesday.

WEEK 2

I had anxiously been waiting all week for this Wednesday to come.

I had especially tried to get as much homework done at school so that I could fully enjoy the evening and just relax.

It was quite odd when I arrived because half the students were calmly chatting to one another while others paced around nervously reciting their speeches.

Thankfully my speech was only due the next week but I still felt sympathy for this weeks speakers.

The evening was called to order and we all sat down to an educational about how to perform an evaluation speech.

Once again I felt very at ease because everything was explained very well and both Loyd and Sandra would help all the evaluators prepare their speeches.

After the educational we listened to all the prepared speeches and then took a break. Towards the end of the break was when all the evaluators met to prepare their speeches.

I must admit that I was rather nervous for mine, but Loyd’s preparation help me to see it as if I was just giving friendly advice to a friend.

I think the evening was very successful and I left inspired for my own speech.

WEEK 3

This week was very different from the previous two. I could now relate with last weeks speakers for I was growing increasingly nervous.

It was group 2’s turn to feel the pressure. Honestly I can’t remember much up until it was my turn to speak, anything that occurred before was just a white blur.

As soon as I was up front my mouth went dry, my hands shook and it felt as if my throat was tightening. However when I glanced up at the audience I felt a lot better.

Everyone was just so civilised and keen to hear what you had to say, I saw no judgement or mockery in their eyes.

So I proceeded with my speech and felt great relief when everyone smiled as I went to sit down.

Throughout the evening during different speeches various mistakes were made yet everyone was so encouraging and respectful and that is what has made this experience so wonderful to me so far. After the break Group 1 did their evaluations. Sandra performed a gesture speech which group one would do the following week.

I left toastmasters that evening feeling refreshed and proud of myself and my friends. It hadn’t been the train smash as I thought it would be.

Kaylin