I never thought there will be a day I can be a capable speaker. Well, not before this day…
It was the Autumn of 2007 and I arrived Vienna for my second year Masters. The club during that time was only one year shy from its 30-year celebrations and having a size of some 30 members. Meeting was conducted in the basement of a hotel every other week. We sit on a long table like in a business conference — face-to-face, with the speaker on one end facing the time keeper on the other. Meeting was divided into two sessions with an hour dinner break in between – nothing that I have seen in other countries doing it, very Viennese must say.
It was in Vienna, I started to learn public speaking…
It was there, I started to learn public speaking with chances to give both prepared and unprepared speeches in realizing that public speaking is fun! I was of course, reluctant to be on the stage when I first started, but slowly, when people pay a little more attention to your speech, laugh a bit harder on your punch lines and even talk about your speech at the dinner table, you know you are onto something that people likes it! Along that, I started to spent less time staring at my script and started to enjoy my time on the stage, it was not an overnight change but one speech at a time!
After leaving the club in 2009 for Hong Kong, I continued following the club developments. By now, another club, the Vienna Speakers Club (VSC) was established in catering more members and both shared the same venue on alternate weeks. I hosted a Table Topics via Skype once, asking members a one-lined question for them to speak for two minutes. I also published an article about my developments in the Toastmasters community in Hong Kong. You can find me here Vienna Speakers Corner No3 and here Vienna Speakers Corner No5.
Vienna Toastmasters Club shaped my public speaking skills and leadership skills
I wish I did wrote something about my Toastmaster experience when I was still in Vienna. Looking back, it was magical in discovering new abilities outside of my academic zone. My Toastmasters journey did not end from there but rather, opened up new avenues in trying new things like leading a club and even four clubs (an Area) to grow these clubs to groom further speakers and leaders to come. It was a great journey so far and what I like the most is to hang around with very inspiring people and listening to great speech that sounds like music to my ears – a symphony of inspiring stories!