Thinking Out Loud

Toastmasters and my Project 1 Speech

November 02, 2013

Working moms probably can relate with me when I say that having a baby is like stepping on a brake, but as soon as the little child is bit ready, the mother goes back working to realize there's much to catch up on. This happened to me, and to say, personal development was one I wanted to work on.

So I joined a speech club here in the desert, and gave my project one speech. My tone was a bit serious, and I guess it was affected by the speech projects I read online prior to doing it. Speak about tone imitation :-)

It would have been great if I had a video of myself to look back to later to check my progress. Writing the text here is a lot different than when spoken in front of people. There's the butterflies, stammering, tension showing.

In this speech, I guess I was fine with my voice modulation for a start, a bit on use of stage, and I managed eye contact. My downs though were I glanced on my notes once in a while for my sequence, and that I started with, "I'm sorry I am nervous!". Stating that one is nervous is a big NO :-) 

For my record, TM Petrous evaluated me.

... and here goes, Competent Communication Project 1, August 2013:

"Good evening fellow Toastmasters, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I one of the more than 700,000 Filipinos currently in the UAE  today. Four days ago, I marked my ninth year since I first stepped on Terminal 1 of Dubai International Airport.

You see, earlier, admitting how long I had been here in the UAE was something I always avoided because it always triggers the next question “What had I achieved so far?” 

I was then 24 years old when I told my parents I’m leaving home for the UAE. In my heart, it was because I wanted to make a difference for my family, and if I can do more, also to my community. I wanted to treat and bring my parents to as many places around the world because all their lives, they just work and spend for us their seven children.  And if I still have some money to spare, I dreamt  of giving pencils and schoolbags to the less privileged kids in our community.

The next years after that, these goals became only secondary when I married my loving husband and we had our adorable kids.  Our kids had since then topped our list of priorities and goals.

Hugging and playing with two beautiful children strongly makes me want for them to lead beautiful lives. So I asked my self  “Is there more that I can do?” I looked back on my everyday life and saw that I could have done better, if only I have hurdled through my weaknesses early enough.

I work with passion and with high self-motivation, but I partly fail when work entails courage and talking in front of people. Two of my past managers from two separate companies wrote this in my performance review:  Beverly excels in her work but she is shy. She has a lot of knowledge but she seems afraid to share it. Leadership is the next objective she has to work on.

I had been shy since I was a kid. I was then seven years old when I had to take medications because I had persistent nasal discharges. Since then I cannot survive a day without a tissue or hanky to wipe my nose. It seems like it was more of an allergy from the cold weather, because I grew up in the mountains of northern Philippines where it is cold all year round and it rains half of the year. Since then I would isolate myself from my classmates and I had a few playmates because some of them made fun of my situation. In effect, I avoided being in a crowd and I lost chance to develop my self-confidence before people.

This dragged on until I finished university.

When I started looking for work, being shy and soft-spoken was at times to my advantage. I was seen as a team player. But later in my career, it was a disadvantage. I had lost chances of promotions because I have yet to learn how to properly handle situations outside of my comfort zone and deliver results.

Now I am determined to boost my self-confidence around my personal environment and maximize my potential. I am now interested about using makeups, proper dressing, proper manners and now public speaking, among others.  It’s a long way for me, but I should start if I want to achieve even my simple goals for my parents, my kids and even for my community.

In this journey, I am now meeting and recognizing people who, for their achievements I can relate to, are inspiring me to achieve the same. I look forward to that day when I can send them a message to let them know their influence and to thank them.

In summary, I am working to become a better person so I could make a difference in the lives of others. Ultimately, I hope one day I too would be an inspiration."

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