Communication is what keeps us connected to the world and is becoming increasingly important in our personal as well as professional lives. Possessing effective communication skills plays a very important role in expressing our thoughts.
At RMSI, many of us meet new people each day at various forums – from client presentations and one-on-one meetings to addressing groups and networking events. Now imagine that you need to present your project work or put forth a sales pitch – a lot of your success depends on your speaking and presentation style. Sounds like a cakewalk? May be not! Speaking without a written script and still keeping the listener interested is not an easy task. Some of us may be good at it, while some others may cower by the mere thought of it.
With this mission of removing stage-fright and enhancing confidence in public speaking skills of our people, ‘RMSI NOIDA Toastmasters Club’ was incorporated in association with Toastmasters International. The club began its journey in November 2016 with 20 members, and has been progressing since then!
Toastmasters International is a USA-headquartered not-for-profit organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping its members improve their communication and leadership skills. Through its member clubs, the organization offers an everlasting program consisting interesting communication and leadership projects designed to help people hone the art of speaking, listening, and thinking. Throughout its 90-year old history, Toastmasters has served over four million people, and today the organization serves over 3.5 lakh members in over 140 countries, through its 16 thousand member clubs.
Our corporate club runs entirely as per the established mandate and prescribed manuals. Every Thursday at 4:00 pm, the club conducts its meeting where selected speakers deliver their prepared as well as impromptu speeches, which are then evaluated by selected members voluntarily. Not just that, the club has been hosting speeches from award-winning Toastmasters around Delhi-NCR and Dehradun in order to enhance the quality of its members.
Every meeting has a structured format, with various members participating in different roles in the meetings. The meeting is run by a ‘Toastmaster of the Day’ with the help of a ‘Table Topics Master’ and a ‘General Evaluator’. The General Evaluator has a team of voluntary role-players who check the grammar/vocabulary used, time taken within prescribed limits, fillers used for continuation of speech etc. These activities make each and every session effective yet interesting.
There are three basic parts in the Toastmasters meeting: the prepared speeches, table topics, and evaluation. In the ‘prepared speaking’ section, several Toastmasters give a prepared presentation/speech before the audience. Speeches are usually designed to meet the requirements as spelled out in the communication manual. ‘Table Topics’ is an extemporaneous speaking exercise where the speaker speaks ‘off the cuff’ i.e. the speaker responds to a question or topic that is not known beforehand. The Table Topics Master presents the topic, calls on an individual, who has 1 to 2 minutes to respond. This is the most interesting part of the meeting where the members train their mind to think ‘on-the-foot’, however, keep the speech simple yet effective while expressing themselves on random abstract topics.
The evaluation session is where feedback is provided to all members, including the speakers. The evaluation session is headed by a General Evaluator who calls on individual speech evaluators to give a 2 to 3-minute evaluation of a delivered speech/presentation. After the round of evaluation, the General Evaluator calls for the other reports such the Grammarian, Timer, Filler Counter etc. These meetings play a significant role in grooming the members, and prepare them to participate in the various speech contests and related events.
In a short duration since its inception, members from RMSI NOIDA Toastmaster’s Club have won accolades and awards at various events at Area and District levels. The Club’s President – Divjot Kaur has brought home laurels at the area-level International Speech contest for the ‘Prepared Speech’ category, whereas the Vice President of the club – Shreyasi Choudhury, bagged the first position in the ‘Table Topics’, at the same contest, in March 2017. In another contest held in September 2017, after winning the area-level competitions, Divjot Kaur, and another prolific RMSI Toastmaster, Wrick Hom Choudhury participated in the Division level contest and they both bagged the 2nd runner-up in Evaluation Speech and Humorous speech respectively. The club has also been recognized as the ‘Select Distinguished Club’ by achieving seven DCP (Distinguished Club Program) goals in its very first term which is a commendable feat in itself.
So far, it has been an exciting journey for the members of the club. They are enthusiastic, eager to learn and take up new challenges with each session at the club. Our members have successfully built their self-confidence and they can speak without hesitation. We look forward to garnering more achievements, and making RMSI NOIDA Toastmasters the talk-of-the-Toastmasters town!