” Well done JJ, I saw your name on the student portal”… It was a Wednesday evening and I was walking around Sandton City on my 30 minute break away from an accomplished retail store, I paused and wondered what on God’s green earth would prompt my classmate, Letty to share such a message with me. So I called her to find out what that was about. It turns out I was presenting a research paper in front of the 3rd year politics students and all the lecturers in that department on Friday … My running achievements in high school and varsity did not prepare me for this moment in my life , although I was ready to put on my running shoes to runaway , I stood dead still and let my nerves and heartbeat run wild instead and thus the demand for toastmasters was in dire need.
I eventually found out that there is a club only a hop , jump and skip away from home. I visited the meeting and was completely blown away by the members speaking so boldly and without the aid of notes. I was ready to sign up there and then in 2018.
I was advised that there are a lot more clubs to visit by the wonderful host at the meeting but my decision was firmly set. I gave my ice breaker speech in April and I had my first role in the committee as Vice President of Membership in July .
I must say this made the learning experience extensively more challenging however very rewarding in terms of its implicit outputs. In one year I had worked on my presentation skills ( with generous help from senior members of the club, after evening shifts at work) , met an assortment of different individuals from an array of industries and worked on skills outside of public speaking owing to my club roles outside the meeting.
In July 2019 myself and the wet ears resting on the side of my head, stepped in as president of the club and I have now realised how great the Immediate Past President of Rivonia Toastmasters is for reaching Presidents Distinguished. I have no doubt that the current committee strives to improve on this golden legacy left to our leadership.Taking on the theme #GoodtoGreat. As a proud toastmaster I look forward to many more years of engaging with people, growing the leadership qualities within myself and one day others , enjoying every step of the way with this wonderful community. The journey has only begun.