God is Connecting the Dots
On Sept. 23rd, I attended my first Toastmaster meeting at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) after returning from a family reunion in South Carolina. Members of the club were happy to see me, because I was gone for two weeks.
The club meeting wasn’t the same as the others I attended in the past. The meeting was about finding out different ways to bring in people who interested in public speaking and eventually join the club.
The Staff Sponsor was telling me some ideas about how to get college students involved and join the club. For instance, she suggested that money is a problem for students to join the club, and she proposed that the club should have sponsors to help students who want to join. They were also talking about having a social media presence by creating a Twitter account and creating a personal website for the club.
She remembered that I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and she was excited to see me. She explained to me that she was thinking about me while I was away, because she had some ideas which were for me to help the club with its online media presence. She also recommended that I write for the Toastmaster Magazine.
I was asking her questions about what could I write about concerning the club. She said I should start writing about my experience with Toastmasters so far. For example, write about how dynamic and exciting the club is for people interested in public speaking and how the club operates.
The Staff Sponsor also gave me the website where other members from Toastmasters publish their articles and she said that we be good fit for me and I could help the club get more exposure.
On Sept. 30th, I attended the last club meeting of the month, which happened to be during the week the fall semester started at CSUSB. There were a lot of people at the club meeting, many new students attended. The first topic of conversation was for new attendees to come up to the podium and speak about adversities that has been overcome.
I was the first to speak and I talked about my journey of having cancer when I was 14 and 17 years old. When I began talking, I noticed faces started to change, like they couldn’t believe what I was saying, like what I was saying couldn’t be true. I was doing well until I started talking about when the cancer came back at 17 years old at Stage IV and I had to get my right leg amputated.
After I said I had to get my right leg amputated, I froze for a long 10 seconds. During the time I was silent with everybody looking at me. I eventually pulled it together and had a strong conclusion.
When the club meeting was over, people came up to me saying that they liked my story and it was powerful. When I made it home I had time to reflect on my presentation and evaluate the pros and cons of it.
I realized that this was the first time I actually talked about my story in front of a crowd of people I didn’t know. It was a good experience to go through this because I have to become more confident in what I’m talking about.
As of Sept. 30th, I signed up to be a member of Toastmasters at CSUSB. I’m appreciative of how welcoming the club was to me and excited for the journey that is ahead of me.