Open House meeting with President-Elect

Toastmasters in Finland were honored to host the energetic and inspiring Mr. Deepak Menon, DTM, President-Elect on Tuesday, November 13 for a special Open House meeting.

What secret? Do we dare to share it?

“Shhh. Shhh. I know a secret!” Deepak Menon, DTM, President-Elect of Toastmasters International started his inspiring speech about his journey in Toastmasters. He said that what you don’t know about, you don’t miss. He had never heard of Toastmasters until 2002 when he had an uncle encourage him to join a meeting. He wasn’t interested at all! After all, he could speak. He was born speaking. His uncle pestered him for months and months, sharing meeting details with him week after week. Finally he gave in and went to a meeting. All went well, he felt welcomed and enjoyed the meeting, but still didn’t think it was something he could benefit from. Until…he was asked to participate in the meeting and speak for 1 to 2 minutes. Table topics! He remembers his hands starting to shake and his feet feeling leaden as he slowly walked up to stammer and mumble through his speech. After sitting down and wiping the sweat from his brow he realized that he still had a lot to learn about public speaking and decided to join.

Toastmasters in India has been transformed in the time that Deepak has been a member. His home club was the only club in New Delhi and there were only 6 clubs in all of India in 2002. Now there are over 850 clubs across the country and about 100 new clubs forming every year! Why the successful growth? Toastmasters is the secret, but it is now being shared. Deepak says Toastmasters can be a life changing experience and it helps people’s lives, careers and relationships in so many ways. You can gain skills that no school, university or college can teach. In addition to public speaking and leadership skills, some examples of skills members in the audience shared that they have learned in Toastmasters are: confidence, empathy, giving and receiving feedback, calmness, and time management.  You can learn how to go from being led, to being a leader, from a lone player to a team player, from a problem to a solution. Deepak says he was transformed, reborn with the skills he learned in Toastmasters. He says, don’t keep it a secret. Ask friends, family and colleagues to join.  Start now.

15 years ago when he joined he never imagined that he would one day be the president of the club of more than 340,000 members all over the world. Or be in Finland in November giving a speech. Who knows where each of us will be in 15 years? President? World Champion of public speaking? Deepak shared that by jumping in with both feet and committing to growing and learning through Toastmasters, anything is possible. The return on investment in Toastmasters can be called a reward on investment. We are rewarded when we wholly participate. He asked us, “Don’t you want everyone to have that life-changing experience?”

Tell your story, tell what being a part of this organization has done for you.

Don’t keep it a secret any longer.

Ann Marie Morrow, Area B2 Director


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