Meet Our Buddy: Allecia

Notes from the editor: Allecia has been a devoted member to our club since day one. Engaging in our various forms of communication platform such as Slack, Buddies website and our weekly meetings. I feel thankful to be part of and watch the impact she’s had in our club and where our community can support her achieving her goals and aspirations. Now it’s time to learn a tiny bit more about this wonderful human being.

Allecia

Where are you from?

Chicago, IL United States of America

Where do you live?

Chicago, IL United States of America

What are your top 3 favorite activities?

  1. Enjoying time with family and friends
  2. Watching classic movies
  3. Reading historical fiction or medical mysteries

What brought you to Toastmasters?

My job requires a lot of public speaking, and I want to improve

Why Buddies?

Its an online group that generally fits into my schedule. Also, I’ve grown to really like the people!

How much have you grown since your first Toastmaster meeting?

Its hard to say, as it has only been since the middle of October.

How is Toastmasters helping you in life?

I appreciate the structure and the discipline to help me succeed.

Who are your top 3 favorite speakers?

  1. Maya Angelou
  2. Barak Obama
  3. Colin Powell

What’s your top 3 favorite speeches?

  1. Maya Angelou’s speech to the 1992 Graduating Class of 1992 at Spelman College titled “Look Where He’s Brought Us From”
  2. Barack Obama’s keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004
  3. Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole’s speech at 2016 Diversity Inc Top 50 Keynote

What kind of communicator and leader do you want to become?

  1. I want to inspire people to be their best selves at all times
  2. I want to make complex concepts simple to understand
  3. I want to use the power of story, simile, and metaphor along with mental visualization to create memorable tools to have a meaningful impact on the day to day lives of others

Where do you think you can go with Toastmasters in 12 months ahead?

I hope to be halfway through the requirements for my DTM at that time.

Habit of reading books

I knew like that reading books is very important. However, I never liked reading. I hated reading. But then one of my friends mentioned to me that I speak well but by reading I can improve the quality of my speech. He also suggested me a book. The book was title “The Leader who had no Title”. I started reading it. But as I mentioned that I did not like reading my mind would wander off just after reading 1-2 pages. Either I would be distracted by mobile or my own thoughts. I definitely believe that reading on e-devices is a bad idea. So, I would keep mobile out of my reach in silent mode and would try to focus and not get lost in my own thoughts. It required time patience but after I read more and more I realized that there are lot of things that I need to learn.I never liked self-help books because I thought I heard enough preaching and I wouldn’t find something new. But I was totally wrong. After reading my first  book I felt that my mind was hungry for information and amazingly I wanted to read more. I felt that like reading more because now I literally felt that my mind was behaving like a sponge and wanted more. I also felt that negative thoughts were less in my mind now as I have other informative things in my mind and I was focusing more on them.In one month I have read four books and I want to read more because I feel that now I am knowledge hungry. When I am free I don’t like to listed to random Youtube videos. Now I feel high by gaining knowledge from books or podcasts or informative youtube videos. I suggest everyone to cultivate this habit of reading books which might look very difficult in today’s world of distraction but you start it you will repent that why you didn’t do it earlier.

Meet Our Buddy: Irfan Ghaffar

Where are you from?

I was born in Pakistan.

Where do you live?

I live in Saudi Arabia.

What are your top 3 favorite activities?

My favorite activities are playing tennis, cricket and walking.

What brought you to Toastmasters?

I want to improve my public speaking skills.

Why Buddies?

I heard that Toastmasters club is the best place to improve public speaking skills. I googled online toastmasters club and selected Buddies because of its convenient timing. I found it better than my expectation because of professional meeting environment and nice and helpful buddies.

How much have you grown since your first Toastmaster meeting?

I have gain some confidence since I joined the club. I learned from the feedback about my weaknesses which I need to work on.

How is Toastmasters helping you in life?

It is a practice environment and people are from diverse backgrounds who are helping each other to improve and learn. This learning through teamwork is very helpful.

Who are your top 3 favorite speakers?

  • Steve Jobs
  • Martin Luther King
  • Barack Obama

What’s your top 3 favorite speeches?

I like all speeches of Steve Jobs. I am listing four favourite speeches below.

What kind of communicator and leader do you want to become?

I want to learn all style. However persuasive style is my favorite.

Where do you think you can go with Toastmasters in 12 months ahead?

I think I will be significantly better speaker in 12 months time.

Irfan Ghaffar

The Habitual Speaker

I’ve been wanting to create some good habits and ditch the bad ones as I looked back on the past year and realized how many of the bad ones I still struggled to detach from for years.

I just finished reading a great book on habits and am now thinking about how to build habits around improving as a speaker and leader. Although the book touches on a variety of examples around athletic training, specially olympians, whose lives are devoted to master very specific skills with the goal of reaching their peak performance. It wasn’t hard to imagine how to apply it on communication and leadership, something that I’ve been pursuing more purposefully for about 2 years now.

The book goes in much more detail about habits that I can ever share here in this tiny post, but the main one that stuck out to me the most is the four laws for building of breaking habits:

If the sound of that interests you, I recommend you check out the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, and dive deeper into it.

When it comes to communication and leadership, specially Toastmasters and the places we might be focusing on implementing it. It can be easy for some people to aim for harder to build habits because they sound really good, though it doesn’t take long to start missing a day or two, as life unfolds and other things get our attention.

If I were to align the laws of good habit creation with Toastmasters, I’d say online meetings are the most obvious way it can get when it comes to honing your public speaking and leadership skills. Attractiveness can be based on the kind of people who are part of the same club that you aspire to be. Where if you join those meetings, you’ll more likely keep learning from those great inspiring and amazing speakers. Then, even if sometimes you don’t have the “perfect” speech prepared, you can still and should make the act of joining just for the sake of speaking on easier situations, even if it’s taking a smaller role that maybe you think it’s not as hard to you anymore, say the Timer or volunteering to answer a quick Table Topics question. As for making it satisfying, try to have as much fun with yourself as you can. There’s no right or wrong, good or bad when you’re in such a supportive and friendly environment as Toastmasters. Maybe you can tell yourself that you’ll go for a nice meal right after the meeting is over, or pull someone to the side and chat more about your goals and their goals, so you can keep learning from each other and building a stronger connection with your buddies and so on 🙂

These are just some quick examples I explored while sitting down to write this post, though I’m sure there are countless ways you can make the habit of joining your next club meeting without dreading it, and yet, even if you do. As the book teaches, we should go for it anyways because when building good habits, it’s important to suck up the “bad” or “boring” days and do it anyways, because the moment you stop doing something, it’s no longer a habit.

Meet Our Buddy: Hasitha

Interviewer Note: Hasitha is a member full of will and makes sure to get a chance to speak whenever he joins our weekly meetings. It’s great to get to know him more and get a sense of where he’s at on his journey and later on look back to see how far he was able to grow as a communicator and leader. I’m grateful to see Hasitha supporting our club as a member and can’t wait to hear more from his next speeches.

Where are you from?

Sri Lanka

Where do you live?

Sri Lanka

What are your top 3 favorite activities?

Playing Cricket, Reading books, Traveling

What brought you to Toastmasters?

fear of speaking

Why Buddies?

Friendly and helpful members on the club

How much have you grown since your first Toastmaster meeting?

50%

How is Toastmasters helping you in life?

office meeting its very helpful

Who are your top 3 favorite speakers?

• Peter D’Almeida

• Dananjaya Hettiarachchi

• Jack Ma

What’s your top 3 favorite speeches?

• An Ounce of Consciousness Is Worth a Ton of Creativity

• Dananjaya Hettiarachchi World Champion of Public Speaking 2014 – Full Speech

• GREATEST SUCCESS STORY

What kind of communicator and leader do you want to become?

CEO of my current company

Where do you think you can go with Toastmasters in 12 months ahead?

yes