Archives for category: Toastmasters

How do we gain more confidence? How important is confidence to us? Why is confidence necessary?

I delivered my seventh prepared speech last night at Toastmasters, with a project “Research your topic” from our Competent Communicator Manual. I linked my personal story into my speech as people are able to relate to true stories and get captured by them. Talking about a personal matter can be daunting on stage, yet I am free to talk about my personal matters because I am authentic. I have set myself free from shame that I had picked up from my dysfunctional family set up.

I talked about my dysfunctional family set up in my speech and having the freedom and courage to do so, sets me free to live for myself, instead of others. In my speech, I spoke about “Without authenticity, there can be no intimacy” as Shirley Smith wrote in her book “Behind Closed Doors”. I read this book after my long distance Aussie sweetheart sent it to me back in February 2016. The author’s information was very educational and I learned how to create more intimacy with my sweetheart. What a bonus for both of us!

set yourself free

“We are only as sick as our secrets” Shirley Smith writes in her book “Behind Closed Doors”. Whilst she does not encourage us to air our dirty laundry to the public, she does encourage us to be authentic and this sets us free to being a prisoner of what others think or say about us. Having a solid personal foundation is the secret ingredient to being authentic.

I gained many valuable tools to build my personal foundation from the ground up after I began listening to Jim Rohn, who became my mentor after I was introduced to personal development in June 2011. I had a very weak and vulnerable foundation from being born in a very dysfunctional family. Gradually, from investing daily time on working hard on myself, I began on building my foundation, from the ground up. Almost six years later, my solid personal foundation is serving me very well with every aspect of my life.

I am able to focus on meeting my needs, wants and desires as mentioned in Shirley Smith’s book “Behind Closed Doors” for a solid personal foundation. I am totally focused on working on my goals due to eliminating toxic and negative people from my life.  I no longer entertain toxicity or negativity. I live in a positive bubble. I have my set of values that I live by.

I am finally free to live my life the way I want to. I am living for me, no matter what others say or think of me. I am free to be who and what I was born to be. Having no more limiting beliefs is such a light and free heaven to live in. I am thoroughly enjoying living my life to the max because I set myself free to the unspoken, unreasonable and unrealistic expectations of who and what I am expected to be. It is vital to have the freedom to live our own lives the way we want to, without any limiting restrictions. Then and only then, are we finally free, free as a bird to do what we always wanted to do, whenever we want, with whoever we want.

This is where I am at with my life. Free as a bird, soaring up and high, into the sky.

I see many people in my circle of influence from my own community who are imprisoned by their dysfunctional family set up. They have lost their true self, their authenticity and they are all very sick. I am blessed to be free from sickness now. No more dysfunction. I have a very healthy relationship with myself because of my authenticity. Shame caged me into a box, a trap, where I felt tired, drained and was extremely sick. Nowadays, it is such a contrast.

Confidence is having the freedom to do whatever we want, within reason, with our own lives, without the need to constantly be tied to what others say or think about us, about what we do, what we wear, where we live or work, who we choose to be friends with or who we marry. Confidence is knowing clearly what we need, want and desire, then taking charge of meeting those needs, wants and desires. Confidence is having clear set values. These are the secret ingredients to our solid personal foundation.

I am feeling hyper, energetic and excited to be able to enjoy living each day with some craziness as I have so much fun with my inner child. I am childlike, playful and passionately curious about things and people around me. I am bringing out my creativity that was once lost. I have found my passions and life is so much more meaningful. Thank you so much to my consistent hard work on enhancing my life each day. Well done me!

be free

The stage at Toastmasters has my name on it. I feel at home whenever I step onto that stage. I speak with passion and bring out my emotions. There is no more shame of what others shall say or think of me when I am delivering a speech at Toastmasters. I know I am good enough. I know I am whole and that is what matters. I am no longer living my life as a prisoner. I have finally “Set Myself Free!”

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Life has a wonderful way of offering surprises to us when we are open to them. As I was heading out to meet a dear old friend from Chinese school on Monday, I had a very random thought about my big brother come through and I felt it was rather odd. It was a Monday, it was not the 19th, the date that he passed away. I had no triggers to set me off emotionally. I wondered with curiosity why I had this rather random thought come through. I received my answer that evening just before I was about to hit my pillow.

I received an email from Toastmasters, asking me if I am ready to deliver my third prepared speech the following evening, as a member had cancelled their scheduled slot. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and felt so excited! This was the second time that I had taken this sort of opportunity from Toastmasters. My original speech slot was scheduled for two weeks time. I thought to myself, “woo hoo, I am going to achieve my goal earlier than planned so let’s go for it Kit”!

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I had little practice for this third speech and knew without a doubt that I would need to use flashcards to deliver my speech. I had planned on getting an A4 sized photo of my big brother as a visual aid yet I had no time now. I used two small photographs of big brother instead and planned to have them passed around the audience. I knew that this would distract their attention from my speech yet it was no problem.  I knew some of my fellow Toastmasters would pick up on these two “areas for improvement” for this speech. Yet why focus on what the issues are when they are not important to me? My goal was to deliver the speech with or without flashcards and to complete this third speech.

Tuesday morning came with so much excitement even though I was feeling exhausted from a disturbed sleep and pms. Work was very challenging that day as I had stripped and made thirteen beds plus completing a number of other tasks. By the end of my shift at work, I was ready for a sleep!

I came home to get into the shower to revitalise myself and washed my hair. After drying my hair, I rested in bed for 45 minutes to recharge.  I then prepared my flashcard, grabbed a quick dinner and practiced my speech TWICE!

Now it was time to head into my Toastmasters meeting to rock the stage because it has my name on it!

I stayed calm and collected during my journey on the bus as I listened to meditation music.

I took my seat at the front left row at Toastmasters next to Pip. I felt my mouth was dry as the room was rather stuffy.

My speech was scheduled to be delivered after an Icebreaker speech by Pip. After Pip’s speech I was feeling the nerves getting the better of me so I used my deep breathing to remain calm.  I closed my eyes to centre myself and used affirmations to set me up for confidence.

That stage was mine for the next seven minutes after our Toastmaster for the evening,  Neil, introduced me to the floor.

I thoroughly enjoy my presence on stage at Toastmasters and I always get feedback from my Toastmasters who tell me that I am very confident on stage.

The next seven minutes had me flowing rather well with my speech. I did feel nervous at some point which is understandable and I used all the techniques I knew to stay calm and confident.

All eyes were on me and my audience looked rather emotional and shocked at times from my personal story about losing my big brother to a very sudden death. They were engrossed and I certainly had them engaged with my stage presence. The use of flashcards did not distract me from keeping eye contact with my audience even though the objective of this speech was to strive to speak without notes.

I was feeling very comfortable with using my flashcards and had no care in the world what my audience thought. My goal was to deliver this speech and engage my audience. I achieved my objectives and rocked the stage. I felt so much lighter after talking about my emotions on such a major life experience. It felt like I was in group therapy!  It was essential and vital for my recovery and healing as suggested by my therapist Rebecca. I am ever so grateful for her sound advice.

The feedback I received from each of my fellow Toastmasters was so encouraging, supportive and inspiring. One particular member wrote in his written evaluation of my speech as “a very engaging speech with strong and valuable message for the audience. It is because of speeches like this that I come to Toastmasters. Well done”!

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There is always  areas for improvement in everything we do yet focusing on perfection is off balance to what we want to achieve.

Focus on the goals and objectives. Perfection to me robs us of achieving our goals.