My ToastMasters Journey so far ..

Hi Everyone,

In this post I’m intending to present my personal experience with ToastMasters so far. I thought as the purpose of the club is sharing experience and helping one another become better speakers and as Linda said benefiting from the club as a personal development tool. I’m going to present how I benefited from ToastMasters so far and what I’m looking forward to develop with your help in the coming phase.

First, I knew about ToastMasters from an amazing joint outing between Xing Egypt Business Network and ToastMasters organized by Mohamed Alborno by the end of 2008 after which, I decided to give it a try, as I was in a very Geeky attitude in the last couple of years working as a freelance web professional so all what I do involves a computer for designing, coding and online business networking. Opening up and having more social activities while developing my people-skills was my goal.

I attended couple of meetings as my time permitted till I officially joined by March, 2009. I remember my first participation in the table-topics in my first meeting, in which we were supposed to pick a job title and present what we do, my job title were “independent investigator” and I found it really funny.

I gave my ice-breaker (first speech) 07.04.2009 which was a presentation of my background and my current activities and what I’m aspiring for in the future. Having access to the site after being a full member, I made use of the “Member Goals” section of the site, in which I thought delivering a speech per month would be a reasonable.

In the table-topics of a meeting after that, the discussion in the topic of developing Egypt had been opened. A lot of input had been added by both Egyptians and non-Egyptians and from here, I picked up the topic of my 2nd speech “The Development Way” which I delivered 19.05.2009. As the purpose of the speech had been to organize the speech.

I made a detailed structure for the speech which included lots of points, while I wanted to actually – after giving an introduction about the concept of development and factors affecting development (people’s attitude, leadership, education and freedom) I was supposed to emphasize on a project by Farouk El-Baz PhD that’s called “The Development Passage”.

There had been a lot of information to be delivered in 7 minutes – so I followed up from the speech with an Email describing the details of the project, I even kept a copy of it in my personal blog here: And took a note that as a person who focuses on the technicalities of the issues, I usually have loads of information to share, the challenge is to decide which to keep and which to cut to suit the available time.

Speaking out especially in English in ToastMasters as a non-native English speaker, gave me confidence to start making videos for my YouTube channel after delivering couple of speeches in ToastMasters, so I made that YouTube video: and had the intention while working on developing my speaking skills on ToastMasters, I’ll be also making YouTube videos for extra practice.

As a web professional, I thought about sharing some of my experiences via ToastMasters speeches and thus started a series of 3 speeches and labeled it Reaching Out.

My third speech had been Reaching Out (1) – Online Networking which I delivered 23.06.2009. As a freelancer my main stream of prospects during that time were coming from online business networking sites, I was most active on Ecademy – a UK based business network and I still have my profile there:

I shared my ideas about online networking while focusing on being straight and getting to the point. I also, decided to publish my ToastMasters speeches on my personal blog after I deliver it. There is a copy of that speech here:

Looking to the feedback in the manual, I found while it had an overall positive feedback from Dhalia I still should have shorten the speech more. Which is really something to do with what you get used to, I’m a Geek – that kind of person with high level of technical understanding and with the eye for the details and it takes practice to change our habits, so that had been something to work on, even till now. As we all know overcoming habits that goes up to personal features takes practice.

My next speech the fourth continued the series Reaching Out (2) – Starting an Online Business – 21.07.2009. It was my first time to completely write the speech before delivering it because the purpose of that speech was “how to say it” which focuses on picking the right words and avoiding Jargon. I got an overall positive feedback from Gonar – who used to be a part of the club – with a hint to speak slower and clearer as a non-native English speaker, my pronunciation might swing sometimes.

As a result, I subscribed to a few YouTube channels that present English as a Second Language and Accent-Reduction advice like: and as I was advised by Mr. Hassan Osman to give especial attention to my P and B. Accordingly, I practiced with some online resources

I posted the speech here:

The fifth speech continued the series with Reaching Out(3) – Making online videos – 18.08.2009 –

Ambition to meaning:
Egypreneur videos:
Lifestyle shift:
First time toastmaster:

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