A Symbolic Date
13 April, 2017

Just right one year ago when I was making my first steps at Toastmasters, I asked Ilya Nefedov, the president of MFSC at that time, – “I wander how the meeting number 666 will go?”. Finally, that day has come. Not only was the meeting’s number symbolic, but also the date itself – April 13th. Looking back to time passed, I can clearly see the impact that my involvement at Toastmasters has had on my life, and changes in my character that followed. Yes, this gonna be that retrospective thing which people usually put in a diary.

So, who was I at the time when I asked Ilya that question? Just standing up in the middle of a room full of people was a huge struggle. Then, it cost me a lot of effort to get up on stage every time when I had to describe my role or deliver a short speech. However, much more often I would just sit for the whole meeting glued to the chair, unable to put up my hand in an attempt to make an impromptu speech during a table topic session. Gradually, those cautious attempts, that I was making, have paid off resulting in me having hosted meetings, having been a projects’ evaluator, general evaluator, and even having the opportunity to be a chair of the Table Topics Contest at the Area Winter Conference in December 2016.

I could not say, though, that I feel absolutely free on stage now, but it has become much more easier for me to quash my fears and get myself into the right mood to speak publicly. Having said that, I certainly have a lot of room for improvement.

Now, what is next? The meeting number triple six passed, there are no any other symbolic numbers in the foreseeable future. But does it really matter? If you have recently joined Toastmasters or have been a member for some time, you already have your own symbolic date when you first stepped over the threshold of any Toastmasters club for whatever reason. I bet that looking back to your personal symbolic date you can clearly see how you developed ip until now with every role taken and every project made.

So, the meeting number 666 had been over, but I wonder, whether anyone attended had noticed tiny little horns protruding from the Toastmasters globe?.. ^_~

Author: Sergey Balmashov

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