When I was a teenager, the very idea of public speaking was a death defying experience. As I grew older, the body would invent new methods of biological warfare to make public speaking even more impossible. For example, no matter how many glasses of water I drink, the tongue would feel like sandpaper and I would fumble over simple words. And my stomach would feel as if elephants were having a jungle party in there. You’re lucky if it’s only butterflies.
But in 2014, I was the finalist and top 9 speaker at the World Championship of Public Speaking. This is not a boast. This is a testimony that says that if I can do it, so can you.
I am no more and no less unique than any other person in Toastmasters. I wasn’t born with special public speaking powers and neither am I unusual in my abilities to persuade. What I have is merely the culmination of knowledge and practice in public speaking.
It is thus my vision this term to provide these knowledge to you so that you may grow towards that excellence. Suffice to say, we will form bad habits when we lack the understanding of best methods and practices of speaking. But even more problematically is when we do not know that they are bad habits and pass down erroneous advice to future generation of Toastmasters.
As an educational club, we strive towards the pinnacle of excellence. It is my hope that by the end of this term, we would become the club that many would look towards for knowledge and inspiration. The Brunei Speaker’s Club would be known internationally as the leading and unparalleled organisation in the development of speakers of incredible calibre and skilfulness.
And as always, we do this together.
Chris W. H. Woo