Friday, June 24, 2005

Neckties and Power Suits

I called it a hobby club of some sort - the Toastmasters Club that I belong to , that is. I thrill in the passion, the wit, the humor and the inspiration of the speakers, so much so that I look forward to each meeting. I have bathed in the limelight in a room of just under twenty people listening attentively to my speech crafted with my heart - it can be quite an flattering experience. No, regardless of how bad I am, they have to stay quietly in their seat - it is more than a matter of manner. Perhaps, at one point, they enjoy my speech too. At others, they may be inspired by me, or rather by the notion that they are much superior than me. I know that feeling - I have felt that way too. And it does not matter to me. During my speech, I am always waiting and looking for that defining moment, that spark when my whole spirit would be lifted (no, this is not what you think, not some sort of ancient black magic ritual), that rushing in my head and emotion. From my first speech trainer's words, it is called being "self-centered" with an almost meditative meaning. You may have guessed correctly that this comes with a considerable amount of contentment and happiness.

Recent development has however, changed some of my perspectives. The Toastmasters Club isn't just simply a hobby club. There are protocols for addressing experienced speakers with titles, dress code etc, which are to be strictly followed to develop the professionalism, the discipline and efficiency of the club and members. Together, these attributes help to promote and attract new members to the clubs. So in come the neckties and power suits, both which I am no fans of. Ok, I may be exaggerating - just a simple tie will do. But it never occurs to me that there would be this day. After all, a hobby club is about fun, first and foremost; where does the formality fits in? Anyway, I have taken all these in my stride, as I embrace personal development as my main agenda for joining the club. No big problem.

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