My journey since joining my local Toastmasters club has been thrilling, challenging and rewarding. You learn by doing, crafting a series of 10 speeches and delivering them to your fellow club members. It harnesses the power of peer-to-peer learning to create better speakers.
The speeches I have witnessed from my fellow Toastmasters have had the power to make me cry with happiness, and with sorrow.
I also allowed me to apply the principles of Deliberate Practice, without me even knowing.
The first speech is called the Icebreaker – an introductory tale of your life. This speech has no rules. You may craft it as you wish.
For those of you seeking an Icebreaker example, I have included mine below for your perusal. Enjoy.
Friends, Romans, Countrymen.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Snap. Crackle and Pop.
It seems that most good things come in threes. Therefore, I have attempted to distil my 24 years into three simple words:
Learning, Yearning and Returning.
Learning is one of the great gifts that has been provided to myself, by my family and by our society. I was born and educated in Tamworth, in country New South Wales. I then went on to study medicine at the University of Newcastle. I continue to learn every day in my home on the hill, at John Hunter Hospital, from the books, from my patients and from my students.
Education has provided me with a means towards independence, has allowed to me to meet my future wife and made my grandma swell with pride. This is why I am a passionate educator, and believe in education as a universal right that should be available to every single member of society both locally and internationally.
For what else do I yearn? I yearn for my wedding in November to go as smoothly as possible. I yearn for my groomsmen not to leave me duct taped to a flag pole on my bucks night.
I envisage a career that will continue to get me out of bed every morning with the same enthusiasm that I have at present. I hope to combine my love of science, medicine and education through teaching. I see this taking place in rural Australia – a population that remains subject to the tyanny of distance when it comes to medical services.
Finally, returning. I strive to return to those who I am most indebted – my family.
My mother, from Yogyakarta on the Indonesian island of Java, met my father, a Gosford local, while he was holidaying. They somehow ended up in Tamworth. The exact circumstances of how this occurred remain a family mystery.
My middle brother, Adam, is studying Arts at the University of Western Sydney.
My youngest brother, Joseph, turned 10 this year. Last year I watched him deliver an impromptu speech to his school, complete with a hook, personal anecdote and poignant rhetorical question to conclude. Textbook. Like my grandmother before me, I began to swell with pride.
Soon to become an Anderson, Sophie and I met during our first year of study. She remains my biggest support, and we are enthused for married life ahead. Interestingly, she was born on the same day as my mother – read into that what you will.
I will never truly return my debt to these people, but I aim to return a little every day.
I thank you all for lending me your ears. If you could boil your life and journey down to three words, what would they be? As my personal journey continues to unfold I hope to keep learning, to keep yearning and to keep returning.