In April 2017, I joined Toastmasters and came to understand how running a Toastmasters club could give one an experience of entrepreneurship.
I joined the Executive Committee of Toastmasters Club of Allscripts Pune as the Sergeant-At-Arms. This taught me how to connect with people and serve them without an official role. It was a way where I could transform the culture, impact the bottom line and increase customer satisfaction. Every member is a customer of the club and if customers are satisfied then club functions successfully.
Later, I was elected as the President during the December 2017 elections. As a leader, you need to communicate effectively and show confidence, which means you use fewer filler words as part of your communication. Running a club is very challenging for the President because if any Executive Committee member is not functioning or is not available, as a team one needs to get involved in getting the operations running. This in turn helped me learn to prepare presentations, and enhance my sales and marketing skills.
In the June 2018 club elections, I was elected as the VP Education, which is a significant role in the operation of the club. This is vital as you have to work towards customer returns on investment. If the customer does not get sufficient returns, then how they will be satisfied? They may not renew their membership. It is like giving a vehicle for service at the service centre. If you receive bad service, then would you go to the service centre again?
I joined the Executive Committee of Sinhagad Toastmasters club as the Treasurer which taught me the financial aspects of running a club. I learnt how every rupee is essential and how effectively the money should be used. Money is paid by club members who are the investors of the club, and the Treasurer is accountable to give an accurate financial statement to the members.
These experiences taught me the core values of Toastmasters. Integrity regarding the quality of being honest and having a strong commitment towards the investment made by club members. Respect towards everyone and adherence to processes. This helped me in delivering excellent service towards achieving the goal of the club and making it successful. My journey in Toastmasters taught me various aspects of entrepreneurship without any extra cost. If you are thinking of running a business but do not have the courage, join the Executive Committee, run the club and experience entrepreneurship yourself.
This article was first published in District 98’s bi-monthly newsletter ‘Communicate 98’. To read more articles, click here.