Toastmasters was the call I was waiting for


By TM Kapil K Somawaram

I served Talent Acquisition function and I enjoyed talking to people, interviewing candidates, negotiating with them day-in and day-out for over 13 years. And then, there was a major paradigm shift in my career. I moved to Software Consulting in Oracle HCM as a Functional Consultant. Here, the focus was more towards the technical aspects, configuration, solution designing. No doubt, I was enjoying and thoroughly engrossed with my work and started delivering stellar results. However, over a period of time, I felt that I was slowly transitioning into a role that required minimal interaction and social networking skills when compared to my earlier Talent Acquisition function.

As you all know that anything which is not used over a period of time, gets rusted, be it your skill or knowledge. It happened with my social interaction skills. My group became very confined.  This bothered me. However, I strived my level best possible to stay myself afloat in honing and retaining my skills. I leveraged all my experience and started writing technical articles to reach out to larger audience. My articles were recognized and were published in the technical magazines. I was also invited as a speaker at Tech events. Still, I felt there was something, which was missing. A moment came where I started deliberating on this seriously.

Then, one day I stumbled upon an announcement regarding our regular Hitachi Consulting Toastmasters meeting.

I attended the meeting and then I realized, this is the call that I was waiting for, this is the platform where all the roles I left earlier in Talent Acquisition are going to resume in the form of role-plays.

I was an interviewer earlier, now I am an Evaluator, Grammarian, Ah counter. Earlier, I used to chair meeting, here I do SAA role, TMOD role, Timer Role. This made me stay relevant and gradually I started enjoying speeches and conversations again after joining Toastmasters.  

Few things I realized after joining Toastmasters are:

1.Joining Toastmasters makes ordinary people extraordinary.

2.The more involved we are, the more we learn.

3.As a Toastmaster, we have an obligation to be prepared, to be knowledgeable in our subject or topic and offer our audience an extraordinary experience through the structured approach.

Audience can be anybody. In my current professional life, my audience are my customers; this helped me to be prepared and knowledgeable. Now, I am enjoying interacting with the customers.

Overall, what I feel is that anybody can deliver speeches. It is no big deal. However, at Toastmasters, It is not about just delivering a speech, its one notch above. It is all about inspiring others by your structured speeches and make an impact.

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