Written by: Jeevan Basra
My name is Jeevan Basra. I am a proud member of the Self Advocates of Semiahmoo. About two years ago, I signed up to join Speaktacular, a Toastmasters program, offered by UNITI.
When I first started the program, I was shy and nervous to speak in front of people.
In the past, when I had to speak in front of classmates, I would get stressed out and would start to cry. I could not help it, as I was just so afraid to make a mistake.
The Speaktacular group was welcoming. I was happy to see people I knew from Special Olympics in the program. This really helped me feel comfortable in the group.
Through Speaktacular I learned how to write a speech about a topic I had chosen, how to speak in front of an audience, how to evaluate other peoples’ speeches and how to be a good storyteller.
Recently, I got to share a speech I wrote about kindness at the Inclusion BC Conference, which was hosted in Surrey, BC.
Toastmasters presented a workshop at the conference called “Speak, Share, Laugh.” The purpose of the workshop was to share with people that Toastmasters is inclusive, and that everyone can learn to speak in front of an audience.
I was very nervous to present my speech in front of over seventy people, but through Toastmasters, I have learned that everyone gets nervous before they speak in front of others. Toastmasters teaches us how to manage our nerves so we can speak in front of people. My speech went well and I had lots of fun. I also got to make some great connections with people who attended the workshop.
I have learned a lot through Toastmasters, and I plan to continue to participate in the program. I like connecting with my friends at the program, and I feel more comfortable with speaking in front of people than ever before.