The story began when I got a phone call from Charles: he was waiting for me to leave my office and meet up with him at a place where people practice their leadership and public speaking skills. I can still remember when I first joined Loudspeakers; a lovely family that welcomed me and made me feel right at home. That day, I totally forgot that I was tired and needed to rest. Even after the meeting, I was thinking that I didn’t really have time for this; I was in Lebanon just to study and work.
A few days later, I attended the Toastmasters Lebanon Annual Convention, where all its members compete and socialize with one another. These highly educated people from all over Lebanon were working to make Lebanon better; they were making the change they are dreaming of, and that was exactly what I was looking for! In that moment, I knew I had to join, and so I did!
By the time I became acquainted with the club, I realised that most of the members came from different cultures and backgrounds; I found that I wasn’t the only one. Based on my experience in Lebanon, it was really rare to find such a multicultural group, and that made me fall in love with their spirit and their work.
Till this very day at Loudspeakers, we meet and work on our leadership and public speaking skills on a weekly basis, to the point that, here in Zouk Mikael, we have become closer than family. I made new friends who gave me a push whenever I needed assistance in my studies or work, and this network of friends grew even further during our meetings with other clubs in Beirut.
I AM A LOUDSPEAKER.
What makes Toastmasters unique is the competition on a local and international level and the completely absent sense of hostility between competitors. Even if you attend international competitions, you will see the same enthusiastic and supportive spirit. In my opinion, to be part of a community such as Toastmasters is like a challenge that I have put for myself, and thanks to this experience a lot has changed in my personal and professional life.
As a foreign student in Lebanon, I used to have a major problem adapting to the community I am part of, but in Toastmasters, I found the place to share my experience and thoughts. In return, I have learned how to give positive feedback with a push to encourage people to stand up in front of an expecting crowd and do it again in a better way. My fellow members gave me the power to overcome my issues with public speaking and to achieve success here in this lovely country. Becoming a member of the Toastmasters Lebanon community was one of the best things I did after coming to Lebanon.
Today, a year after joining Toastmasters I am very proud to say that I AM A LOUDSPEAKER.