District 41 Toastmasters

Unveiling the Art of Imperfections: The gift of making mistakes

Picture this: You’re standing at the podium, armed with nothing but a microphone and a dream.
Suddenly, your mind decides to play a game of hide-and-seek, leaving you stranded in the wilderness
of unspoken words. If this has been you, congratulations, you have entered the unpredictable,
occasionally chaotic, but undeniably charming world of public speaking at Toastmasters.

In the realm of Toastmasters, where the pursuit of eloquence and mastery over public speaking is
paramount, the concept of making mistakes might seem antithetical. I remember the first time I
entered the Gurgaon Toastmasters Club, and saw almost every member and guest, speaking with
such fluency and confidence that I felt like I had stumbled into a parallel universe of linguistic
superheroes. They wielded words like a cape, and their eloquence was a superpower I desperately
wanted to harness.

In that room pulsating with energy, I sat at the edge of my comfort zone. ‘Can I ever speak like
them?’ I wondered, my self-doubt echoing louder than the applause that filled the air after each
speaker’s performance. But as I pondered over that, another thought emerged – a nagging concern
about the possibility of stumbling or uttering something less than brilliant.

But you see, that is the first ever lesson Toastmasters teaches you – liberation in embracing
imperfection. It’s never about being flawless, but rather about learning to be comfortable with the
discomfort. The room, once intimidating, becomes a canvas for self-expression and the fear of
stumbling is transformed into the euphoria of taking risks. I believe every member/guest who had
the chance to set foot on the stage will agree that the supportive gazes of fellow Toastmasters
reassure oneself that this is a space where fumbles were not failures but rather stepping stones
toward improvement.

My two cents for anyone reading this is this: If ever in life you find yourself at the edge of your
comfort zone, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and jump – for you’ll always be glad for taking
that one tiny step. Toastmasters has been that tiny step for me and I’ll always cherish the
transformative journey it has set me on.

Aakanksha Dhawan
Gurgaon Toastmasters Club