How Can I Help?

Nothing else but the Club President Acceptance Speech

So, by sheer result of persisting with it, I have become the Club President of my Toastmasters Club, Trailblazers.

This is the speech I presented as an acceptance of the Club President’s Role:

Hello Trailblazers!

Good Afternoon!

I would like to thank all of you for putting your trust in me by choosing me as the President of the club. I would like to assure you that I will continue to work hard in making our club one of the best places to spend 1.5 hours every week. I would also like to specially thank Toastmaster Narayanan and all the past officers under whose leadership we grew into a Select Distinguished Club.

Whenever we go for an ‘inception’ or start something new, we all feel an uneasiness in our stomach. Do you know that there’s a term for this:

Collywobbles!

Have you heard it before?

On June 3rd, 2016, when I joined this club, Trailblazers were celebrating our 75th Meeting. I raised my hand to volunteer for the table topics. Our then VP-Education and past President Megha, the Table Topics master, gave me the word ‘Collywobbles’ to speak on. That’s all. Just the word. And as you may guess, I had no idea about that word, then. I couldn’t speak for more than 10 seconds. I realized that I need to improve a lot. I need to be more active, learn more, speak more and if I spend some more time here, I will surely improve. It was all about myself.

But soon I realized one more thing. That when we join Toastmasters, we all join it for selfish reason. Oh I want to be better at this. I want to learn this. I want this.. I want that..

Over the course of time, I understood that we can do good for ourselves, only if we help and support others in their journey. Instead of asking who can help me or what I can get from the club, the only thing we need to ask ourselves, is ‘How Can I Help?’.

I will remind you of the most clichéd but one of the best stories about ‘How can I help?’ attitude.

In the Cold War era, when US and USSR were involved in Cold War, both the nations were competing fiercely in the space wars. Each one trying to outdo another. So in 1960s, John F Kennedy, asked the citizens on the US, that we must all try to put a man on the moon before the end of this decade. The whole nation started working towards that cause.

In Mid 60s, JFK was visiting NASA. He met a Janitor there. JFK asked the janitor, what his job was? Janitor said, proudly, that he is there to help put a man on the moon.

It is easy to not realize that each of your effort, can help others a great deal. When you take up the role of an Ah-Counter, you are helping someone to get rid of their fillers. When you become a Grammarian, you help someone get good at grammar. When you become a Sergeant-at-Arms, you break ice and your energy can transcend into audience. When you give a speech, how your words can impact someone, you never know!

Every little thing done by you, helps others in a great manner!

Can I request you that from now on, every time there’s an ask, you will jump in pro actively?

Can we do that?

Now my second request, to the officers in particular and members in general. I wish to make this club, the most fun place to be where you can spend your 1.5 hours every week. Remember the words, the most fun place to spend your 1.5 hours every week. And bonus part: Learn skills on the way. We should all strive to make this club, a Cult.

So instead of making claims that as a President, I will do this and that, I have just 2 requests from all of you.

1. Ask yourself before each session: How can I help?
 2. And once you jump in to help, ask yourself, that how can we make the meetings more interesting and fun to attend.

Now, we have a new set of officers, ready to provide services to the club. I am sure that, whatever achievements our past officers have brought us, we will try to improve on them. Also, don’t think that the officer’s alone will run this club. Everyone has to contribute. Everyone is an officer here.

With our mutual support for one another, I duly accept the position of the President. Please feel free to bother me with any question, clarification, help or support you may need. I wish you all the very best. Looking forward to see you in next meeting.

I would conclude with this proverb:

‘If you want one year of prosperity, grow seeds. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want one hundred years of prosperity, grow people.’

Originally published at abloquacitylab.wordpress.com on July 12, 2017.