DSC00372-crTwice a week on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, I am at a Toastmasters meeting during my lunchbreak at the Vienna International Centre (VIC). Toastmasters is a great way to improve your communication and leadership skills. Just a few months after I first joined, I was asked to become an executive committee member and took on the role of Vice President Membership. After a few years, when I became President, I purchased video equipment for the club and began filming the meetings and posting them on the club website for members to review their performance. The best investment the club ever made! Sure Toastmasters has an excellent peer review programme, with member evaluations at every meeting, but ultimately we are each our own worst critic! When you see yourself perform, you yourself will see how you could have done things better. And next time you surely will!

At this meeting, I was asked to take the role of the grammarian. Then I was also asked to give an impromptu speech. You can see me getting in front of the camera at the beginning of this excerpt. And I have edited out all the other (or at least, most, of the other ) participants, because we believe everyone should be able to decide for themselves whether they want to go public or not. After all, some people are just forever shy and will never be ready to be seen, and others are just so suspicious of the evil internet and all the bad things that could happen.

I post with the conviction that the more good things we do and are seen to do, the more the good news can spread, even if it costs a little bit of my own ego, pride or self-esteem.

I am willing to learn and to be an instrument to help others learn too.