Kumi Matsunobu: To become a member or not? That was my question.

The door of the Parramatta Toastmasters Club was open for me; however, there were walls and holes to overcome before becoming a member. The walls were speaking English correctly and having confidence to speak; and the holes were the times I fell in confidence. They were my obstacles but how could I conquer them?

I live in Parramatta so that’s the reason I went to Parramatta Toastmasters. I found the first meeting was exceptional. It was well organised, with a sense of humour & confident speakers. That made me eager to join the club so from January 2013 I kept attending their meetings as a guest until the end of the year. During that year, I attended a Speechcraft course. That course had a very friendly and warm environment so I gained a bit more confidence for public speaking. However, I realized I wasn’t good enough to become a member of the Parramatta Club. Should I move on and push myself or be a guest for life?

To aim high is a good habit. I had motivation to improve my communication skills but at the same time I was a master of procrastination. My free time was a fight between motivation and procrastination, and most of the time my procrastination won. On the other hand, I wanted to become a good communicator so I decided to hang in there. This was probably because I had had the experience of failing an accounting exam eight times but finally passed on the ninth try.

In January 2014, at last I became a member of the Parramatta Toastmasters. I’m still trying to climb difficult walls and still falling into holes but warm evaluation and suggestions help me to practice overcoming my weak points and to keep my chin up. I believe that I can proceed by small steps whenever I attend a meeting so my answer to the question that I asked: ‘To become a member or not?’ is ‘Yes!’, and I am proud to be a member.

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