Saturday, January 20, 2018

Ice Breaker - Innovative Planning 1, "Restarts"

This speech was delivered at the BF Community Toastmasters Club in the Jan 20, 2018 Toastmasters Meeting.

(Ice Breaker, Level 1-Innovative Planning, Jan.20,2018, BFComm TMC, MMCP, Las PiƱas. Evaluated by Raul dela Vega DTM)


Imagine yourself in this situation. You’re doing something that you’re passionate about for 3 years. And then, due to some urgent reasons, you had to stop… for 5 years. And then, after those 5 years, you go back to that activity you left 5 years ago. How do you think would it feel? To restart? To resume what you were doing 5 years ago? Will it feel a bit awkward, cumbersome, a bit rusty? Well, you might say, it depends on the activity, yes? But that’s how it felt for me, after I stopped at Toastmasters and then came back after 5 years: slow, awkward, cumbersome.


Some of you guys know I started Toastmasters way back in 2006. However, I quit Toastmasters in 2009 due to some personal and medical reasons and then in 2014 I rejoined. I missed Toastmasters. But I thought it would be just so easy to restart. After all, I was already an advanced speaker at that time. I was so... wrong...

I remember I showed up at this club at another venue and I think Duchess and Rema are the ones remaining from that group. I was asked to evaluate someone. I was so slow that I was actually groping for words. All I could say about the speech was that “it was nice.” My evaluation of that speaker was so bad that I regretted just showing up!

Fortunately, an old mentor still prodded me to continue with the club. And I did. Slowly, I regained the past Toastmasters skills that I had after reviewing and practicing.

So my resolve to rejoin and restart with Toastmasters was even strengthened! My original decision to come back to Toastmasters was really a social aspect – because I missed the ambiance of the typical club setting. But now, I realize I had another reason. And this was the technical or the skills aspect.

I realized that as Toastmaster member, you will always learn and grow. But! The moment you stop, like I did, for 5 long years, it is all downhill from there – especially if there is no avenue or opportunity for you to regularly, not occasionally, to practice your public speaking skills.

This year, for me, will be a new year for another restart. This time, it will be the year for Pathways, starting with this Ice Breaker speech. It’s like restarting another Toastmaster journey for me.

Although Pathways was introduced last year, I held it off for a while to finish all the manual speeches in the old regular program. See, that is what I love about Toastmasters. There is always something new to learn. Even if I finished my manual speeches, I only got to use 6 advanced manuals out of a possible 15 manuals. There are actually 11 more advanced manuals in the regular program that I could have worked on.

And now, here is Pathways and again, something new to me.


There is always something new to learn with Toastmasters and you will never get bored for as long as you continually work on speech projects and take on roles. (Insert Aristotle’s “Learning by Doing”, if there’s time.)

If you think of quitting, think really long and hard. Like I said once you stop, it’s downhill from there. And even if you go on a short break, or a hiatus or even quit temporarily, don’t be afraid of restarts. There is always something new to look forward to.