Sunday, February 4, 2018

A Mentoring Speech - "More of Les"

This speech was delivered by a former mentee of mine, Anne Macalintal CC CL IPL1 at the MSATC Feb.3 Regular Meeting. It is her speech project for Mentoring, Innovative Planning Level 2 of Pathways.

It isn't everyday that someone talks about me in their speech and so I'm featuring her speech here as an article. I'm deeply touched, actually. Anne is the current VP Education of MSATC and is one of the most creative and passionate toastmasters I know.

(photo credits: Anne Macalintal)

More of Les
(Pathways Level 2 – Mentoring - Anne Macalintal)

Do you have a mentor? How did you find your mentor? Is your mentor assigned to you or did you seek your mentor?

In my case, I chose my mentor. I’m blessed to be given a mentor whom I requested. Please allow me to tell you about him.

It was in 2015 when I first met my would be mentor here in Toastmasters. His name is Lespar Aquino, this was in my former club. Les is a retired IT professional who is now a blogger. He is also very active in his parish church.

It was my first time to attend their club meeting that day. I remember being too shy and nervous, and maybe Les noticed that. He was friendly and assured me right away that in a Toastmasters club, there is fun and learning at the same time. My first meeting with Les, actually I thought that like me he was new. You see Les for those who know Les, he is a very reserved and quiet man. In that meeting, he was just quietly observing the meeting, then it was his time to speak. And boy, I was awestruck, and you know Les so you can imagine this, because Les was so confident and eloquent. He delivered his speech with aplomb. I was wondering how was his public speaking ability before he joined Toastmasters. That day I was inspired and I hoped that I can speak like Les. Soon after I became a member then I learned that new members can be assigned a mentor. I requested our then VP Ed if Les can be assigned to me as my mentor. I want no less than Les.

Now, all of you here know that people with great skills sometimes have no gift in teaching their skills right? But not Les. Les was so hard working in really providing me all the mentoring and guidance that I need. I would submit to him my written work and he would right away give it back to me with his edits. We would sometime be on the call and I would recite to him my speech and he would give me feedback. Even if we cannot meet, mostly because of my hectic schedule, we would find a way on how we can use technology to be able to talk about my topic and rehearse it.

As a mentor, Les is devoted and gracious of his time and talent - always patient and never overbearing. Les provided me guidance and plenty of tips on how to effectively craft and deliver my speeches - gestures and body movement, included! He mentored at the club, via email and even over the phone.

I remember this one time wherein I need to be able to show how fashionable I am in my speech so Les instructed me to walk like a model with matching posing, it was so awkward but I guess it did the trick too. Thanks to Les.

Les guided me all the way until I finished my Competent Communicator. Now that I’m part of a this club and there was this time that I invited Les here in our club. I invited him to join our club and be a dual member so he can fast track his speech projects. Les reply struck me, he told me that he was in no hurry to finish his projects, in fact in his club he would always give way to the newer members so they can complete their projects, he said that his priority is how he can share his skills to the new members and not so much of himself advancing to his speech, that’s how selfless Les is.

Now Les is mentoring 4 members in his own club and like Les I want to be able to pay it forward by also being a mentor in our club. That’s Les impact on me. I want to be an effective mentor like Les.

I encourage everyone to also be a mentor so you can share your skills to the new members of our club. We need more of Les.

Toastmaster of the day!

(Update: Anne went on to become a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), the highest accorded norm in Toastmasters, in 2020. She also became Division H's Division Director for 2019-2020. In the photo below, as Division Director, she presented me a plaque at the Speakers Summit in 2019.)

Way to go, Anne!