Toastmasters International is a nonprofit organisation formed to boost public speaking and leadership skills amongst us. It's headquartered in the USA. B-Schools nowadays teach their students that the first and foremost "C" in any leadership lesson is Communication and Toastmasters do justice to that. I was a part of this lovely organisation for 4 years now and when I secured admission in MISB Bocconi, it dawned upon me to start the Toastmasters legacy here.
3 months of pre-planning and several hours of hard work is all it takes! Starting a Toastmasters club is itself a leadership lesson by itself! It all comes down to your convincing skills.Toastmasters teaches a very important lesson called Service Leadership. I first made a few calls to the District officers in Toastmasters to speak about the idea of forming a new club in MISB Bocconi. Yes, they were intimidated at first and threw a saga of questions across ranging from time crunching aspect of b-school to interest carried over in the incumbent years so far and so forth.
I kept sticking to my word and passion which they finally approved of and asked me to quickly create a group of interested students. Beleive me or not, there were 60 students interested at first and I was overwhelmed. Yes, I got many calls questioning me about the organisation and its working. Once the course started, students have flooded with assignments and studies and other activities that interest level died down. It then struck me to get an external person speak about the importance of Toastmasters in his life and his career trajectory. This was the game-changing aspect.
We got 25 nominations from the class in spite of the time crunches and assignments. We then created an Executive committee to spearhead the first team at MISB Bocconi. We got immense support from MISB Bocconi for all our endeavours and were happy that it had progressed quite a bit. We had it all planned to complete "Competent Communication" manual and embark ourselves as future leaders.That's when the Ex-Com (as we call it) planned to participate in the Evaluation and Humorous Speech contest.
The organising committee worked arduously for a week and got the contest rolling on October 4, 2017. The cherry on top of the cake was that 4 of winners at club level contest represented MISB Bocconi at the Area level contest. For a newly chartered club to get so far brought tears to my eyes.
All I would like to say here is that, when life gives you a leadership opportunity, TAKE it ahead. Yes, there might be few niggles and hurdles in your pathway but since we all are from b-school, we know to deal with pressures very well. So take some time out and open a Toastmasters club in your b-school!