Sunday, June 19, 2016

What I Know For Sure

Over the years Oprah Winfrey has shared in her popular O, The Oprah Magazine, a monthly column titled "What I Know For Sure" as a source of inspiration and revelation.

My name is Zanele Hartmann and not Oprah Winfrey however, I would like to share my toastmaster’s journey and hopefully it will inspire many. Let us rewind the clock a little bit. Following an advert I saw in the newspaper in June 2014 I picked up the phone and called a lady named Marlene Van Wyk and enquired about the Speech Craft Course at Algoa Toastmasters. Following our telephonic conversation Marlene sent me an email on the 10th of June 2014 and below is a brief extract from her email:
I am attaching the information about the course and have put down your name as one of the candidates.  I am positive you will enjoy the course and gain a lot of confidence from it”

Marlene was very right. I never attended the course instead I decided to go and visit the Algoa Toastmasters Club and that was a year ago. I went from being a visitor to becoming a member! From membership I went to doing speeches, Marlene as my Mentor. Then came the time for my first speech from the Competent Communicator Manual called the Ice Breaker. I remember sitting opposite Marlene in her living room on a Sunday afternoon and Marlene guiding and supporting me through my prepared speech titled “Who is Zanele”.

I can clearly remember Marlene saying to me “You’re going to have to speak up, I can hardly hear you from across the table”

I am very sure she was crossing her fingers on the night when I delivered the speech. I can tell you now, two things were going through my mind as I got to the lectern, firstly I was worried about my voice, let alone the volume but the shaking! Secondly I was going to talk about my personal details and feelings to strangers!

My turn to speak came and I went up to the lectern and delivered my CC1 and I have never looked back.  Today the people I thought of, as strangers are my leaders, family, friends, teachers and psychologists. I look forward to going to club meetings every time. As I write here I can safely say that is what I know for sure.
I also know for sure that:

·       Algoa Toastmasters has contributed in my personal and professional growth;
·       Has taught me confidence;
·       How to make connections through my voice;
·       Leadership and support;
·       How to let go of fear;
·       Discipline and the respect for time
·       Constant improvement of myself;
·       Camaraderie;
I can go on and on. My favourite affirmation is “Everyday in everyway I get better and better” and through Algoa Toastmasters and its members I have witnessed this.

As fellow Toastmaster Waven Korkie wrote in the blog post date Wednesday, 02 March 2016

“Let Algoa Toastmasters club continue to shine by having the fire inside of us, and exude the passion and enthusiasm. Let us be a light to all the negative intentional fire starters out there and empathize with all the accidental fires. Until next time my beautiful candles…….”

Be Blessed!


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