The Kampala Toasmasters Club is a Treat for Brilliance!
By Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva
“See It. Hear It. Live It.”
This is how Susanne Namuli Ndikuwera began her speech, one of the contestants of the annual Toastmasters speech contest. Toastmasters is a club with thousands of bodies around the globe and the Kampala based one, led by President Davis Tashobya, is following in the outstanding footsteps of the Toastmasters International. Started a couple of years ago by Norah Matovu Winyi, lawyer and lecturer at Law Development Centre, this Kampala Tosmasters club meets bi-monthly, to identify practical ways to create great communicators and leaders. I was blessed to be invited by a friend for a life-changing evening.
Three contestants lined up for the inaugural annual speech contest. Susanne was exceptional, bringing images into her speech about being visionaries, how leaders must hold the vision of where they want their followers to go. She spoke of how we must fix our eyes on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary. The next contestant, Steven Umeme, was eloquent about bench-marking oneself and being better negotiators in our various spaces. His speech offered lots of comical relief to all of us.
The final contestant, David Mugabi, was truly remarkable. His confidence, ability to speak as to the group as though to an individual and the deep rooted conviction won our hearts and the judges, making him win. Mugabi’s main point was about how each of us needs to ask ourselves: “What is your unique selling point?” A USP is what separates us from the rest. He emphasized that rather than becoming people of success, we should become people of value and if our businesses ceased to exist, would we be missed. Mugabi was gentle yet firm, without flair but with a deep connection with the audience. He won because of his own USP.
The main speaker Peter Kimbowa, is a renowned international speaker, Executive coach, board member of several organisations including ESKOM, amongst other accolades. His delivery left the floor inspired to change and to lead. He said that failing is not fatal and that we must always have the courage to move forward because it’s progress that we struggle for and not perfection. It’s important for us to visualize success everyday in our lives. A GREAT TEACHER INSPIRES.
In an audience, usually 25% will like the speaker, 25% may be persuaded to like the speaker, 25% will dislike the speaker and 25% may be persuaded to like the speaker. To be a great speaker and leader, we must plan well and rehearse. It’s important to utilize as many opportunities to speak in public spaces as this builds confidence. Every presentation must stimulate the audience, have a logical sequence and end with a memorable bang. Peter Kimbowa does indeed excel in his field as a public and motivational speaker.
The Kampala Toastmasers Club’s goal is for its members to become better speakers and leaders. Great leaders are great communicators.
It was an tremendous evening, with over a hundred people in attendance, corporates, artists, journalists, writers, academics and leaders in the making. We all went home with one main question:
“What is our Unique Selling Point, USP?”
|Dr. Connie Nshemereirwe and Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva (Photo by Maureen)|
The author is a writer, poet, children’s trainer and founder of the Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation.