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May 2024
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Saher Uneeb, CC, CL

By Mary Nesfield

Muhammad Zaid Kaliya and his mentor, Saher Uneeb

Saher Uneeb is pursuing studies at Liaquat National Hospital and Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, to become a medical doctor. Her Toastmaster father, a plant manager at a power generating company, encouraged her to join Toast­masters. She joined the Karachi Toastmasters club, where she serves as a leader.

As an accounting student, Muhammad Zaid Kaliya had no time to develop his speaking skills; his work colleagues pegged him as an introvert. After attending a club demo meeting hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan, he joined Karachi Toastmasters and asked Uneeb for guidance. Today, ­Kaliya is a chief financial officer at Shield Corporation Ltd., and he’s participating in speech competitions and taking on club ­leadership positions.

Muhammad, what was it like for you to join a club?

When I joined, I didn’t have any idea of how to write a speech; I couldn’t even decide on a topic. Saher was generous in accepting the responsibility to be my mentor. She is open-minded, friendly and a good listener. She adds value to the club with her enthusiasm and innovative ideas, and she’s always ready to help others.

What did you learn from her?

She encouraged me to tell personal stories and to use vocal variety and movement in my presentations, and she explained the importance of pauses to avoid a monotonous tone. She has also taught me leadership skills and how to listen and evaluate effectively. I value her feedback and, as a result, I received my Competent Communicator and Competent Leader awards in 13 months.

What feedback helped you the most?

Her best advice was to try something new, so I spent more time selecting speech topics and making them more interesting. It really paid off, as my 10th speech, “Ignite the Fire,” was well-received. After delivering it in my club, I was asked to deliver it again at a demo meeting. I also delivered a modified version of it in March at the club’s speech contest and won second place. And we recently chartered the CA Toastmasters Club Karachi at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan, which I was chosen to lead as club president.

At work, my colleagues say that I am totally changed; they remark on my effective communication skills. “Hat’s off” to Saher for playing such an important role in my achievements.


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