Lespar Aquino, ACG, ALB, is a retired IT professional and author of several published technical papers. Today, the longtime member blogs on topics from fitness to gardening. He also maintains a website for his Toastmasters speeches and projects. He is a member of the BF Community Toastmasters club in the Philippines where he serves as sergeant at arms.
Anne Macalintal, CC, vice president education at Metro South Alabang Toastmasters, is assistant vice president of data monetization at a company in the Philippines. Moving up the corporate ladder in a technical field, she needed communications skills to articulate her ideas and gain buy-in from executives and stakeholders. She met Les when she joined his previous club.
Anne, how did you hear about Toastmasters?
I once was asked to present a project I implemented to our board of directors. I stuttered more than once because of my nervousness and failed to articulate my thoughts well. I told my former boss that I was looking for ways to improve, and she suggested Toastmasters.
How did Les become your mentor?
The first time I visited a club, I found Les to be a quiet observer. When he spoke, I was in awe of his confidence and eloquence. He assured me the club offered fun and learning at the same time. I requested him as a mentor after the first meeting.
What is his mentoring like?
Les is devoted and gracious, and always patient and calm. He can quickly sense my challenges as he guides me to effectively craft and deliver my speeches. He amazes me with his accurate, specific and helpful feedback. He is excited about mentoring and doesn’t mind giving up his speaking slots so others may advance in their projects.
Why do you stay in Toastmasters?
Initially, I thought Toastmasters was all about improving one’s communications skills, but the experience changed me into a person who’s willing to go the extra mile to help others. When I neared the completion of my Competent Communicator award, I felt a surge of confidence. As an advanced speaker, it is now my turn to mentor new members.
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Mary Nesfield is associate editor for Toastmaster magazine. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.