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May 2024
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My Mentor, My Confidence Booster

Shibani Krishnatraya credits her mentor, Himanshu Sharma, for helping her own the stage.

By Shibani Krishnatraya

Himanshu Sharma and Shibani KrishnatrayaHimanshu Sharma and Shibani Krishnatraya

Since I joined Toastmasters, I have been blessed to meet people who always help me improve my speaking skills. Over time, I realized that assisting others is a priority for all members—helping fellow Toastmasters runs in their blood. When I was a new member, I was assigned a mentor, since Toastmasters can be overwhelming at the start. That person was Himanshu Sharma.

He has an unflinching faith that the mentor-mentee relationship is not a one-way road, but a two-way street. We learn and grow together. In fact, Himanshu says I’ve made him a better performer—I’ve helped him improve his vocabulary and the content and structure of his speeches.

Just as the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, Himanshu is the powerhouse of confidence. Somehow, he has channeled that confidence to me as well. Under his guidance, I learned how to own the stage, be upbeat and engage my audience.

For my second Toastmasters speech, one of the best speakers in my Delhi Toastmasters club was also speaking that day. I was petrified, terrified, horrified—all the synonyms under the sun for “scared.”

I rushed to my mentor for calming advice, and he told me: “The speech is yours; preparation is yours; confidence is yours; the stage is yours; the audience is yours, and the caliber of your presentation is yours. Just go up there and do your best. The rest will fall into place.” His words took hold of me—I delivered my speech and won the Best Speaker award.

In June 2018, I was elected as my club’s vice president membership for 2018-2019. I had to run against six other competent and efficient contenders. I cannot deny that I was nervous. Himanshu was the one who gave me confidence and support.

Himanshu still helps me stay confident as I go about completing my officer duties, even now as I am vice president education. My mentor is a constant pillar of support, always available to answer any of my questions and the perfect guide when I feel lost at sea.

Shibani Krishnatraya is pursuing a degree in English from Delhi University. She joined Delhi Toastmasters of New Delhi, India, in February 2018.



Want to nominate an exceptional mentor?
Nominate your mentor by emailing your story and a photo (1MB or larger) to

Looking for a mentor in your club?
Ask your vice president education who is available to mentor you.

To start a mentoring program in your club, order the Club Mentor Program Kit (Item 1163).

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