by Ankur Bora
I know I have a great idea, but I don’t know how to take it forward. Have there been occasions in your life when you’ve felt that way? Oftentimes we don’t know what we don’t know. These are the occasions when we need someone to guide – who can challenge us to grow. A few years ago, I delivered a speech titled Same Boat Brother at Highway to Excellence. My speech carries a universal message -My dream was to carry that message to a wider audience. I fortunately found a special person – Emily Murray.
That evening, after the end of the meeting when we dispersed, I happened to meet her again in the parking lot and we had a long conversation. Emily introduced me to the “Toastmasters mentoring program” whereby an experienced member helps a new member by passing on his or her knowledge, insight, and wisdom. She agreed to be my mentor and thus we embarked on a journey which gradually molded me into a story teller.
During the next six months, every weekend , we met at a common location – the library , the YMCA , the temple – if one was closed we knocked on the other , our pursuit was relentless. Emily taught me how to animate my body and voice to express my emotions, how to leverage the techniques of hand gestures, how to lower or raise the voice to express the rising conflict in my speech. She helped me craft my speech to a higher level – The USA TODAY Network has selected my speech for a special program called the Storytellers Project.
My Toastmasters journey became more exciting with the help of my mentor, Emily, guiding me along, helping me navigate my path, and giving wings to my wishes and dreams.