I’m Ravi Kumar, and this is my story of how I became a better communicator and a better version of me. As I was the youngest of seven in the family, I was pampered, and did not get to do much chores at home. My mommy and my sisters cooked for me. When I moved to a different city and tried to be independent, I struggled, I struggled to cook, even to toast a bread. It taught me that in order for me to succeed, someone else had to suffer. From that point on, I faced my predicament with courage and overcame many challenges in acquiring different skills at different times.
My parents mentioned to me at several occasion that I would become a very good public speaker one day, for the reason that I was gifted with the body language and had natural penchant for learning and picking up new languages. Being born and brought up in the multi-lingual and multi-cultural southern part of India, I had to switch between languages to talk to friends who speak different languages. As a software engineer and entrepreneur I travelled places and countries before I settled in the united states. I had the dream and passion for being an entrepreneur here in the United States, But everything came to a grounding halt when my father passed away in 2008. I was devastated and deeply depressed since then. And then my mother died in 2010. It was a total shock for me and I went into total silence. These two were my role models and now they are gone. Parents thought, I would be better off working for a company than doing my own business due to my father’s repeated failure in business. Couple of years I did not associate with friends and family, and avoided any tasks that would require lot’s of talking. I figured out I stutter when I spoke after broke my silence in 2012. I felt like I lost my language, and the communication skills. I could not even talk in my native language with family and friends without stuttering.
And so, I decided that it was time for change. My soul has waited long enough and my body has borne enough stress this long. It was enough that I grope in the darkness looking for my key. Time to let go of what others thought was best for me, to hold on to what really brings out the best in me, but the lack of communication skills kept me down. I read several ‘How to” books to improve my communication and regain my confidence, but with no success.
One of my friends suggested me that I would do well If I went to toastmasters. After a few months, I did a quick search on the YouTube about communication tips, and surprisingly came to find out, lots of people attributed their success to Toastmasters. Finally, I tried to give it a try, and joined Toastmasters in November of 2012. I never regretted a bit since then.
I can confidently tell now that, Toastmasters changed my life forever. I got my competent communicator award just recently and I am determined to pursue the Distinguished Toastmaster Award. As a result, I begun see myself confidently communicating with family, friends and business partners, and feel the sense of pride in knowing I can speak at any occasion without much preparation, and enjoy the approving comments people make when they recognize the new level of mastering in me.
Toastmasters is the place to go!