Memorable Moments

Chatting with the Mermaid of NTI Toastmasters
By: Saleh Abdullah Alkhamyasi

When MTM Sharda Daga walks down her memory lane she recalls being a permanent guest in her club. She was attending almost every meeting.  It has never occurred to her that one day she would actually muster her courage and become a member.  What kept her insist on attending the sessions was the fact that she felt extremely positive after each meeting.
The call of destiny was made possible through an inspiring leader who encouraged her to bid her comfort zone goodbye.
 During one of the meetings in 2010, TM Girish the President of NTI Toastmasters at the time asked her to join the club, highlighting that she will benefit more by embracing the spirit of learning by doing and taking actual role in the session. He stressed that it will definitely make a big difference for her.  Taken by surprise with the invitation for becoming a member.  Deep inside her she felt she was still scared. She thought she was not competent enough. She lacked confidence. But the gentle nudge, kind word and soft push inspired her take that big leap of faith.  After wrestling with her inner cursor she took a decision to celebrate the opportunity and walk the walk promising her that one day she will defy the odds and come out victoriously. When I asked her whether she is glad that she took that courageous step, her broad smile spoke louder than her words.

She reiterated with utmost enthusiasm and zeal.  She said TM Saleh I must confess that it has been a wonderful, interesting and educating journey. I am yet to find a place where so much of appreciation and encouragement is given. It boosts one’s confidence in his or her own ability and self esteem. That is the start of a long journey to a satisfactory life. I have not only learned from toastmasters, my children have also gained a lot from it. It has helped me to think and speak right.

In a slow but steady manner she gathered her strength and took ownership of her own development and personal growth.She started to improve her language and converse in English. Herself confidence gave her the courage to talk to anyone without any hesitation. People, who know her for many years, saw noticeable changes. These positive changes arouse their curiosity and started to ask her million questions and question which gave her a marvelous opportunity to market toastmasters through a word of mouth as a hub where leaders are made. She started to invite friends every time she is heading to the toastmasters session.
MTM  Sharda credits toastmasters for being the supportive and positive platform that has pumped fresh oxygen in her lungs and nourished her with so many skills to proudly stand on her feet and say thank you toastmasters for enabling me to find my voice.
 The roles she has served in the club made her gain so many invaluable lessons that have made her stand tall and confident. It has made tackle her challenges with an out of the box solutions.  She learnt a lot when she was the treasurer, Sergeant At Arms of the club. It taught her how to deal with people more diplomatically. In fact, it fills her heart with joy to know that her fellow toastmasters consider her a very sincere and dedicated member.

In Toastmasters dedication does not go in vain. The more you give the more you get back. Recently Area Governor Robin Anand invited to judge in SBG club in a humorous speech contest. It was the first time for her to participate in judging.
Though she was nervous, all her discomforts vibrated the moment she came to know that her judgment matched the winners list. It was a memorable  confidence boosting opportunity.

Sharda stressed of course there is no such thing as free lunch. The gain has to be preceded by pain. There have been many times during her speeches when she has floundered and stumbled. At times, she forgot her lines despite working extremely hard for weeks. Stuck and struggling for words, at times, tears have rolled down her cheeks.  She admits without regret that she felt very disappointed and went home with a bitter taste in her mouth.
However, encouragement she received from every member made her realize that such hic ups are not limited to her. They are actually the stepping stones for the success that is awaiting her. With a firm belief that there is light at the end of the tunnel she rebounded with a recharged spirit and continued with true conviction that excellence is a journey not a destination.  She took part in the humorous speech contest and won 3rd place twice at her club level.

Such a fantastic journey of self discovery made her the mermaid of NTI toastmasters. Day by day, her attachment and admiration for Toastmasters grows by bounds & leaps because it has taught her so much. It has helped her gain confidence. It has opened her mind to new learning and education. It has taught her how to deal with people effectively.  On a departing note she recommends the fresh air in toastmasters and stressed that It is something that everyone must experience at some point in their lives.


  1. Her zeal for learning and being part of the community is known to all of us. She has been regularly participating in speech contests and training, and also taken officer roles. Her element is fun and celebration. The courage to be vulnerable and open to feedback and learning has made MTM Sharda a source of inspiration to me.

    I wish Sharda Ji a fulfilling and fun filled life ahead.

  2. Dear Sharda

    Congratulation for a nice interview which you had in //tmidivisiond blog ,really it is memorable interview which has covered your experience from the joining NTI toastmaster club until now therefore you awarded to call you Mermaid of NTI Toastmasters
    and you deserve it meanwhile l would like to thanks TM Saleh Alkhamyasi to surprise us very time by making interview for one member of senior toastmasters club to share their experiences with us.
    TM Ahmed AL-Areimi

  3. Dear Sharda,
    Heartiest congratulations. You are aware I have always admired you for your initiatives, followed by dedication in pursuing them. We have seen you emerge stronger & stronger, steadily but surely. Wish you all the very best in your future endeavours also.
    vinod bhaiya