Since 1997, I have hosted Christmas parties and quarterly general staff meetings in the office. I was actually the regular host for the first eight or so years, with different co-hosts. I have been doing it less and less frequently over the years, giving way to the new sales people who took over the post. I go back maybe once a year.
Two nights ago, I was asked by our HR officer to do it again and since it wasn't new to me, I didn't really sweat over it. I naturally and effortlessly injected some new stuff in the meeting last night: from my opening, to the smooth transitions between the presentations by the Opercom, to my final introduction of the Managing Director's customary closing pep talk.
During one of the presentations, I was sitting beside a sales account manager who's been with us for 10 years and she told me, "Ms. Mints, parang iba ka nang mag-host ngayon. Ang galing-galing mo na lalo!"
Wow! That was such a big compliment! And i knew it was because of BnT. It dawned on me that I have become a better listener. Because of that, there was more coherence in the program.
The HR officer (she's been with us for about 10 years, too) also gave me a simple evaluation. From my opening, she observed that the staff became alert (I had a guessing game on some geeky stuff for the technical consultants. We are a software applications company.) and that set the mood, according to her. She said they became more attentive and at the same time relaxed.
I was quite surprised with the comments since I didn't think I was doing anything differently. But apparently, I was. And they saw it. And they said it. Then I felt it.
I wish I could express it more eloquently. I could go find other words that are longer than three syllables. But it wouldn't really matter now, would it? It would still feel and mean the same thing ---
That I'm glad I made a good decision last year. To join Toastmasters. To join BnT. I am a better host. I am a better listener.
I ♥ BnT.
Thank you, BnT.
Thank you, Toastmasters!