Life is a matter of choices – My Toastmasters Icebreaker Speech

After officially joining as a member of Otemachi Toastmasters Club about a month ago, in our regular meeting session yesterday I delivered my first icebreaker speech as part of my Toastmasters Pathways project. If you are curious, the Pathways that I have chosen is Motivational Strategies.

It took me a couple of weeks to prepare, craft, and rehearse this first speech. Thanks to my mentor Mari, who kindly helped me to review the script, offered time for me to practice speaking to her, and also provided useful advice.

This was probably the first prepared speech I have ever given in my life, and I was very delighted and motivated that I have received many positive comments and useful suggestions from all members, guests, and especially from my evaluator. I was also very excited that I was voted as the best speaker.

I look forward to giving more speech in the future session.

Life is a matter of choices

They say everything in our life is a reflection of a choice we have made. I tend to agree with this statement because from my own experience I have encountered a series of decision points in my life that I had to choose, and those choices have subsequently led me to where I am today. 

Good evening fellow Toastmasters and dear guests, my name is Borort. Let me start off with a few facts about myself. I was born in 19xx in Cambodia. I didn’t have a luxurious childhood life but I was grateful and so proud of my parents who had been working very hard to make our family life better and to ensure that I could go to school and get a proper education. As a child, I was shy and quiet. I didn’t like to talk much and I was always afraid to tell my parents how I felt or what I wanted. I also had no idea what my interests were.   

I started to develop my curiosity and interests only after I entered high school. Most of my ideas and imaginations came from books. I loved books so much as they did open up a new world for me and very often I spent most of my times after school at libraries.  

When I finished high school my parents decided to send me to college. It was the first time in my life that I had to make some important decisions for myself  basically choosing a major to study and also moving to live in the city with my aunt’s family. I ended up choosing IT as my major because of my strong interest in computer.  

My college years were great. I learnt many new things, made new friends, and started my part-time job. These whole things would not be possible without the support from my parents, my aunt, and also my lecturers. After I graduated, I got a job and I was just enjoying my work as a fresh graduate without thinking much about long-term future.  

Until one day some of my friends mentioned to me about scholarship opportunities to study abroad especially in Japan. It was when I started to seriously think about my future and dreams. The idea of pursuing higher education abroad was something that really sparked my interest. So, I decided to apply and I worked hard on that. But unfortunately my first few attempts were not successful. The selection process for the Japanese scholarship was highly competitive with multiple stages of examination and interview. However without losing hope, I kept applying for different scholarships as well. And eventually, within a couple of years, I got admitted to a university in Thailand for a master’s degree program.  

I was very excited to obtain this splendid opportunity and that was the beginning of my most wonderful and memorable life chapter. My academic life was challenging but very interesting and fulfilling. There were plenty of learning and growing opportunities. I met amazing people, I learnt to live independently and I experienced various aspects of life. Furthermore, I was also able to cultivate warm and supportive friendships with different people. Those were the profound life-changing experiences I’ve ever had.  

After spending more than 3 years in Thailand, I moved to work in Macau for an international organization. I worked there for more than 2 years before I got a new job offer to work in Japan. Now when I look back I feel proud of myself for how far I have come. I feel humble and grateful to all people I met throughout this journey who provided me opportunities, encouragement, and supports. They all have inspired and shaped me into the person I am today. Thanks to those life choices that brought me such invaluable and meaningful treasures for life.  

However, every choice we make in our life may not always be the best one. Sometimes we also make the wrong decision. But as per my life principles, regardless of the outcome I would go with the one that my heart truly desires.  

As you can see, life is a matter of choices. So, it is not by chance at all that I am here in front of you tonight. And the reasons I joined Toastmasters because I choose to challenge myself to become a better communicator, I choose to overcome my fears and build up my self-confidence, and most importantly I choose to become the best version of myself. I believe this is the right choice for me to level up my personal and professional growth.

And my question to you is: What choice will you make today? 

Thank you! 🙂

A software engineer, a toastmaster, and a hobbyist photographer. Love to spend time reading, learning and experiencing new things, traveling, and thinking :)

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