By Lucy Ogalue
Mr Winston Ekpotu, the Division E Director, District 94, Region 11, Toastmasters Club, Abuja, has charged Nigerians to develop themselves and their leadership skills.
Ekpota told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, at the Gala and Awards night in celebration of Toastmasters’ 5th Anniversary, that becoming a member of the club was one key way to ensure development.
“To everyone out there, I will say that developing yourself is something that you need to take seriously.
“Toastmasters club will allow you develop yourself even better than you would have anticipated.
“Every time we come together to talk about the Nigerian problem, we often say it is leadership problem.
“What we fail to understand is that every single individual is a leader on his or her own right.
“Perhaps you have not found yourself in the right environment to allow you to express those leadership instincts.
“So, join a Toastmasters Club, there you will learn more about moral authority as opposed to that of formal authority where people just tell you what to do because they sign your pay check.
“If you find the time to belong to a regular Toastmasters club, I can assure that you will harness those skills that are inherent in you.’’
According to Ekpotu, the essence of the gathering, in addition to celebrating the club’s fifth anniversary, is to also celebrate as a community beyond just fragments in different spaces.
“We have come together to celebrate five years of growth, five years of empowering individuals.
“We have come together to celebrate five years of making/turning shy people into competent communicators and effective leaders,’’ Ekpotu said.
The Chairperson of the event, Mrs Stella George said that the club had, over the years, improved itself, networked and produced competent leaders in the country.
“We are today celebrating our past leaders, those that brought Toastmasters to Abuja and those still working to ensure members still battling with fear of public speaking overcome it,’’ George said.
Mr Olu Joseph, President, Urban Professionals Toastmasters, Wuse, Abuja, thanked the club for its impact on Nigerians and urged Nigerians to improve their communication skills to overcome their fear of public speaking.
Recipients of the various awards expressed their pleasure and gratitude to the club.
NAN reports that Toastmasters International is a US headquartered non-profit educational organisation that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of promoting communication and public speaking skills.
In 2010, the first Toastmasters club in Abuja, Nigeria was chartered after which several emerged in Kano, Kaduna, Katsina and Yola in the northern region.
Leaders and Orators such as President Obama, President Bush and late Steve Jobs developed public speaking skills from the club.
The club helps its members to discover their speaking skills, develop self-confidence, speak effectively and develop leadership abilities among other benefits.