Visit to Holy Mary Degree College


It was a Saturday. Vikram Chandra from Secunderabad Toastmasters, who was the Offline Outreach Chair for Master Orator Championship, reached out to me to visit a local college to promote the event. Master Orator Championship was an event conducted by the Toastmasters of Hyderabad to promote public speaking among college students.

Holy Mary Degree College is located bang on the main road leading from JNTU to Hitec city. I had noticed this college several times in the past and wondered that it would be a great location for a Toastmasters club. So, it made sense for me to visit the college and get introduced.

As I reached the college gate, it was a very different feeling for me. I had never been into any sales job. So, going somewhere and doing a cold calling, and that was exactly what I was going to do, was not my cup of tea. On one hand, I thought I may make a fool of myself as no one would entertain me. On the other hand, I was thinking that I had nothing to lose. Even if they turned me away, I will gain the experience of getting rejected!

With these thoughts, I marched in and was soon stopped by an old man who seemed to be the watchman of the place. I told him that I have to go to the office and he allowed me. Inside the building, I found several rooms with their doors locked. One door was ajar and there sat a lady, doing some paperwork. I met her and told her about Toastmasters. Then I handed over the 2 paper pamphlets that I was carrying. She checked it out and asked me if I would like to meet the director. I did not expect that in my wildest of dreams. But why not? I remembered a key phrase from Ed Tate, a world champion of public speaking...

 "If not here, then where? If not now, then when? If not you, then who?" 

With these thoughts, I said yes, I would love to meet him. She asked me to wait and in sometime she asked me to go to the director's office. Contrary to my expectations, Mr Srinivas, the director was a young man. I introduced myself and appraised him of my intention of coming there. After listening to me patiently, he asked me if I would like to speak with the students in their class room?

Again, why not? If not now, then....
So, he took me to a class room in the first floor. It was the class room for the BBA students. There were about 25 students and a teacher. He introduced me and gave the floor to me. It was an extended table topics for me. I gave a quick introduction of myself and explained about Toastmasters. I told them the what and how of Toastmasters, how clubs operate and how they help in building communication and leadership skills. I told them the importance of communication skills in the job market and professional life. Then I briefed them about the contest that we were organizing and asked them to register for it. I spelled out the benefits for them from the contest and the formalities required to register for the same.
With that I opened the floor for questions and answers. Couple of folks asked questions regarding venue, topic etc. I answered them and finally thanked the students and their teachers and then left the class room.

I met with the director again before leaving the college and thanked him as well.

Life throws unexpected things - things that you sometimes dread and things that you some time enjoy. As they say, if you believe that the universe will present the best of opportunity to you, it somehow materializes!! But, as someone said, luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Universe will give you an opportunity. But only if you have the right preparation, so you can convert that opportunity to be a lucky one!! 

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