WIIFM - What's In It For Me?

By Ting Chee Kheong

April 2002

Good evening International Director, fellow Toastmasters and Guests.

I have always wanted to be a radio DJ, but NO! I am not about to host a radio talk show tonight but to share with you on WIIFM - What's In It For Me?

What's in it for me to join Toastmasters Club? Our President, Mr. James Gan, has painstakingly pointed out the various benefits of joining Lion City Toastmaster Club, but what's in it for YOU to join our club?

Seng Chuan, our Vice President for Education, talks about "revolutionizing the Toastmaster movement" and "to build effective public speakers". Sophia, our Vice President for Membership, talks about the "immense satisfaction of a job well done" that she stayed back in office on Sundays to do committee work!

But must our reasons to join the club be all that noble and selfless?

Can we not have some selfish reasons or motivations to join the club?

Take for example my dear friend, Garen Tan, who talks about the benefits of networking. On first look, one may think that networking equal making friends with an ulterior motive, and we have been taught that it is undersirable, as if you are trying to cheat the other person.

But that cannot be more true!

Networking is about being at the right place at the right time, knowing the right people! And you must enjoy what you are doing and be real about it.

Like joining Toastmasters Club.

I enjoy making speeches and coming for club meetings. In the short span of time here, I have given business to a fellow toastmaster, be invited for another member's wedding, make new friends, and even found my bible study teacher here!

It is not wrong for us to have selfish reasons to join the club, or for that matter, any social or leisure activities that we engage in.

There are many reasons for us to engage in a certain activity, and I call it the "Concept of Multiple Motivations"

The key is identifying that single most important motivation and be authentic about it.

As in networking, you must truly enjoy hanging out and giving favors to others without expecting returns immediately. Know that in the process itself, you have already benefitted from the bonds and friendships established, and what comes back to you eventually, is really a bonus and an affirmation of who you really are.

Knowing the WIFFM gives you the clarity of your purposes: be it joining the club, staying on in your job or your relationship, or achieving that goal you set out for yourself.

Recognise that it is WIIFM that drives and motivates people to put in effort and get things done. Don't be afraid to face that WIIFM of yours in what you do. Be proud, that you have clarity and no hidden agenda!

I posted a question at the beggining asking "what's in it for you" to join our club.

Well, for me, besides the drive to become an effective public speaker, enjoying the limelight and winning the blue ribbon, I hope to build friends and enrich the experiences of my life.

My dear fellow Toastmasters, in each of you there are treasures of wisdon, knowledge and experiences. I urge you to join me in identifying your WIIFM in joining the club, and to share with us, the unique treasures in YOU!

And I shall end this speach with a poem I found on the internet with unknown author:

There are treasures in life,

But owners are few

Of money and power

To buy things brand new.

Yet you can be wealthy

And feel regal too,

If you will just look

For the treasures in you.

These treasures in life

Are not hard to find

When you look into your heart,

Your soul, and your mind.

For when you are willing

To share what's within,

Your fervent search

For riches will end.

The Joy and the Laughter,

The Smile that you bring,

The Heart unafraid

To Love and to Sing;

So thank you for sharing

These great gifts inside;

The Caring, the Cheering,

The Hug when one cried.

Thanks for the energy,

And encouragment too,

And thank you for sharing,

The treasures in YOU!