Photo credit: YOUTHOPIA

This 23-year-old found passion in public speaking

Toastmaster speaker Adam Samdin aims to benefit the lives of others through his words.

Shannon Kuan

Weird talents include playing the violin, but with a ukulele and a clothes hanger.

Published: 13 April 2022, 2:27 AM

For the uninitiated, 23-year-old Adam Samdin’s hobby has nothing to do with making bread. 

In fact, as a member of a Toastmasters club, Adam spends most of his time working on his public speaking skills. Widely known as one of the top 10 fears in the world, most would never imagine doing public speaking as a hobby. 

“But to me, it’s something that I really enjoy doing because it helps me to express myself in ways that allow others to understand me as a person,” Adam shares.

What sparked Adam’s love for public speaking began at the age of 11 when he gave his first speech about his favourite game — MapleStory — to his primary school classmates.

He reminisces: “I still remember the first speech I gave… I really put a lot of effort into it. Being very excited about video games, I happily shared about my experiences playing MapleStory.”

Surprisingly, stage fright did not have a hold on 11-year-old Adam back then despite the daunting task of speaking in front of his whole class and teacher.


The excitement of sharing about a topic that he held close to his heart was all Adam could focus on. PHOTO CREDIT: MAPLESTORY


Eventually, Adam decided to pursue public speaking formally. He took his first step by joining the Marine Parade Toastmasters club.

“At a Toastmasters club, everyone there are speakers who really just want to help the people around them improve on their public speaking and leadership skills. It was really through this community of speakers that I was able to not just give speeches, but also receive feedback as well on how to improve,” Adam says.

Through the community of toastmasters that Adam met, he was able to delve deeper into public speaking.


But channeling his personal love for public speaking into means of spreading his knowledge to others was not originally part of his plan. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA


After completing his national service, Adam was looking for something productive to do before university started. His former coach offered an available gig as a public speaking trainer, which Adam gratefully took up.

The gig then expanded into opportunities to coach at public schools. He would train students on public speaking, debates and communication skills.

“We have taught over 3000 students which I’m very happy about. I just saw it as an opportunity to better the lives of different students and hopefully give value to them as well,” Adam says.

Of course, Adam’s hobby of public speaking did not come without some struggles. Being a public speaker meant he often found himself placed under the scrutiny of many strangers.

He confesses: “I think the main challenge that every speaker faces is the whole idea about criticism. 

“When I first started receiving feedback, it was quite painful. But along the way, you realise that people are not criticising you as a speaker, but they are criticising the speech that you give.”


Adam has since learnt how to separate the speech from the speaker which helped him better stomach criticism and put it to good use. PHOTO CREDIT: ADAM SAMDIN


The whole process of introspection has also helped Adam learn how to be more comfortable in his own skin.

“So before we give a speech, I feel like it really requires us to look inside ourselves and better understand who we are before we are able to share what we have to say about someone or something else,” he says. 

Through his hobby, Adam was also able to gain confidence.


The highlight of Adam’s public speaking path was when a parent called up the public speaking centre he worked at to thank him for coaching their son who learnt how to stand up to bullies. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA


To those looking to improve at public speaking, Adam believes that it will take hard work and consistent effort. 

“It is easy to look up to great speakers and think that you’ll never be as good as them. But in reality, it’s because they have put in a lot of hard work that has led them to where they are today, and I think that that is something that anyone can do.

“If you want to improve, the most important thing is to just start doing it no matter how demoralising or discouraging your very first speech may be. After you take that first step is really when you can start improving and looking forward to greener pastures ahead!”

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