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I’m MAD! – a Toastmasters Speech (9)

I don’t mean I’m stark raving bonkers, cuckoo, daft as a brush or a one hand clapper.  And nor are you; but I bet you are MAD too.

Mr President Mr Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters I think we are all MAD! – That is … making a difference! 

The purpose of this presentation isn’t to persuade you to make more of a difference instead it’s about recognising how much we do already that’s making a difference. 

Let’s look at the what, the why and the how we are MAD so you can come to your own conclusions.

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1.  What do I mean by MAD – making a difference?

Making a difference is all the little things we do that have an impact on others.  This isn’t about volunteering necessarily.  I know there are many of you who volunteer time in someway or another.  I mentor for the Prince’s Trust – I’ve been doing it for about 8 years.  I see a lot of kids that want to start their own business that really haven’t got a clue.  I work with them to build a credible plan.  Some follow it, some don’t.  Boyfriend thinks I MAD (out to lunch) but I think I’m MAD – making a difference. Those kids that don’t continue with their business plans do tend to end up in further education or full time employment and I think that is making a difference.   

But we volunteer our time in all sorts of ways.  Joining Casterbridge Speakers is another.  Whilst we can say that we joined to learn how to speak in public with confidence, we soon find that the support we give to the others is actually more important to our learning.  If we’re not MAD making a difference, then we are not learning.

2.  Why we should recognise MAD as important?

Blanchard and Spencer suggested in their book the one minute manager that it is as important to recognise the good things that people do as it is to correct the things that people cock up!  “Help people reach their full potential. Catch them doing something right.”

What they suggest as part of a three point plan for good management is to set good standards and goals then recognise when people get things right.  Psychologically, the feel good factor that you get from doing something right makes you want to do more of the same.  As people build confidence in the what they are doing well, they need less reassurance from others that it’s MAD because they recognise it in themselves.

3.  How we are making a difference?

I empty my purse of coppers and five p pieces whenever I meet a charity box by a cash register.  It’s not much each time I do this; maybe 20 pence perhaps.  Boyfriend thinks I’m MAD – (sixpence short of half a shilling) – me I think I’m MAD – making a difference.  Not a big one admittedly but a difference all the same.

I have three pints of milk delivered to my house twice a week.  The one pound ninety five it costs is possibly a third more than I need to pay but it helps to keep my milky on the road.  It’s not that important to me nor anyone I imagine in this room but to milky it’s a little bit closer to keep him trading and the impact that that entails. Boyfriend thinks I’m MAD – (Off my Trolley) but me … I think I’m MAD – making a difference.  Not a big one admittedly but a difference all the same.

I recycle just as much as I can.  I hate waste so for me every bottle of red and every can of pear cider I can recycle is helping not to landfill.  Sure what I recycle isn’t going to save the earth and boyfriend thinks I’m MAD (half a fruit cake) but I think I’m MAD – making a difference.  Not a big one admittedly but a difference all the same.

What would happen if I stopped doing all those little things?

If I didn’t buy my milk from milky any longer or

If I didn’t recycle my waste

If I didn’t mentor with the Princes Trust

If I didn’t give away my coppers

I’d still be making a difference as all these minuses add up.  I may not feel that bad about it but I would lose the feeling I get from knowing I’m MAD making a difference by doing them. 

So what about you guys?

Have you mentally added your own MADness to my little list of plusses?

So are you MAD too?  Or am I really; as Boyfriend thinks … just MAD (four toes short of a foot)?

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