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Martin Luther-King Jr Day

On this day in history, Martin Luther-King Jr was born (Jan 15th 1929).  He was assassinated before his 40th birthday.  He’d have been 89 today, if he’d have lived this long. He is probably most renowned for his eloquent speech on the Civil Rights Movement in Washington in 1963.  I have a dream.

For aspiring Toastmasters and other public speakers, the history of this speech, its structure and its inspiring theme makes great study material.

There is one big difference between King’s dream and our goals as Toastmasters.  King’s dream has yet to come true.  Sure, it galvanised a movement but when we look around us, some 55 years on, we still await true equality.

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Dreams illustrate the end of a journey, the summit reached, the ideal realised.  But we need systems, processes, structures and goals to fascilitate, measure and celebrate progress.

The beauty of the Toastmasters public speaking and leadership programme is that it provides exactly the latter.  Moreover,  it offers constructive feedback to support and help those with a goal to score, however great or small that may seem.

At Salisbury Speakers, tonight, we had two new members undertaking their first step on their Toastmaster’s journey.  Both want to hone their confidence and competence in public speaking with their Icebreaker speeches. Wulf and Wendy made exceptional first steps, both very different in style, but both filled with anticipation and enthusiasm.  They were a delight to evaluate.

Taking the first step is, of course, just the beginning.  There are many more steps to make and of course take the feedback that encourages, enthuses and educates.  Indeed, most Toastmasters never stop learning.  We take every opportunity to develop, practice and hone our skills.  The thing is – and I miss quote …

“We do not walk alone.  And as we walk, we take the pledge that we shall always march ahead.  We do not turn back.”

Thanks for that thought Martin Luther-King Jr!

 

 

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