Distinguished Toastmasters Indeed!
In April 2008, 7.15pm for a strict 7.30 kick off, Steve Graham, Jan Thorpe with much bugging and instance from yours truly, Casterbridge Speakers was launched. That day, I started an extraordinary journey, I wasn’t expecting nor had planned.
Ten years later and to the month, Caroline Brewer the Area Director 2017/18 officially recognises both Steve and myself as Distinguished Toastmasters. It isn’t about length of service, rather service to each other with one or two speeches along the way. (actually I think it was 47 prepared speeches in total).
I had never planned to go ‘all the way’. But having done so, I am pleased with myself. I have always been a completer-finisher and like most people, I guess love it when I can go. Yay! I’ve done it! “Yay! I’ve done it!”
Notwithstanding the network of friends that I have made through the clubs, I suspect the real reason why it has kept me, hooked for so long is to do with the programme’s set up. If you have ever come across Kolb’s learning cycle you will recognise the four aspects that you address when you are learning.
The Toastmaster meetings ensure there are ample opportunities for doing, feeling, watching, and thinking. There are three parts to a meeting; the prepared speeches, the semi-prepared evaluations, and the impromptu table topics. All preferred learning styles catered for; including self paced and group learning.
So what next? Well – it just so happens that a brand new Toastmasters learning programme has launched in the UK. It is called Pathways. I have set myself up on two, ‘Presentation Mastery’ and ‘Strategic Relationships’, with the aim of finding my ‘real’ voice. If you are interested, do follow my progress – I have recorded all my speeches in this blog. Almost without exception.