My fellow toastmasters, it is with true gratitude that I accept this award today.
As you know, Toastmasters is a unique organisation, which, for over 90 years, has been teaching people how to give speeches and how to lead meetings.
For those who may not know, Toastmasters achieves this goal by providing a supportive environment for members to give their speeches, and to have their speeches evaluated. In turn, all other roles during a meeting are also evaluated. It is this environment of mutual support that enables a club to develop and grow its members.
This award recognizes that I have worked through the Competent Leadership manual. This manual consists of 10 projects, where a variety of roles are required to be performed and evaluated.
- Project 1 tested my Listening Skills, by requiring me to complete basic roles necessary for the successful running of a normal club meeting.
- Project 2 tested my Critical Thinking, by requiring me to be able to evaluate other roles.
- Project 3 tested my ability to give Feedback.
- Project 4 tested my Time Management skills, by successfully completing a Timer role and a significant other role within a meeting, on time.
- Project 5 tested my ability to Plan and Implement significant roles.
- Project 6 tested my ability to Organize and Delegate by requiring me to help to organize a special club event.
- Project 7 tested my Facilitation skills, by requiring me to perform a couple of vital roles in the club meeting.
- Project 8 tested my Motivation, by requiring me to perform roles to assist others.
- Project 9 tested my Mentoring skills. I especially wish to thank my mentee, Molino Garcia, for allowing me to mentor him. It was a privilege to be allowed to speak into another member’s life.
- Project 10 tested my Team Building skills, by requiring me to give back to the club.
Having now achieved this award, I have the following recommendations for others wishing to achieve it.
- If at all possible, you should attempt to get onto the Executive Team. This will afford you opportunities to complete certain roles.
- However, even if you are not on the Executive Team, you can volunteer to assist them. In this way, I was able to perform the role of Web Master, even though I wasn’t the Vice President of Public Relations.
- There are four competitions during the year: International Speech, Humorous Speech, Table Topics and Speech Evaluations. You should volunteer to be the convenor of one of these competitions. This role alone will fulfil the entire Project #6.
- If you are only one signature away from completing a project, then ask the Vice President Education to assign you that role in the coming month. You are not imposing. The VP Ed delights in knowing that you are interested in advancing your record. It is impossible for the Exec Team to know in advance which roles you wish to pursue at any particular time.
- And lastly, of course, for every role you fulfil in your club meeting, check your manual to see whether you can get it signed off. Then find somebody to sign it off for you.
Toastmasters is a bit like university, as opposed to school. You are provided the manual, but it is up to you to proactively manage your own project completion record. Nobody is going to chase you up to complete your manual. This is your prerogative.
What comes next? After the Competent Leader award, comes the Advance Leader Bronze. In order to achieve this level, one must:
- Have fulfilled an Executive Team role for a minimum of 6 months; and
- Completed 2 educational speeches of 10 minutes each.
The final person I wish to give heart-felt thanks to, is Warren Christie for shoulder-tapping me to join as a Charter Member of this club in July 2015. Warren had to convince me that I needed the club, and the club needed me. I am grateful that he persevered.
We took only 3 months to get up to the 20 members necessary, so that we were able to charter as a fully-fledged club in October 2015.
It has been said that this club is unique, in that our members are motivated to provoke one another to higher levels of achievement. With a weekly meeting, we are able to fulfil many more roles than most other clubs more quickly.
This award recognizes that I was motivated by others here to achieve. I am grateful to this club for the opportunities afforded me, and I hope I am an adequate role model to follow.
I have had a few outside opportunities to put into practice, the skills learned here. I can attest that these skills work, and are appreciated by the outside world. Personally, I have noticed family occasions in the past were lacking, because nobody was prepared to say a few words. People do appreciate when somebody has bothered to put some words together to mark a special occasion.
Once again, thank you fellow Toastmasters. It is a privilege to be presented this award. I gratefully accept it.