Why are YOU part of Toastmasters? I think each one of us has their own story to share. Is it because of the leadership program? Maybe it is public speaking that you are interested in? For me it is none of the above. Why? For me Toastmasters is a Life Changing Program.
My life changed a lot since I joined the first Toastmasters meeting. It has been quite a journey –one, which took me to the Division Director of the Year 2017/2018.
Firstly, it all started with curiosity. I wondered why the people in the room are having so much fun? How is it possible that they are not afraid to stand up and talk in front of strangers. Strangers –that is what I thought at first. Then it dawned on me – they knew each other very well. They were building a community, where from day one you are treated as a best friend. Who would say no to such an environment? I am glad I said yes and made a leap of faith. Over time, I realized how much regular meetings improved my social and speaking skills. Those skills helped me to become more engaged at work, which led to getting a promotion. People asked how did I accomplished that. The answers was and still is simple – I got the tools and support from the Toastmasters Life Changing Program.
Secondly, it was the realization how much I received from the organization and the other members. Thanks to their support and feedback I realized I had to opportunity to RISE over the years. That was the reason I became a Club Officer. I wanted to shape the future of our club. Becoming a Club President was something natural as I felt the need to show how Toastmasters can change one’s life. Did you know that in our organization there is a manual for everything? 😉 It is no surprise –after all, we have over 90 years of experience. That is how I learned about other Leadership roles in Toastmasters, for example, the Area Director. This role helped me understand how Toastmasters is organized and what opportunities await us beyond the club level. I knew I will not stop there and would explore the Toastmasters World more as a Division Director. The secret lies in acting accordingly to the core values which are Respect Integrity Service Excellence. If you have them in mind before taking any decision, then you will always choose the right path.
Thirdly, it is the People. Over time, I realized that most of my friends on Facebook are Toastmasters 🙂 Those are the people I’ve met during contests, officer trainings, conferences or visiting other clubs. This is a powerful network which you can count on. What I learned is that you can’t do everything on your own. Especially, if you are thinking about successfully overseeing 22 Clubs. If you are surrounded by such motivated people like Gosia, Marta, Hania and Adrian, who served as Area Directors last year, then anything is possible. I am 100% sure that without them our Division wouldn’t have reached President’s Distinguished status. When your goal is to serve others, help them out to reach their goals, then the satisfaction gained from such accomplishment is beyond expectations. It is the same with DCP points. If you are thinking about the members’ development and supporting them on their journey, then the DCP points will become natural fruit resulting from those actions. It won’t work the other way round. How did I become the Division Director of the year? We are strong together. Thanks to the support of the people around me. People who share the same passion. People who serve others. People who believe that Toastmasters is a Life Changing Program.
Immediate past Division E Director 2017/2018 District 95
Citi Toastmasters Olsztyn Treasurer
Finance Manager District 108