Toastmasters are gold. Most Toastmasters know this. However, only a few are able to derive a great proportion of value from this precious program. At its best, it has the ability to consume you and use you to its benefit (nothing wrong here). At your best, you can consume it and use it to your benefit. I will share three ways in which you can mine this gold, refine it, and use it.
1. Be intentional
Like any other program, toastmasters will not work unless you do. The toastmaster’s membership does not come with a “holy anointing” of public speaking. It is also not a quick injection of leadership abilities.
It requires intention, time, effort, and discipline.
Commit to write and deliver your speeches and do that consistently. I completed my competent communicator manual within a year by simply delivering a speech every other meeting. Many people leave without completing because they are not used to taking the initiative, they only work when there are instructions and deadlines. Unfortunately, the only instruction here is: be intentional in designing and following your path.
2. Say “I do” to opportunities
You will most likely be asked to be part of a committee, organize an event, or compete in a speech contest. Say “Yes” to opportunities; you never know where they may lead you. In 2015, just two months after joining, I was challenged to compete in a humorous speech contest. “I am in”, I said. I prepared a speech and competed at club level. To my surprise, I won. With new-found confidence, I improved the speech to compete at area level. To my surprise, I could not compete as I was, apparently, not a member in good standing. Little me cried and moved on. In 2016, I came back with a bang and a broom. A more refined speech on ” Black Magic” earned me one of my proudest moments as a Toastmaster; I was crowned District 74 champion in humorous speaking. It all started with the audacity to say “I do” to opportunities.
3. Do unto the world as you do unto fellow Toastmasters
If there is one thing that should never be in question, it is the abundance of talent within toastmasters. Cheerleaders, thought leaders, inspirational speakers are all made in toastmasters. However, cheering, leading and being inspiring in toastmasters is not enough. It is only the beginning.
One of the biggest challenges of Toastmasters is that we become comfortable “doing the most” within Toastmasters to an extent that we become afraid of going back to the world to “do the most” there. Toastmasters is warm. The real world is usually harsh.
However, with our level of confidence and competence, we are more than capable of being cheerleaders, thought leaders and inspirational speakers of this world. In 2016, I delivered my CC10 titled “Today is to do” which encourages people to do away with procrastination and “do the most” now.
“This gift is too good to only be received by the Toastmaster’s fraternity”, I said to myself. I decided to turn it into a book, one that would go on to do unto the world as my speech did unto fellow Toastmasters.
I have become professional speaker who uses humor, logic, and storytelling to challenge popular views on numerous issues including excellence, personal growth, and witchcraft.
If you are an intentional Toastmaster, who says “I do” to opportunities, sooner rather than later, you will do unto the world as you do unto fellow Toastmasters, and that is the gold of Toastmasters International.