Welcome to Sun Life Speakers Corner - an open public club dedicated to creating better communicators and leaders out of all of us.
From Bruce Laing, Club President for 2023-2024:
I saw a post on social media that was a quote from Benjamin Franklin,
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
The first thing that popped into my mind was our club Members, and any Toastmaster in general to be honest.
This resonates with me because I have tried my best to “tell” members about all aspects of Toastmasters – the club website being easy-Speak, the club meeting roles, about the Club Officers, the Toastmasters International website, and of course Pathways.
I have tried my best to “teach” members how to do things with the above aforementioned by way of emails with attachments, or screenshots, or do a live demonstration during a meeting, fulfilling a Path Project.
And I have tried my best to “involve” members. Two words I have stressed over the years – with this being my fourth term as Club President – “get involved”. This goes hand-in-hand with my other saying, “It’s only an hour.” Yes, we all know that work and life can get in the way. Another saying that is commonly said, by all, is “You get out of Toastmasters what you put into it”.
Getting – and staying – involved with the Club is all part of ‘A Toastmaster’s Promise’ that is stated on the Membership Application that we all signed.
Here it is as a reminder – highlighting a few special ones – although all are important…
A Toastmaster’s Promise
As a member of Toastmasters International and my club, I promise
To attend club meetings regularly
To prepare all of my projects to the best of my ability, basing them on the Toastmasters education program
To prepare for and fulfill meeting assignments
To provide fellow members with helpful, constructive evaluations
To help the club maintain the positive, friendly environment necessary for all members to learn and grow
To serve my club as an officer when called upon to do so
To treat my fellow club members and our guests with respect and courtesy
To bring guests to club meetings so they can see the benefits Toastmaster’s membership offers
To adhere to the guidelines and rules for all Toastmasters education and recognition programs
To act within Toastmasters’ core values of integrity, respect, service, and excellence during the conduct of all Toastmasters activities
Even though the very first one states to attend “regularly”, we all know that may not be possible, which is why for years, I have always said, “semi-regularly”. You don’t/can’t/won’t learn anything and improve yourself if you don’t attend meetings semi-regularly. Long absences in between meetings will allow the rust to creep in – forgetting how a meeting role is done, allowing the filler words that you worked so hard at to eliminate to start coming back into your vocabulary.
Take on a club meeting role to fulfil that assignment. We have enough club members that we shouldn’t have to do double duty… yet we do. Take that initial step, and step out of your comfort zone. You’re in a safe environment to learn and grow. There is no pass or fail in Toastmasters. There’s only improving. Another TM saying, "Learn by doing".
The ‘evaluations’ promise above seems to scare new Members. But it’s a part of Toastmasters. Give it a try, sign up for one. If you want some guidance on how it’s done, let us know. We’re a very supportive club – we only want the best for you.
Help the Club Executive out by accepting a Club Officer role. It’s a part of being a leader, which Toastmasters as you know is big on… their motto is “Where Leaders Are Made”. There are only seven Club Officers to recruit for – eight in total as the out-going President automatically becomes the ‘Immediate Past President’. But why is one Club Officer doing two roles? Because nobody is stepping up to fulfil the easiest Officer role we have, the Sergeant-at-Arms.
My goals for this term as Club President are the following:
- Have every New Member enrolled in Pathways.
- Have every New Member do their Icebreaker.
- Have every Member try a new meeting role at least once, and continue with the exploration.
- Suggestions on this would be to…
i. Attend one week to watch and listen how a role is done
ii. Attend the following week by signing up for that role.
iii. Any questions about the role? Ask us!
- (4 actually) Have every New Member reach out for a Mentor.
- We don’t have a formal Mentorship Program in place, but it is always mentioned in early correspondence with you, especially right after you became a Member.
- A Mentor is someone you trust, like and can go to for questions about anything. If they don’t know, they’ll ask.
- A Mentor is someone who can help guide you on what a meeting role is all about, to help teach you about the Club Executive, and to read your speech draft, making suggestions if they feel any are needed… among other things too such as the website and Pathways.
- (5 actually) Have every Member enjoy their journey with the Club. Enjoyment is necessary for membership retention.
Who is with me... sorry, us? Let’s go on this journey together, as a TEAM… because
Together, Everyone Achieves the Mission.
Club President 2023-2024