What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you as a Toastmaster? Part 1
Allan Channell: My speech to qualify me as a Competent Communicator was delivered as our Motorola Arlington Heights’ corporate club in its last days. A series of staff reductions and relocations, had removed most of the clubs’ leadership. I also had some developments in my personal life which were taking priority over Toastmasters. I neglected to get a signature for this final speech, yet was presented with the Competent Communicator pin at my desk a few weeks later by one of the other final members. I did not recognize that my lack of any formal notification from Toastmaster’s signaled my achievement has not been formalized, and at the time, I wasn’t big on such formalities.
Fifteen years later, I returned to Toastmaster’s, and realized that not only I had no credit for that achievement, but that my new club would also be unable to reflect this achievement. I am currently more than half way toward my official Competent Communicator designation, and I look forward to having my original pin presented to me with its formal recognition.
Joe Davis: My feeling of being a part of a club, like back in Boy Scout days. Just like in Scouts, really practical skills are emphasized: camping for the sake of camping, speaking for its own sake. I can now see why many college students decide to join a fraternity or sorority!
Carl Kovago: The most interesting thing for me was to see how many toastmaster groups exist, with people coming from all walks of life and different background, during the new officer training. People passionate about quality speech, about their clubs, listening, sharing thoughts, offering opinions and ideas. These were only the new officers of the 30th and the 103rd district, 5-7 persons per club but we filled the conference rooms. There may have been 200 – 300 people there?
The training meeting really demonstrated how great a community Toastmasters is.
James Thies ACB, CL: I think that the most interesting thing about joining Toastmasters is the Club Ambassador program. I have visited some clubs in the past, and it is always refreshing to get a different take on how club meetings are held.
The corporate club meetings are different from ours, in that some run them slightly different as compared to our community (open) club.
One corporate club meeting had the members do the pledge of allegiance, and had the flag wrongly displayed — the stars on the right instead of correctly on the left.
They were tongue-in-cheek joking that they did not want to offend me as the military veteran in the room. They were happy about getting the correction.
Bill Hicks CC, CL: I’d have to say one of my most interesting experiences was when I attended a speech competition. I remember one specifically where the speaker was a woman. Her story and speech were so engaging and heartfelt and inspirational. It was one fo the best stories I’ve heard or seen, and I’ve watched a LOT of speeches on YouTube.
She told a wonderful heartwarming story about floating down a river on a makeshift raft. Something only kids would do. And I was drawn into the story more so than many coming of age stories today. It should have been an after school special it was that good. I knew the place. I’d lived the story. And the moral was no preachy and parental. It was fitting to the story.
She lost. I couldn’t understand it. My guess was it was a tie with a tie breaker. I never really knew why.
I felt bad because she would never know how good she was up there. I wish someone had taped this woman’s speech for her because her hard work had paid off. It made me realize how important it is to record your speeches.
I even went up to the woman and told her how much I enjoyed her story afterward, something I don’t typically do when I don’t know a speaker. That’s how much her story moved me.
Beth Reed ACB, ALB: If I break my 4 years in Toastmasters into stages, it is easier to provide something interesting from each stage. My first stage coincided with the fall contest season, and since my club had several Area Governors (now Area Directors) I had several opportunities to be Target Speaker. It was very interesting and enlightening to see all the club and area contests. I was also target speaker for an advanced club’s evaluator workshop so I got to learn about being an effective evaluator.
My next stage was taking on a club officer role, VPE (Vice President of Education), which allowed me to apply leadership skills learned as a manager and a mom in a volunteer setting. Working with my fellow officers has been enjoyable and interesting as we mesh our various styles and traits for the good of the club. This stage also gave me some insight into the District business meetings, which I will be able to use as I move into my next stage as District Finance Manager.