Carlos VBy Carlos Velázquez
President, Crystal City Evening Toastmasters

Our District Governor, Ralph Jones, recently shared some insights with us that provide some good ideas for our officers as the transition takes place for Crystal City Evening Toastmasters for a new program year.  We should abide by some guidelines that we should encourage in all our members.  The first is to participate.  Members should:

  • Attend club meetings regularly. Regular attendance helps rapidly conquer fears, sharpen speaking skills, and bolster leadership proficiency.

  • Prepare speech projects carefully. Toastmasters’ educational program builds skills through assignments. An alternate, personal curriculum defeats the purpose of measuring progress against a proven method.

  • Prepare and fulfill meeting assignments. Ill-prepared members miss the opportunity to learn and cheat fellow members out of what they may learn from the member’s contribution.

The second recommendation is to foster interaction.  A welcoming climate and culture make all the difference for our guests and members:

  • Provide helpful, constructive evaluations. Every Toastmaster deserves supportive feedback with advice for improving speaking and leadership efforts.

  • Promote a positive, friendly environment by arriving early to mingle and get to know members. Greet everyone and introduce yourself to guests.

  • Serve as an officer. Club meetings require teamwork and planning. Without these things the club would suffer.

  • Be respectful and courteous to everyone. Everyone deserves encouragement, support, and acknowledgment regardless of membership status or achievement level.

The last piece of advice is about quality.  We should strive to make our club one that has the needs of the members in mind and follows the values of Toastmasters International.  As a club we should encourage members to:

  • Bring guests. Give more people the benefits of Toastmasters’ program and introduce new personalities and ideas to the club.

  • Follow guidelines and rules. Noncompliance diminishes the meaning and value of awards and achievements for yourself and others.

  • Observe ethical standards. Ethics – in word and action – are just as important a part of the Toastmasters learning program as is speaking and leadership training.