Inside Outside of an Area Director by Anne Dockeray
As part of the Go Outside Your Club Contest I wanted to share with you as an Area Director some of things that I have found to be very positive and extremely helpful when trying to come from within yourself and out of the box. How do you sum up a year of a newly appointed Area Director? Well if you joined toastmasters to gain more knowledge in communication and in leadership, then you will fit in as an Area Director. Taking on this appointment was a challenge within myself. You see I have sights of the Distinguished Toastmaster!!! That alone helped to get out of my box to achieve my goals.
When I first agreed to take on this role I did not realize how much I would grow. There are plenty of highlights that I could share with you but the ones that stand out the most are Club Visits and Contests. Getting not only to meet new people but to feel their passion for the program was very uplifting. Also being able to share my passion for this program – you see that is so a leadership skill. You are doing it and you don’t realize the impact you have on others. This was so noticeable when trying to get other club members to come outside their box to our Area Club Contest. Just watching others excel, each member at different stages of their program. I think that most members join and think that the club level is all I need, but I feel you don’t get outside of your box to inside yourself unless you journey forward and try something new. This contest was a great stepping stone to see what others have done and to apply it to myself. Growing, growing is what stands out the most.
Thank you Toastmasters for an excellent learning year. Still more to come!!
In Praise in Going Beyond Your Club
I have always believed in going outside of my home club. Twenty-one years ago, when I joined Toastmasters, I visited two different clubs a few times before I made my decision on which to join.
I joined Ambitious City Toastmasters, a Hamilton club, on April 11th. On May 1st, I was in Kingston for a four month work contract. I was eager, I was motivated, I was bored in the evenings. I visited every club I could find. I made a discovery: every club is the same, and every club is different. At every club I found friendly, welcoming people. There was table topics, there were speeches, there were evaluations. Yet, there were differences as well. This club had the evaluators go to the lectern, that one had them evaluate from their seats. One club had a display table for guests, another had their names written on the front and back of the name tents. I had fun, and I learned a lot. I also went back to my home club in September with all these new ideas and implemented some of them. My club thought I was a genius.
I have never stopped visiting other clubs. This year I've been to five in my immediate geographical area and to several more anniversary parties as the District Historian. Always friendly people, good times and the chance to see a different way of doing things. There are also the contests, the conferences, and the officer training sessions. All fun, all a chance to see how large Toastmasters really is.
Now that a new Toastmasters year is upon us, it is a good time to set goals. I urge you, go beyond your club and see what is there. If you belong to an evening club, go visit a lunch time club, or vice versa. The experience is radically different, and yet comfortingly familiar. Go to a contest, attend officer training. Learn. Make new friends. Have fun. Happy New Year.
David T. Shaw DTM
Ambitious City #1586 and McMaster #6307
District 86 Historian