As members, club officers and district leaders of Toastmasters, do we practise excellence, enthusiasm and encouragement in everything we do?
Excellence is one of the four core values of Toastmasters. The other three are Integrity, Respect and Service to the member. What is excellence? Jim Kokocki, a past international president of Toastmasters International, says that “for club members excellence means performing assigned duties to the best of our ability every time. Sometimes we have bad days, and sometimes we have less time to prepare than we might like. Regardless, excellence means performing to the best of our ability every time for the benefit of the club and all the members”. For club officers it means providing an atmosphere of club excellence that enables member achievement and for district leaders it means serving the members and supporting the clubs to the best of our ability.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”. Enthusiasm is infectious. If we perform our toastmaster’s roles with enthusiasm and chase our toastmaster’s goals with enthusiasm we will have a positive effect on our fellow club members as well as guests and new members.
There’s an old Irish saying “Mol an Óige agus tiocfaidh sí” which translates roughly as “praise the young and they will flourish”. It’s easy to criticise, but it’s much more rewarding and more productive to praise. Roy T. Bennett said, “Be an Encourager: When you encourage others, you boost their self-esteem, enhance their self-confidence, make them work harder, lift their spirits and make them successful in their endeavours. Encouragement goes straight to the heart and is always available. Be an encourager. Always”. Why do you stay in Toastmasters? There are probably many reasons why you stay in Toastmasters. One of the reasons I have remained in Toastmasters for 16 years is the encouragement I get from fellow members.
I wish all our members, club officers and district leaders a successful and distinguished toastmasters year 2018-2019. I urge you to perform your roles with excellence and enthusiasm and to always give encouragement to fellow members.
At the 30th June 2019, I hope you will have achieved your goals, I hope our clubs will be distinguished and I hope District 71 will be recognised on the world stage in Denver, Colorado in August 2019 as a distinguished district.
Patricia O’Reilly, DTM, District Director, District 71