Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Where do we go from here?

Ever wonder what is your own personal "next level"? What is going to happen next in your life?

I read a blog recently (link here) that got me thinking about how this idea applies to Toastmasters and, in particular, why having a "next level" keeps the Toastmaster experience fun!

For a Toastmaster, there are many such turning points or "next levels".

In the beginning of your Toastmaster experience the "next level" is pretty obvious. For example, if you are a guest visiting a Toastmaster club, the next level is membership. If you've just joined, the next level is your first speech, "The IceBreaker". From there you can progress at your own speed through the CTM manual (CTM ="Competent ToastMaster").

As you get to the end of the manual you come to a decision point. Do you work on an advanced manual and your ATM designation ("Advanced ToastMaster") or do you serve as an officer of your club and develop your leadership skills (and move toward achieving your CL designation for "Competent Leader")? You could even go back and re-do the CTM speeches again to improve your skills.

Your options expand as you progress in Toastmasters. You can work toward advanced designations (ATM-Silver, DTM which is Distinguished ToastMaster), serve in various officer roles, serve as part of the District ToastMaster team (as Area Governor, Division Governor, District Officer) or volunteer to organize various ToastMaster events such as the Toastmaster Leadership Institute (training) or a Speechathon.

The opportunities are nearly endless ... and I haven't even begun to talk about the speech contests and the incredible experience you get from participating.

I hope you are thinking about what you want to get out of Toastmasters and what "the next level" means to you! Reach out for your next challenge and Toastmasters will make it worth your while !

Speak UP!

Dave Wheeler
Toastmasters Area A4 Governor
Greater Danbury, CT
District 53

Serving the following Toastmaster clubs: (click on the names for further information)
Barnum Square Toastmasters, Bethel, CT
WestConn Toastmasters, Danbury, CT (meetings at Wooster School Library)
Diversity USA, downtown Danbury
Socially Speaking, Brookfield, CT

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