Be Prepared

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Being a Toastmaster is a privilege and a responsibility. Growing the membership is not just the responsibility of the VP Membership; it is the responsibility of all the club’s members. It’s important to consider how much we gain from a flourishing membership of diverse people. Each member has so much to offer and so much to gain.  

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 The other day Kathy Brewer mentioned, during a club meeting, that we should wear our Toastmaster pins in public in hopes of creating opportunities to tell others about Toastmasters. Just after this meeting and the days to come I had several opportunities to do just that. 

After the noontime meeting, I forgot to remove my name plate and went to Discount Tires. I went unprepared. The salesman asked me, “So, what is Toastmasters?”  My response “Um”….   I followed that with a long pause to gather my thoughts and said, “They teach you how NOT to start a sentence with ‘Um’.” I then proceeded to tell him more about Toastmasters. He ended with the common response, “So, you don’t sell toasters! That’s too bad, I like toast.”

This was a wasted opportunity to really be the light of Toastmasters. I failed to represent my club in an effective manner because I was caught off guard and not prepared to give an impromptu speech about the benefits of Toastmasters.

A few days later I was approached by a woman at the train station in Dallas because I was totting a Toastmaster International satchel. This time I was prepared. She told me she has wanted to attend a meeting for a while but had a hard time finding a club downtown. I gave her the great benefits of Toastmasters, offered her my card and told her I would help her find a noontime club in downtown Dallas and an evening club in Arlington. 

She has actually contacted me for information and I anticipate her going to a club meeting in the next week. It may not be my club, but any club is better than no club.
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Wear your Toastmasters pins in public but be prepared to speak about the organization.

You’ll be glad you were and you’ll be glad you did.

Submitted by Tracy Speyer, DTM