As I begin to visit more Toastmaster clubs, I am starting to notice distinctive Club 'personalities'. The basic meeting roles, rules, and activities are common to all clubs, but the personalities of the members, the venue, and the local traditions make each club a different experience.
Last weekend I had a great experience visiting ICAT Toastmasters. After weeks of curiosity, I finally found out that ICAT stands for Indian Chartered Accountants Toastmasters. The meeting was very impressive. A textbook lesson in timing and role-playing. They also elected their new Executive Committee while I was there (pictured at left).
Another point that has been brought home to me is the need for constant practice to maintain public speaking skills. I've done Table Topics at three different Clubs over the last two weeks and my performance has not been as good as it should be. This is the sort of thing that Toastmasters training is so good at - highlighting weaknesses and providing opportunities to address them.
I made my first visit to Friends of Yoga Toastmasters Club last Friday. They seem like a great group of people and very dedicated to Toastmasters. They had a good meeting which culminated in the election of their Executive Committee for next year (pictured at left). I wish them all good luck in their roles and hope to be able to attend their meetings on a regular basis.
As I meet more Toastmasters and learn about the Clubs in my Area, the importance of my role becomes more apparent to me. While the duties set forth in the District Leaders Handbook seem straightforward, there are subtle elements that will take some time for me to understand. That's the thing about Leadership, I guess. If it were easy, anyone could do it. Or, perhaps more aptly put, if it were easy, more people would stand for election for the position.
So where do I start? I think it is with people. An Area Governor does not work alone. Area and Club goals are based on the accomplishment of members. What is needed from me is not so much a vision, but a belief. A belief in the values of Toastmasters International, a belief in the dedication and abilities of the Club Officers, and a belief that the Toastmasters in my Area are willing to set goals for themselves and do their best to achieve them.