Pedro Casillas, District 91 Immediate Past President inspires us with his story
1. What has been your journey with Toastmasters?
I joined Grosvenor Square Speakers, (the first TI club to be set up in London), TI in 2002. During my time with TI, I have taken on many roles, (some more than once), from VPM, VPE, Treasurer, President, through to Area and Division Directors, through to being District Director last year. This year I am supporting the District in my role as Immediate Past District Director as well as helping my home club as Treasurer.
Over the years, as one would expect, I have learned to speak well in public; lead various teams; lead workshops and mentor many members.
2. Congratulations on the awards that District 91 were presented in Chicago. Tell us something more about it.
Each year, TI challenges every Club, Area, Division and District to be the best they can be and to deliver exceptional benefits for ALL members. One way to measure this is the District Success programme, which measures how well the District is doing (the programme is broken down from District to Division to Area and Club level). Districts are judged on the number of new clubs created, the number of payments received and number of Distinguished clubs. Last TI year, 2017-18, D91 achieved the second highest award, ‘Select Distinguished District’ award. D91 finished 11th in the world out of 118 District, which is a fantastic achievement. In addition, D91 finished second in the world, with 80% + of our clubs having more than 20 members. What makes me most proud, is looking back on how well EVERYONE across the District contributed to our success and have helped to lay the foundations for continuing success. Read More
If I were to ask you to describe yourself as a leader today, what would you say?
Are you a happy leader? An experienced leader? A reluctant leader? or maybe a terrified leader?
One question I am often asked in Toastmasters is why leadership? Why do you put yourself through it?
5 Cs to help remember what’s in it for us when we take up the mantle of leadership.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – when we get to the top of the pyramid and reach level of self actualization there is a desire to give back and taking a leadership role allows us to do that.
• Make a contribution to the district mission (We build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence), helping bring the advantages of Toastmasters to a wider audience and helping members be fulfilled in quality clubs
• Make a contribution to the Toastmasters International Mission (We empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders). You support clubs to become centres of excellence for the member experience and so enable members to reach goals and achieve greater levels of competence and confidence.
• Make a contribution to your district – encouraging excellence in education wherever you are.
• Make a contribution to your peer group in the District Council meetings – sharing perspectives, encouraging each other. Read More
Arnaud Sartre is not only our incoming Club Growth Director (CGD), he is also area Director of the Year. I was keen to catch up with Arnaud.
Arnaud, I remember you telling me about your home town, tell me more?
I was raised in Lyon, which is the third biggest city in France. Lyon is beautiful, it is just two hours from the sea, two hours from the Alps and two hours from Paris. Lyon probably has the best food in the world because of its traditional “bouchons” and many Michelin star chefs, probably the most famous being L’Auberge of Paul Bocuse.
Those of you who attended the District 91 Spring Conference will have seen fabulous Fabio De Sio (FDS) when he won the International Speech Contest. Fabio also won the hearts of the audience, and judges, with his unique and enchanting speech on having the courage to be true to yourself. I (Nigel Oseland – NO) was looking forward to meeting up with this charismatic young man.
NO: What did it feel like to win the International speech contest?
FDS: It was a huge surprise. I only been a member for six months and I entered the contest as a bit of a joke. I spent quite a while trying to find a suitable club to improve my English and my public speaking. I never received good feedback on my speaking, so it was amazing to win locally and then at the district conference.
Its a busy time for Andy O’Sullivan. As District 91’s Chief Judge, Andy is spending his time travelling to division contests and preparing his judges for the Spring Conference on 5-6 May. As well as finding Andy on our Contest & Judging page, you will also find him in the Hall of Fame as last year’s Toastmaster of the Year.
Tell me a little about your background and home life.
Born and raised in Sidcup, Kent, I spent most of my career working in banking. As someone who struggled with the confidence to speak up in meetings or give presentations, I knew that I’d have to develop my public speaking skills … one day!
Where do you live and which club(s) are you a member of?
Living close to the Elephant & Castle, I’m President of London Toastmasters, a recently Chartered club at London Bridge. This is a club I started last November, due to the massive demand for membership at my other clubs, London Public Speakers and Central London Toastmasters.