Meet a Leader – Steve Vear

Steve Vear is our Division A Director and he was awarded Division Director of the year for 2016/17. I see Steve and the various DOTs and DECs I am always impressed with how prepared and engaged he is offering calm, collected and sensible council. I wanted to find out more about what motivates Steve.

Tell me a little about your background?
I’ve lived in Andover all my life; you may know Andover has the home of Twinings Tea, Stannah Stairlifts and The Troggs – it’s a happening place. I worked in IT distribution for 17 years but I recently became Head of Resource Management for an Examination Board. I was born with cerebral palsy, it’s part of who I am but doesn’t define who I am, and I plan to live life to the full regardless; you can hear more about this in a previous interview.

Which club(s) are you a member of?
I am a member of Wessex Speakers, in Winchester. I used to be a member of several clubs, but as I now visit clubs through the Division Director role I just stick with my home club.

How did you find out about Toastmasters?
Just over four years ago, I simply did an on-line search for local public speaking clubs and Wessex Speakers popped up.

Why did you join Toastmasters and have your expectations been met?
As chair of the cricket league, I was looking to improve my public speaking to help with making awards and after-dinner speeches. My expectations were surpassed on my first visit to Wessex Speakers – I was so impressed with the genius structure to the meeting and education process that I became a member within 48 hours.

What do you enjoy most about Toastmasters?
As well as the structure, I love the range of weird and wonderful talks that you hear. You are exposed to technical talks and topics that you wouldn’t normally bother to go to, and learn all sorts of stuff.

What are you currently focussing on at Toastmasters?
Personally, I am working towards my DTM, which I hope to achieve this spring. I am hugely excited about Pathways and I am assisting clubs in Division A prepare for it. Right now I am Talking Up Toastmasters and encouraging our members to make a difference, no matter how small. I am also passionate about mentoring and I am providing training and upskilling to those who wish to become a great mentor. Also I remind members that they are part of a greater thing than their club, a worldwide professional organisation offering huge benefits.

What are your Toastmaster ambitions for the future?
One day I would like to join the DLT.

Any views on how we can improve Toastmasters in District 91?
We have to remember that we are a voluntary organisation. We can all make a difference without making Toastmasters a full-time job. We are all ambassadors of Toastmasters (walking, talking PR machines) and should never refuse an opportunity to speak.

How do you spend your time when you are not at Toastmasters, what are your hobbies and interests?
My extramural activities to Toastmasters include being a listening volunteer for the Samaritans, a magistrate, a cricket league chairperson and a radio presenter for Castledown FM. My Saturday afternoon show is the Sounds of Stage and Show – do tune in at 2pm. I have found Table Topics really useful for improving my radio presenting skills. I also enjoy cruises, from Southampton to Europe and the Caribbean, and I blog about them en route.

So, who are you favourite musicians and bands?
I am a DJ with the worst music knowledge. As well as the soundtracks I present on my radio show, I like any 80s music with lyrics that I can sing along to [which he does regularly on his show – ed]. I’m particularly a fan of Elton John, Adele and Ed Sheeran.

Any final words for our District 91 members?
Never doubt what you can achieve with a little encouragement.

Let me now of any more leaders within District 91 that you would like to hear more about.

Nigel Oseland

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