Meet a Leader

Meet a Leader- Alison Morris

Alison Morris, District 91 Admin Manager 2018/2019 inspires us with her story

1. What has been your journey with Toastmasters?

I joined Thame Speakers in 1998 and have helped out at 2 District Competitions held by Thame Speakers. In 2015 I became a charter member of  Stand and Deliver. To complete my DTM, I became Area Director and was asked to stand as Division Director the next year, which was ably contested but I managed to win through. This year, I have taken on the role of Administration Manager, excluding the IT role as this is something where my skills need further honing.

Alison Morris, District91 Admin Manager

2. What prompted you to take up the responsibility in the District Leadership team?

I was asked and have not yet learned to say no.

3. What are the goals and challenges that you have set for yourself this year? How are they progressing?

To get things organised in advance, due to family pressure I have not been as good at this as I could have been but there are still a good few months to go to redeem myself.

4. Do share something about you outside the toastmaster world.

I have been a youth worker for over 30 years and am a first aid trainer, Education and training tutor.

5. How have you been able to transfer the skills acquired in Toastmasters to your career or business?

Very much so, I do a lot of presenting and having to deal with high brow people. Toastmasters has given me the confidence to do this and to even enter into small talk with people I have not met before, something I could never have done. Besides this, taking on District roles has helped me further.

6. Please share a takeaway message for toastmaster members who are not sure about taking up leadership roles.

If you are thinking of taking on a District role and are not sure if you could do it, as long as you do your best you cannot go wrong and the support you get from the District is amazing. If there is an opportunity, take it, you wont regret it and you will grow from it.

Meet a Leader- Pedro Casillas

Pedro Casillas, District 91 District Director 2017/2018 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

Why Leadership? What’s in it for you as a District Leader?- Morag Mathieson

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.

1. Contribution
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

Meet a Leader – Arnaud Sartre

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.

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Meet a Leader – Fabio De Sio

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.

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