Courage and Encouragement

As excitement grows for the next half of our contest season, I want to start by wishing all contestants the verry best of luck. Whether you are entering the evaluation contest, or indeed setting out on your journey to become the next World Champion of Public Speaking, I hope that you learn and grow from the experience!

I am sure that you have had this reminder given to you so often that you will find my next words incredibly boring – but please do remember the eligibility requirement for speakers and functionaries of the International Speech contest. This is especially important if you are responsible for running a contest at club, Area, Division or District level. Please do consult this year’s Speech Contest Rulebook.

Very soon the deadline for elected roles in District 91 will have passed. But what about if your next opportunity to take the next step on your leadership journey doesn’t involve an elected position? You may have noticed that I said leadership journey, and not Toastmasters leadership journey. Why? Because all too often it’s s easy to forget the very clear and powerful transferable leadership skills that an organisation like Toastmasters international can give.

Your Area Council will soon be looking to elect the next Area Director, your club will be holding elections for committee positions in the next few months, and if that doesn’t give you enough chances to put your best foot forward, the District is always looking for people to take on small and not so small tasks.

But I am not pointing this out just to try and attract you to a leadership responsibility within Toastmasters. I want to you to think about the role you can play in encouraging the next leader. Almost of all of my roles within Toastmasters, whether it be at the club or District level, happened because someone asked me, or encouraged me to think about stepping up.

Have you met someone new to your club who is curious and capable, who could be your next secretary to wet their appetite? Is there a reluctant Vice President Education in your club who really should be the next President but needs YOU to ask them to run, or for you to tell them how great you think they would be.

What about someone from another club that stands out as someone who has done all committee roles who you would like to see role model things across your area. What would they say if you asked them to be the next Area Director?

In a voluntary organisation, sometimes it just takes a direct approach, a confidence boost – a cheerleader to step forward to nudge the next leader into the spot light….. who are you going to push into the spotlight? If you don’t want the light to shine on you – imagine the feeling of being able to shine the light on someone else and then think ‘look who I found for us. Shine that light now – and make someone feel amazing.

Congratulations to all our members who have achieved educational awards this month – and thank you to all those club officers who have been attending club officer training in the previous weeks, I do hope that you found the experience worth while.

Don’t forget that conference tickets are on sale for Bristol – it is going to be such a great weekend and I hope to see you there.

I’ll let you go now, you have a spot light to plug in!


Steve Vear, DTM
Program Quality Director 2023-24