Heeding the Call

So why did I say yes to taking the District Administration Manager role?

It’s a question I have asked myself several times these past couple of weeks! Why did I accept the DAM role? (Just as well this is not audio as that last might have been bleeped out!!)

I’ve been an enthusiastic member of Toastmasters International since joining Farnham Speakers in 2012 and then joining newly chartered Godalming Speakers as a mentor in 2019. I’ve worked my way through being VPE, VPM, President, Secretary and even VPPR. I have steered clear of the Treasurer role for the safety of the club accounts!! As for SAA – yes, I help out behind the scenes with that too. I’ve been Area Director twice and Division Director twice, District Alignment Chair for three years and was on the Programme team at this year’s conference. I’m also the Youth Leadership Programme Champion for District 91 and running my third Youth Leadership Programme at a Farnham secondary school.

So, when Diane asked if I would take on the District Administration Manager role I didn’t say yes immediately as I know it is a lot of work supporting the District team. However, I really appreciate the value of Toastmasters, the community and the learning opportunities I have benefitted from and know that it has made a very big difference in my life. Just recently I was paid to give a 45 min talk to a group of about 30 people – you couldn’t exactly call it an after-dinner speech – although technically it was as they had just had dinner! I really enjoyed the opportunity to practise the skills I had learnt in Toastmasters for engaging the audience, for being comfortable at the front of the room and for delivering a talk of value – and the feedback assured me I had. I have Toastmasters to thank for that – and taking the DAM role is another opportunity to give back.

I am looking forward to working with the District Leadership Team this year and getting more involved with our wonderful D91 community.

Janet Alkema
District Administration Manager 2023-24