Sunday, May 8, 2011

Keeping the Commitment (Successful Club Series)

ALB Speech #1 - Successful Club Series
Keeping the Commitment
May 8th, 2011

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Commitment”? Well, the first thing that comes to my mind was the contract that I signed 6 years ago. Yes friends, I’m referring to my marriage. That is one of the biggest commitments that I ever made in life & still paying for it ;-)  
Don’t worry! I’m not going to bore you with my marriage life again. I do that only during humorous speeches J Today, I’m going to talk about the commitment we all made when we joined toastmasters. The promise is not just to the organization of Toastmasters international or our fellow club members, but it is a promise to our self. This speech is a refresher on the promises we made to our self when we joined toastmasters.

Some body once said “Toastmasters is like an ocean, you can come with a bucket and fill an entire bucket or come with just a spoon and take a spoon full. Keeping the toastmasters promise always helps you to take a bucket full.

·         To attend club meetings regularly
o   Toastmasters isn’t a correspondence course. We learn to conquer our fears and sharpen our skills by interacting with others. Attending meetings regularly and doing various roles helps us to interact more with others. Toastmaster Priyanandhan once said “I was able to conquer my fears of stuttering because I attended meetings regularly and interacted with others”       

·         To prepare all speech and leadership projects to the best of our ability, basing them on projects in the CC, AC, CL, AL manuals
·         To prepare for and fulfill meeting assignments
o   Our performance in toastmasters is directly proportional to the amount of preparation we do. Manuals provide a structure for us to prepare for the  various roles in toastmasters.  
o   Preparation and performance always goes hand in hand. TM Sadayappan & TM Aditya represented us in Division Contest. Can you imagine how many times they would’ve prepared before delivering their best performance in the Division contest.
o   Prepared speeches shouldn’t be impromptu. Table Topics session is meant for that

·         To provide fellow members with helpful, constructive evaluations
o   For example, “Sadayappan… What an awful speech!? How many times should I tell you to improve your vocal variety? By the time you finished your speech the audience were all sleeping”
o   Rather, I can say, “Sadayappan… You have a great message in your script. All you need to do is just come up with a powerful conclusion. Also, I think your voice volume was a bit low when you said roar like a lion. See if you can raise your voice when you say, “Roar like a lion”. I enjoying mentoring you”    
Providing a constructive evaluation helps the toastmaster to understand their strengths and gives them extra motivation to work on their weaknesses.
·         To help club maintain the positive friendly environment necessary for all members to learn and grow
·         To treat fellow club members and guests with respect and courtesy
o   Positivity in toastmasters isn’t there just in the evaluations, but on every aspect of toasmastering. Right from the time someone enters this hall, they’re greeted with cheer and enthusiasm.
o   Leaders in toastmasters try to capitalize on the strengths of individuals towards achieving common goals. Thus, impossibles become possible.
·         To bring guests to club meetings so that they can see the benefits of Toastmasters membership
o   How many of you joined or attended toastmasters, because a friend said so. Raise your hands. Wonderful!? Let us not keep the treasure called toastmasters just for ourselves. Let us bring-in guests and other new people to the club, so that we can learn from each other.
·         To serve the club as an officer when called upon to do so
o   Clubs do not run spontaneously. Each meeting requires planning, co-operation and plenty of team effort. If meeting participants are the movie stars the club officers are the directors. They act behind the screen for the members to have a wonderful learning experience. When the club needs your leadership, you can volunteer for that to sustain the momentum of the club.
·         To adhere to the guidelines and rules for all Toastmasters educational and recognition programs
·         To maintain honest and highly ethical standards during the conduct of all Toastmasters meetings
o   For those of you who might’ve watched the scenes in Assembly and Parliament, Toastmasters meetings are very different. There is high energy and enthusiasm, at the same time it maintains a high standard and there is a lot of discipline/decorum being maintained.
o   We don’t bribe the judges in contests. We maintain high levels of integrity when we play various roles.

I wrote a short poem to summarize our toastmaster’s promise:

I’m a toastmaster…             
I participate in meetings, but don’t precipitate
I’m always prepared, so I’m not afraid
I help others to perform, so that their skills can reform
I give everyone a pat, that’s the best way to get them to act

I’m a toastmaster …
I remain positive, even if my blood group is negative
I treat everyone fair, they being a guest or a DTM doesn’t matter
I’m ready to serve the club, because my heart says so with every single lub-tub
I’ll follow the rules, as it helps the club to reach its goals.
I’m a toastmaster!!!