Updated on March 11, 2019
- My Toastmasters Journey
- Toastmasters Meetings
- Toastmasters International
My Toastmasters Journey
I joined Toastmasters International over a decade to hone my Public Speaking and Leadership skills. Prepared speeches, Impromptu speeches, Listening and evaluation are important in communications.
I completed DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster). I also volunteered as Club Ambassador.
I was a member of five Toastmasters Clubs (not concurrently). Although all clubs follow the general guidelines, they tweak the meeting agenda.
My latest club was founded by Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs. It is special in one aspect. It holds a mini “Pitch Practice” on the first meeting of every month and a full Pitch Practice on the middle month of every quarter. One has to state the problem, solution, the differentiators and finally ask for cooperation or funding (as appropriate). All in two minutes or less.
There are currently no Toastmasters clubs in Myanmar. In our younger days, there was a Rotary Club which had a public speaking component.
There have been TEDx talks in Myanmar for three years or so. One organizer is the daughter of U Sann Aung (M74).
In 2008, three women set the record by placing First, Second and Third in the “World Championship of Public Speaking”. It has been a decade since there was a woman Champion. The winner and third place winner were from the USA. The runner-up was from China.
In the past few years, the winners were from Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Singapore) and the Middle East.
Awards from District 101
Toastmasters International is based in US.
District 4 (which I joined several years ago) grew “too big” to warrant splitting into two districts. The clubs mostly north of Highway 101 remained in District 4. The clubs mostly south of Highway 101 fall under District 101.
The following are from the “Fall Conference of District 101 Toastmasters”.
I won four awards.
- DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster)
- Leadership Excellence
- Advanced Leader Silver
- Triple Crown
As an Ambassador for Toastmasters, I attended meetings at several clubs.
Most clubs follow the three part format :
- Prepared Speeches
- Table Topics (Impromptu Speeches)
Some clubs occasionally have special meetings
- Marathon Speeches
- Table Topics Only Meeting
- Round Robin Evaluation
- Themed Meeting
At one club, members wore Halloween costumes. The speeches also cover Halloween (or similar topics).
The Ambassador is asked to take one or more roles at the meeting.
- General Evaluator
- Speech Evaluator
A report about the visit is provided to the District.
As an incentive, one who makes 10 or more visits is given a pass to attend the “breakfast meeting” on the day following the main Conference.
The mission statement reads, “We empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.”
It was founded by a former administrator of YMCA. With headquarters in California, it has members worldwide. The first international conference outside of the Americas will be held this August in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The conference crowns the “World Champion of Public Speaking”.
There are closed clubs (sponsored by companies and corporations) and open clubs (with little or no restrictions to join or visit).
One can visit several clubs before deciding to become a member.
In the old system, the communication track consisted of 4 levels (a) CC – Competent Communication (b) ACB – Advanced Communicators Bronze (c) ACS – Advanced Communicators Silver (d) ACG – Advanced Communicators Gold. The leadership track consisted of three levels (a) CL – Competent Leader (b) ALB – Advanced Leader Bronze (c) ALS – Advanced Leader Silver. The ultimate award is DTM – Distinguished Toast Master, who has completed both the communication track and the leadership track.
In the new system, there are several Pathways.