Friday, July 1, 2011

Toastmasters Friday: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! This was an exhortation from Brian J. Olds, a fellow Toastmaster and Facebook friend last night. As with many volunteer organizations, TM runs its business year from July 1 to June 30. Today club officers are new, District officers are new, and all yearly goals are reset at zero.

So what will your New Year bring to you as a Toastmaster? What will you bring to your club in the new year? It goes both ways.

After taking a year off from leadership roles of any kind, I am now officially the president of my club, Arvada Speakeasy. I've been a club president before, so I don't have quite the learning curve many new officers have coming in.

Although I have a pretty busy life - don't we all? Serving in Toastmasters gives me a chance to give back, and to focus on something enjoyable for a few hours a week. I don't have massive goals for the club this year, but I would like to see some changes appear. More members. Better speeches. Stronger evaluations. More involvement with District activities.

 My club is already a pretty good club, but it is easy to get comfortable, and slide backwards ever so slowly.

What will you aim to do differently this year? You don't have to be an officer to create change. Join a committee. Make a suggestion at an officer meeting. Or just show up more often, more ready, and with more energy.

Be clear on your goals for the next year. Better yet, the next three months - why stretch it out? You could get a lot done in the next 13 weeks.

Enjoy the New Year. If you're an officer, congratulations! Good luck making this year better for your club, area, division, or District that last year, even if last year was amazing. If you're just a POT (Plain Old Toastmaster), congratulations! You're why the organization exists, grows and thrives, and why officers have something of value to do!

Whether you and those you led or followed last year were 'distinguished' or not, we're all back at the starting gate. Get ready, Get set, SPEAK....& Deliver!

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