It is Caroline firm belief that the club will be even more successful if we all take individual responsibility for our own achievements. To do this we each need to be clear about what we want to get from Toastmasters and set the appropriate goals and plans to achieve it. The objective for this session, therefore, is to encourage everyone to set their own goals for speaking and leadership and to plan how these are going to be achieved.
As a club we measure our success against the targets within the Distinguished Club Programme (DCP). There are a number of areas within the DCP for which we achieve points, including administration, membership and education. Last year we achieved the status of President’s Distinguished Club, which meant attaining 9 out of a possible 10 targets, there were only 20 clubs that achieved this last year.
it is Caroline’s aim is to achieve the status for a second year; a challenging task in consecutive years! One of the targets is for four members to achieve their Competent Communicators (CC) award. Two of our current members should complete their ten speeches quite easily, then have 6 members on projects 5 or 6. It will require a bit of a planning ahead of the June 2014 deadline, assuming these members wish to complete this year. However, whilst we want to encourage all of our members to achieve club goals, we do recognise it’s important they do it at the pace that suits them.
In the session we used the analogy of a map, deciding where you are now, where you want to get to and importantly how you want to get there. If you are in a ‘motor car’ the main road is the quickest and most effective, but if you are on foot you may wish to take a different route and will certainly take a lot longer to get there! It is very much about personal choice, but without the map and being able to answer those 3 questions there is a strong chance you won’t get to your destination and will give up all together.
The D71 website gives you the opportunity to see exactly where you are at the moment (through “My speech progress” and “My CL progress”), you can add your goals into both of these sections by clicking the appropriate button in the top right of both screens.
In the session we emphasised the value of SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound). Goals don’t need to be complex and wordy they can be simple, e.g. “to achieve my CC by completing 4 speeches by May 2014”.
Our VP Education, Steve Graham, uses these goals as a guide to planning the meetings. An individual who has indicated they are on the proverbial ‘motorway’ will be given additional speaking slots to the individual who has indicated they intend to take the scenic route.
We have a mentoring structure designed to support you to achieve what you want to get from coming to Toastmasters. Your mentor will be delighted to discuss your goals with you, to sense check them, to challenge you to achieve them and to suggest things to do if you get stuck. Mentoring is a crucial element of leadership and Toastmasters is about developing your leadership skills as well as your speaking skills. As a club we have a fantastic pool of talented speakers and you can seek advice and support from anyone of them if you have a specific issue you think they can help you with, but think of your assigned mentor as your first port of call, a trusted friend.
Caroline concludes “As President this year my vision is for a thriving, growing club, where everyone is enthused about their own development journey and where there is evidence of lots of support and encouragement, so that even the newest and shyest of members finds their true voice.”