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Special Times Need Careful Preparation


With the festive season fast approaching and members around the globe gearing up for vacations and time spent with family and friends, it is often easy to overlook just what goes into making these times so special. Whether we spend holidays with family or friends, or even alone, few of us consider the planning, preparation and team effort required to prepare for these gatherings. 

We often take such efforts for granted. Food, presents, entertainment and ­catering just seem to materialize, and we may think not much effort is needed on our part. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Any special event requires all the participants to play their part for the event to be a success. Your club meetings are also special events that require the same participation.

The third commitment of the Toastmaster’s Promise is: “To prepare for and fulfill meeting assignments.”

Whether your club meets weekly, once every two weeks or, in the case of many advanced clubs, monthly, your full involvement is required if it is to deliver the stimulation, opportunities and enjoyment we all expect on a regular basis from our club. The meeting roles are the framework on which our personal development and satisfaction are dependent.

Each role we play—from timer to Toastmaster, from Table Topicsmaster to grammarian—develops our leadership skills in incremental ways. Each role is ­important as it ensures the meeting as a whole provides an opportunity for member involvement, growth and development. Your contribution to club excellence is to prepare to participate fully in whatever role you are assigned. Take on each role with enthusiasm even if it is not your favorite choice. 

Learning to successfully undertake any role is great training for life. Few of us get to select every aspect of what we do on a daily basis in our career or as members of our family and community. Why should it be any different in Toastmasters? Prepare and welcome the opportunity to participate fully rather than avoid a role or not give it your wholehearted focus.

Imagine what the festive season would be like if no one prepared the traditional feast, brought the expected gifts, organized the entertainment or made an effort to cater to guests. Your club meetings are your festive events and their success depends on your commitment to fulfill your responsibility to your fellow members. 

I wish you all a happy and safe break over the coming weeks whatever your faith, creed or culture. I look forward to catching up with all of you in the new year. Always Remember the Member.

MIKE STORKEY, DTM

International President