As I look back over the past few months and review the commitments in the Toastmaster’s Promise, I am reminded of the value of setting standards. Many of us joined our first club primarily motivated by becoming part of a worthwhile organization and the promise of personal growth. Whether we joined to gain confidence, become a better speaker or leader, or to enjoy social interactions with fellow members, in order to gain what we wanted out of our membership, we needed to adhere to the standard of respecting each other individually and collectively.
The Toastmasters strategic plan calls for excellence, participation and engagement of our members, and this aligns with the 10th commitment in the Toastmaster’s Promise: “To maintain honest and highly ethical standards during the conduct of all Toastmasters activities.” It is the overarching foundation of our organization. Without it, the preceding commitments have little or no relevance.
To assist us in keeping these 10 commitments, Toastmasters International has four core values: Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence—the standards by which every member should be recognized. Members are expected to demonstrate these values in their club, home, career and community. These core values, together with the Toastmaster’s Promise, are the blueprints for a successful club. If your club is ailing, suffering from low membership or interpersonal conflicts, I advise you to review each commitment together with the core values to determine how you and your club measure up to these standards.
I often say that Toastmasters is not here to make better Toastmasters, but better people—people who take the skills and the lessons they learn in their club and apply them to their family lives, business endeavors and community. I encourage you to live by the commitments in your Toastmaster’s Promise and by the Toastmasters core values and enjoy the benefits. And always “Remember the Member.”
MIKE STORKEY, DTM