Sue Tiong says her mentor, Jacylyn Wee, ACL, ALB, taught her to speak from a place of love, rather than fear, and to jump right into speech competitions. “She saw the competitive streak in me and gently pushed me toward the contest path. So I gave it a shot, despite being new,” says Sue. Since joining the TC Segambut Toastmasters club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in September 2017, she has won second place at the area-level International Speech and Table Topics contests. She wants to recognize Jacylyn for her guidance and encouragement, and for her role in reviving their struggling club.
Jacylyn is a longtime member who has held many leadership roles at the club and district levels. Professionally, she is the executive director of Globe Success Learning, an organization that teaches wealth-building principles. Sue works as a senior manager of corporate communication, marketing and business development at Low Yat Group in Kuala Lumpur.
What have you learned from Jacylyn?
She has been with me every step of the way through my competitions and in completing my first path in Pathways. Thanks to her help, I am now on Level 5 of Leadership Development, and I have completed Level 1 in Presentation Mastery. She advised me to pull the brake and not rush through my speeches just for the sake of completing them.
How did Jacylyn help resuscitate your club?
When club membership dwindled to six members, Jacylyn, together with three past presidents, combined efforts to revive it. They realized that all members should feel a strong sense of belonging and ownership of the club, and not just allow the club officers to do all the work. Using the Club Success Plan and the Moments of Truth, Jacylyn and the past presidents learned why members join and why they stay. They focused on creating a club experience that was fun and fulfilling (and included more food!). They also recruited support to deal with meeting arrangements and room setup, so those duties wouldn’t fall to one person. Sharing responsibility helped develop more leaders among members and contributed to the club’s success.
How have communication skills helped you at work?
The evaluation aspect of Toastmasters made me realize the importance of not only pointing out what needs to be improved, but also highlighting the empowering parts. I learned to see the good and acknowledge what works, which is very important when leading a team. I now make it a point to include positive points when I provide feedback and give suggestions for further improvements.
Looking for a mentor in your club? Ask your vice president education who is available to mentor you. For more information on mentoring, download the Mentoring manual.
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Tess Iandiorio is senior editor of the Toastmaster magazine.