A lesson that I have been taught my entire life is the importance of giving back to the people, institutions and organizations that have provided for you. Both of my parents are extremely active in civic organizations, 4-H, FFA and church, because those are organizations that have contributed to them as people and have missions that they believe in.
The Toastmasters year ends at the end of June and I have had a lot of lobbying from leaders in our club to serve a term as a club officer. I have been in Toastmasters for over six years and in my club here in DC for a little over three years. I have not held a club office for four years (since I was in Sioux Falls) and I have been avoiding official leadership positions in Toastmasters because I have been worried that it will occupy too much of my time. There are so many things that I want to focus on in my life from trying to write speeches, my job, additional training, working out and activities with my wife, that I felt I couldn’t pack in just one more thing.
But this year it has finally caught up to me. Toastmasters and particularly my club has done so much for me that I am throwing my hat in the ring for President of the USDA Toastmasters Club. I feel it is time that I take the skills that Toastmasters has given me and use them to give back to the growth of my club.
After a speech by our club Vice President of Education on the importance of mentoring, I put out an email asking if anyone was interested in being mentored. I have had a couple meetings with a fellow club member who has looking at overcoming some of her fears of speaking and improving her speech organization skills. This is another example of attempting to give back to others in the areas where I have improved myself.
If I am perfectly honest, I am hoping that a more active position in club leadership will have a positive effect on my speaking as well. The amount of speeches I have given in the last few years has dramatically decreased. I believe that my increased focus on club leadership will give me the focus to speak more often and get me back in the “speaking shape” that I need to truly be able to compete at the District level and beyond.
Image credit: Brian Turner, 2009.
Question: How do you give back in the areas of importance in your life?