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Every Member a CTM

Dear Fellow Toastmasters

Every Member A CTM

I have recently returned from the Toastmasters International Annual Convention and from training sessions for top 3 district officers (DG, LGET, LGM) held in Miami, USA. One very important fact was mentioned at the Business Meeting that out of 65,000 who joined Toastmasters last term, only 15,452 registered as CTMs. This problem of low registration of CTMs is not new and Toastmasters International would like each and every member to be a CTM if the Toastmasters program is to truly benefit all members.

Work Towards More CTMs Per Club

District 51, like other Districts worldwide, need more CTMs if we are to help our members become more confident and effective speakers as well as help our members realize their full potential. Most clubs have 20 or more members. I would like to encourage these clubs to work towards 6 or 8 or more CTMs per Club. Even most of our under charter strength clubs (below 20 members) have enough members to achieve 2 or 4 CTMs. Furthermore, with continuous membership recruitment in most clubs, more CTMs are possible. In fact, members enthusiastically presenting manual speeches regularly contribute towards quality meetings and quality meetings in turn attract more new members and help retain old ones.

CTMs And Fulfilling Members’ Needs

Most of us joined Toastmasters to be better speakers and the only way to develop our speaking skills is to present our manual speeches regularly. The Communication and Leadership program manual provides the basic elements of public speaking. If members are to improve rapidly, they must be given opportunities to present their manual speeches on a regular basis. Members lose the momentum to present speeches if they are not encouraged or are not given speaking slots. Participating in table topics only will not give members the full benefit of the program. We need the discipline and challenges of the manual speech projects to ensure a more complete development of our public speaking skills.

Club Officers can help by managing their clubs with the club mission and members’ needs in mind. Clubs should ensure that members learn the basic elements of public speaking within a reasonable time frame, for example, 6 or 8 months. Extra meetings could be held. Perhaps hold joint club meetings to save time and resources. Plan a road map for each member to finish his or her CTM by a certain date. We must endeavour to help members fulfil their needs within a reasonable time frame. We must treat members as customers who will be satisfied with the product, that is, the Toastmasters educational program. Our after sales service to our new members is an area we must never overlook.

Workshops To Upgrade Writing Skills

The Toastmasters program caters for people from all walks of life. There is no pass or fail system, neither is it a teacher-student system. Evaluation is always someone’s reaction or response or opinion. Since this is a learn by observing and learn by doing program, standards and quality are relative to each member according to his or her educational background.

To help members write and present better manual speeches, I would like to encourage that the 'Better Speaker Series' be conducted by club officers or members at Toastmasters club meetings. To further help members, workshops on writing skills or tips to help members write projects 1 to 7 or projects 8 to 10 could be conducted outside club meetings. It is hoped that members will continually upgrade their communication skills and at the same time complete their manual speeches to attain their Competent Toastmaster Award.

Friends Helping Friends Succeed

As long as the Toastmasters club exists, members must continue to present their manual speeches regularly. There are no shortcuts to excellence. There is no limit to the number of breakthroughs in the world of Toastmasters. It is up to each and every member to make that choice.

For those of us who have pushed ourselves or were gently pushed, and flown to the heights of success, let us reach out and help our fellow toastmasters achieve their CTMs or even ATMs. We, too were given a helping hand when we were fledgling Toastmasters. Friends Helping Friends Succeed.

Let Us Together As Friends Strive For Excellence In Educational Achievements.

Best Regards
Lilian Lau DTM
Lieutenant Governor Education & Training
District 51

25 September 2000
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