Around this time last year, I was Lost for Words.
This year, I’m equally as speechless and have spent the past 36 hours seeking the right words to say, because, I must say something.
It’s hard to imagine I’m struggling to find the right words to express my surprise at being the recipient of the coveted Toastmaster of the Year award at (what is now – officially) my home club – The Comedy Club.
But I am finding it hard and don’t know what to say. I’ve only just told my girls this morning – silly me because I generally have lots of words.
As I said this time last year, this is an end of the year award given to one member, as voted by all members. The Toastmaster’s year is from July 1 – June 30 and it is a privilege to receive this award. In truth, I’m deeply honoured.
– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –
The Comedy Club is an advanced club “where we learn to use humour seriously” and although I’ve won the Humorous Speech Contest at the District level (the highest level for this speech category), I know I’m not a comedian and have a lot to learn about humour and being funny.
This is the Toastmasters club that Tracey and I sponsored (started) in our journey towards Becoming Distinguished Toastmasters and I have served on the executive committee from day one. That might sound like a long time, but in fact, has only been (just short of) three years. From Charter President for a few months to President for the next 12 months, and then as Vice President Education (VPE) during the last 12 months.
I’ve been a VPE before but doing this role for a club that asks its members to ‘step outside their comfort zone’ was a bit of a challenge, but a task I thoroughly enjoyed nonetheless.
From planning the year ahead and creating engaging agendas – working out amusing ways to embrace our club culture* – to supporting individual members as well as other members of the executive team. The year was full of exciting and interesting things to do.
There was never a dull moment, and (I’d like to think) there was never a boring one either despite the club facing some challenges with the need to find a new venue, our new venue moving us to a different room without AV equipment when there was a need for it causing major agenda changes at the drop of a hat (so to speak), and then, of course, there was the Covid-19 threat when we moved to conducting our meetings online. It was a little tough to ‘feel’ the atmosphere via video conferencing but we managed and I believe during those three months we shone, learning new skills and maintaining the uniqueness that makes us ‘a force to be reckoned with‘.
Thursday this week we were able to meet in person for the first time since March and it was wonderful to see everyone and have a face-to-face meeting. But . . .
Something else happened at our meeting on Thursday night that I must mention.
My dear friend Denise was honoured for attaining her Distinguished Toastmaster award.
Denise and I became fast friends back in 2012 and (as the VPE) I had pestered her (sometimes insistently) to not give up and to complete the last few speeches required for her to receive this educational accomplishment. I’m so proud of her.
With the new Toastmasters year now underway, I’m no longer a member of the club’s executive team (by choice) but I’m still a member, and will always give to my club and it’s members the time and dedication required/expected because, with Toastmasters (as with many things), you get out of it what you put into it.
* One of the ways I stepped up to the challenge was a different approach to our meeting in December when we celebrated Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and here are a few fun photos.