Submitted by Toastmaster Donald Knowles
It helps to understand Toastmasters if you think of it as one of the original night school programs, but in 1OV’s case, with bar service. A most astute accommodation on the executive’s part.
The various programs have been set up to develop both communications skills and to help people develop leadership as well.
That is why there are the two tracks, starting with the Competent Communicator and the Competent Leader designations.
Each of the projects are set to teach and develop a particular skill. But these two programs are just the beginning. If you are willing, then there are follow on courses and programs, each designed to lead you forward in your personal development.
As you, the TM member and therefore student, learns new skills, or survives the perils of public speaking, you develop confidence and slowly acquire the desire to attack more challenging roles. When you participate in club meetings, sometimes just by being there, you pick up tips and techniques from those who have been there before you. This again reinforces your learning process and helps to build confidence. Unlike regular night school TM is much like the London tourist buses, you can enter and leave as you see fit, depending upon your destination and your travel itinerary.
So, if you are into self development and want to extend your personal network at the same time, if you want to learn new skills and gain confidence, then please consider the various programs and do the exercises. In the end you will be rewarded with new skills, new confidence , and designations that you rightfully earned through diligence and work. Those are all things that you can be proud of and can be practically applied to your life and goals. It truly is an interesting trip, not just a destination.