So how does this mentoring work?
Every mentor and mentee are free to create their own way forward but if you’re new to Toastmasters here are a few thoughts that might help:
First of all, let’s look at why you joined Toastmaster?
Didn’t you join, as did so many of your fellow Toastmasters, to improve your ability to speak in public? Perhaps you discovered, as many others have, that there is so much more to Toastmasters than just learning how to deliver a good speech.
Many of learned to speak with more authority and passion. We learned how to speak extemporaneously and how to overcome nervousness.
We also learned how to listen more intently when we were members of the audience. Plus, by joining committees or the executive team, we learned leadership skills of being dependable and supportive and accountable.
Our business sessions helped us to figure out ways of making decisions as a group and to be supportive even when opinions differed. Over time we discovered that helping other Toastmasters to achieve their goals helped us to achieve our own.
So how does mentoring come into play here?
This is how I do it and you can figure out what works for you. And those are the key words “what works for you”.
In other words it’s up to you to start the engagement in the mentoring program by either picking a mentor and asking them for help or getting the VP of Membership (or right now her designate…me) to help find a suitable mentor.
Then it’s up to you to work with your mentor. You can do it in person, by telephone, email or another way that works for both of you.
My experience suggests that the program works best if the mentee initiates the process by asking questions of the mentor and that the mentee continues to lead the way.
As a new Toastmaster you should never be in a situation in Toastmasters where you don’t know what you should be doing or saying next. If you find yourself not knowing something, then it’s your mentor who you should ask. If the mentor doesn’t know, they should know who they should ask and then get back to you.
You can ask your mentor to look over your draft speeches but not to rewrite them or to offer a deeper more specific evaluation of your next speech to help you progress faster.
Your mentor can suggest which committees to join and whether or not you should consider competing in upcoming contests.
Our mentoring program is key to your success and the success of the club as a whole. And always remember, if your mentor – mentee relationship isn’t working for you feel free to speak to the VP of Membership.