I’m sitting in my classroom with 20 minutes to spare and what better way to fill in a gap than by doing some homework. I’m starting this course for the second time called Speak and Inspire. I completed the last course but didn’t do the homework. So now I’m doing the course a second time only this time doing the homework!!
I have to ponder on which 3 people I have amazing communication with and why is it so amazing. The first one to spring to mind is my youngest daughter Amy. She is 21, bright bubbly and not only is she intelligent but she is super interesting to chat to and to throw debatable topics into the mix. I guess we get on so well because we both have open characters and we both like being authentic with everything above board. Except on the times when she catches me cheating at cards ( I’ve a good reason for this) and also I tend to tell white lies which I call adding salt and pepper to the story. She is funny and like me she has a sense of adventure and has a love for travelling. So we share the same interests and we’re not afraid to air different opinions.
The second person to spring to mind is Harriet. I guess we share a commonality of being born in the same country in Africa and we both have lived lives in Europe,
married foreign men and lived a life away from the culture of Zimbabwe. Why do we get on? Because we revisit part of our past with fondness and that’s the glue between us.
The person I would like to improve my communication with is Bill. Before we leave this earth I would so love to get into his soul and I’d love him to get into mine. Instead of just dancing politely to the music. And I think that breakthrough will start the minute we get on the same page regarding money. We are both worthy of having money and we need to be able to tell each other. Money loves us and we love money and money comes into our lives and money flows out with each exchange of experiences.
As Lisa Nichols says, The distance between where we are and what we want to get, is Communication. I’ve the first round of the Speak and Inspire course at a stroll. This second time round I know I’m fast walking the path.
Let’s go back to the fine print, bullet point number 6…..
As I look at my life I asked myself a question. And I want to ask you a question. How many of you know that if you had this toastmaster year over again you could have done more than what you’ve done this far. Raise your hands. Now that proves a point of what we do, what we accomplish, what we produce in life is only the tip of the iceberg of what is possible for us. Think of a personal goal you set out in your life. A goal that gives your life a sense of meaning; a direction; a purpose. A financial goal, a career goal and your social contribution. Horace Mann once said We should be ashamed to die without making some contribution to humankind. You all have a dream. What is your dream? Can holding an officer role help your dream expand?
Did you ever notice that when you buy a product you are never shown the fine print until after you’ve paid for the item? And did you ever notice that you don’t read the fine print until the item needs repairing? You’ve all purchased one years subscription to this Toastmasters club. You’re all happy with the product. Just look around at the satisfied faces. Its at this point that I tell you that the product is going to break down and now you have to read the fine print.
I give you the fine print entitled The Toastmasters Promise. And I want to direct your attention to point number 6.
When you signed up you all promised to serve the Las Palmeras Speakers Club as an officer when called upon to do so.
My journey as Vice President of Education started when the previous VPE left in the middle of the year leaving the post unattended. I didn’t want it. I just wanted to sit in the back unnoticed and come along to meetings to be entertained. I didn’t want it because it carried with it a lot of responsibility; a lot of effort; a lot of mentoring; and a lot of your soul. Now when a ship is sinking or a building is on fire I know my inner ding would never sit back and wait to be rescued. So I thought ,“ Well Geraldine, here’s an opportunity to get inspired again.” And I have found the role truly inspiring and my leadership skills growing.
How does one train to take on a role like VPE? It comes from observation. Just like nobody trains you how to be a good mummy or a good daddy. You learn by watching your own parents. Nobody takes you into a classroom to learn how to be a good citizen. You learn by observing the family you’re in; you observe the neighbourhood you’re in; you observe the community you’re in. Without you realising it you learn the skills subconsciously. So my message to you is that you’ve all been learning the role subconsciously. You already have the skills to be a good VPE.
What exactly are these skills?
A VPE is the second highest officer in the chain after the president. The main duty of the VPE is to educate, encourage and retain club members. Some of the specific duties are:
creating the meeting schedule on Easyspeak for speakers, evaluators and other roles
encourage members to complete projects from the old system before June2020
learn the new Pathways system and guide members on how to use Pathways
running a mentor program: assign and supervise
setting goals with members
conducting training for membership
keep track of the club’s Distinguished Club Program status
sign off on members award applications and speeches
One of the things I enjoyed about being VPE is the satisfaction of helping members attain their goals and to be an active participant in their learning journey. I learnt about each and everyone of you during the socialising; the tea breaks, the Christmas and summer get togethers and especially the time taken when I call members to have a chat about how they are especially if I haven’t seen them for awhile and also meeting up for a coffee, caña and tostada in our free time. This is when I learnt about your goals. This is when I learnt how far you want to go on your public speaking and leadership journey. Being a VPE has taught me that connections are very important.
The one thing I loved about the role were the challenges. The things that I was afraid of in the beginning. For me the biggest challenge has been incorporating Pathways into the club and getting members excited about using it. I have to say that I was mentally resistant to change. It didn’t surprise me that I found fault with the programme and I really wasn’t excited about using it. But as I started the members on their own journey of Pathways, I found I learnt along the way. When a member had a question, it inspired me to hunt the answer down because then there was a purpose to learning the programme. I’m still no expert with the programme but that doesn’t phase me as we already have several expert members who are well onto level 2 and they will be our mentors.
The other challenge I had was, organising a mentor for every new member. I was successful with some members and hope the next VPE will make this a priority for all new members.
To finish lets have a look at the goals our club has achieved this year.
There is a maximum of 10 goals that can be achieved. We have achieved 3 so far. Well done to everyone for their efforts.
1 point advanced silver award – John
1 point for gaining 4 new members
1 point for the club officer list and membership payments handed in on time
It’s 8am. I open my eyes and I’m delighted to be feeling refreshed especially after having woken up so early yesterday morning (early by my standards – not yours!!!) Yawning all through my evening classes, I couldn’t wait to get home, showered and tucked into my warm cosy bed last night. The sun is now streaming into our bedroom so I know its safe enough to get going. I’m not fazed by the fact I could be slightly behind schedule for the course. I get dressed and Toby sticks to the my legs because he knows I’m his early morning ticket to the doggie bathroom. We complete the walk, I have my usual breakfast of oatmeal (yummy with lots of fruit and raw chocolate). It’s 10am. Shit!!! How do the hands on that kitchen clock move so quickly, or I am moving so slowly? That’s something to ponder on another day. No time to waste. I bung a load of washing and decide to look at day 2 in my classroom, away from the washing machine, away from the dirty plates in the sink that need packing into the dishwasher, away from the ironing board, away from the kettle that makes me endless cups of tea when I need company on my procrastination days, which happens to be………. daily.
Day 2 was a talk about my voice. Owning my voice. Taking responsibility for my voice. And we’re not talking the sound or the tone of my voice. We’re talking Having A Voice. I admit I’ve been that individual in the middle. Not voicing an opinion because I didn’t have a clear opinion on any thing. How can I voice when I the owner haven’t decided on my convictions. This is a great revelation to face up to. I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’s not that I never had a voice. My voice was given to me when I left home to start my teacher training career. My parents gave me my voice. That’s a story for another day.
Today’s task was to:
Name 3 people I communicate easily with
Name 3 people I have strained or non-existent communication with
Name 2 people I spoke life into
Name 2 people who have had a negative impact due to my words
Have you ever walked through a shopping mall with no intention of buying anything? You’re there to pass the time, watch the crowds …. and then from nowhere someone catches your attention. They gently grab your arm, sit you down in a comfy chair and tell you , NO they show you why the product they have in their hands is just what you need in your life. Right now. Right this minute. They talk like you’re all that matter and you feel so relaxed and in total agreement with them that the product they are holding is certainly what you have been looking for all your life but just didn’t couldn’t find it – Until now. Well, dear readers I bet it comes as no surprise to you that I bought the product. And let me tell you I wasn’t physically in a shopping mall. I was in front of my beloved Mac minding my own business when Lisa Nichols caught my attention and made me reach for the comfort of my sofa as she magnetically told me she has just the tools I need to take my speaking to the next level. I fell hook, line and sinker because without her tools my storytelling skills wouldn’t go to the next level and I so want them to. So I bought her course Speak and Inspire. It’s a 30 day course and I hope you stay with me on my 30 day journey.
I’m Gerry and I live in Spain. I use my voice in my teaching classroom and at my toastmaster club. This is my first quest so don’t know what to expect and I’m excited because of that. I’m excited to learn:
1. the tools that will help me deliver a fun and impactful message to the listener
2. how the stories inside me can be put into words that feel like the listener is going on a journey
3. use my new skills starting within my circle and spreading out into concentric circles
I need support in:
1. turning my ideas into stories worth sharing
2. not feeling vulnerable when sharing with the tribe
3. crafting humour and fun in my voice and not sounding and feeling drab.
I commit to the Tribe for 30 day I will give fully of myself and not half heartedly simply to tick a box. WOOHOO🤩🥳
Ever asked yourself “What is a pub?” Bet you answered it’s a British building where people gather with friends and usually have alcoholic drinks and chat. The Urban Dictionary states it should be a place where you feel comfortable the whole day and even take children to in the earlier hours. Well, according to me, a pub is not a place I feel comfortable in. Why would I want to spend the whole day there (unless of course you happen to be the landlord/lady). It’s not a place to chat to with your friends because the noise levels are usually so high you can’t understand each other unless you’ve taken lessons in sign language. It’s a place they dump all the people I don’t get on well with and get them drunk so that they think they’re doing well in life and if they aren’t, then not to worry because alcohol doesn’t mind who it associates with.
How do I come by such a definition? At the Prince of Wales Pub which Bill and I ran for over a couple of years, I watched sensible people walk in, get converted to stuporous, sluggish and drugged states only to return for more of the same the very next day. One fine afternoon as I was getting ready to do a shift, my husband notice that look on my face, that determined look in my eye and asked “What’s wrong honey?” I looked at him, paused and explained “You know, it upsets me to see all these wonderful people get so drunk. I’m going to go in there today and tell them all that there is life outside the pub. There is a world just waiting to be explored and discovered. Take your hard earned money and do something you’ll appreciate in life.”
Before I could say another word, my husband scratched my name off the duty rota and told me to take the rest of the year off.