Post written by Moira Beaton DTM, Vice President Public Relations
A word from last year’s President, Eileen Scott and this year’s President, Brian Duffy.
Eileen Scott, Immediate Past President
When I joined Waverley Communicators in 2009, my main aim was to be able to speak in public without wishing that the ground would swallow me up.
In the past 3 years, the club has not only helped me overcome my fear of public speaking, it has consistently pushed me beyond my limited belief in what I could achieve.
But it was not just me that improved. I could see the real difference Toastmasters made to the lives of our members as they developed their skills and confidence.
I wanted to give back to the club, to make sure it continued to be a fun, safe and educational place to develop public speaking skills.
And this led me to face another personal challenge – leadership.
Last year, July 2011- July 2012 I had the privilege of taking over the Presidency of the club from its co-founder Moira Beaton. Moira is both my mentor and friend, no pressure there then!
The role of the President is to provide helpful, supportive leadership to the committee and to ensure that the club is meeting the needs of its members. In my year as President, I strove to do this to the best of my ability.
The year seemed to fly past. It was busy, fun and very rewarding.
Every month brought new challenges and new things to plan with the committee.
There were many questions I had to find answers to – are our meetings of good quality? are our members happy and learning? do we have enough members? do we have enough biscuits?
The biggest personal challenge for me was to deal with lots of emails!
Last year the committee organised and ran busy and successful club meetings, contests and social events, including the joint Burns Supper with Capital Communicators in January 2011 and the club’s annual dinner in June.
An additional challenge was the District 71 Flourish conference where our members helped with the organisation of the conference and took on supporting roles during the conference.
The greatest reward, however, was to celebrate the successes of our members – from giving their Ice-breaker speeches to gaining their Competent Communicator or Competent Leader awards to Advanced Communicator Bronze and Advanced Communicator Silver awards.
We all lead busy lives and our committee members give up their spare time to attend committee meetings and work hard to ensure that the club operates smoothly and successfully, and that members reach their goals.
As a result of their hard work and diligence, we ended the year with an award from Toastmasters International – Select Distinguished Club.
Many thanks to the committee of 2011 – 2012 – Louise Kirk (VPE), Stephen Dix (VPM), Brian Duffy (VPPR), Kevin Miller (Treasurer), Duncan Thompson (SAA), Kirsten McKenzie (Secretary) and Moira Beaton (IPP) for ensuring that our club is still thriving into its third year.
Good luck to Brian and the new committee in 2012-13!
Brian Duffy – Club President 2012-2013
It is a real honour to have been elected President of such a fantastic club as Waverley Communicators.
I will give the role my full attention and I will serve the club and all its members to the very best of my ability.
My role has been made much easier, in so many ways, due to the sterling work of Eileen Scott who, with the help of last year’s committee members, performed such a diligent job during her tenure as club President– a big thank you to each and every one of the 2011/12 team.
The club was handed over in a healthy position, with over 30 members at various stages of progression through the Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Tracks.
Indeed there are many members who are well positioned to be awarded for their progress during the course of the 2012/13 year and I look forward to presenting these well-deserved awards.
The President has general supervision of the operations of the club, keeping it in line with Toastmasters International guidelines.
They work in conjunction with the members of the committee to ensure the club continues to function and grow in the best interests of its members.
Throughout the year we will be interested to hear members’ and guests’ views and suggestions on how we can do things better.
A key tenet of the role is to provide helpful, supportive leadership for all the club activities.
We want to be inclusive. We want to be there for ALL our members, helping to develop all of our communication and leadership skills and to increase our levels of confidence so that we can readily apply those skills.
One of the things that we would like members to embrace during the year is further improvement of the mentoring scheme, with greater engagement to ensure the mentor and mentee relationships are functioning well.
To help members fulfil such leadership roles and to learn more about public speaking techniques we will schedule a broad range of education sessions during regular club meetings.
I would encourage you to attend as many of these education sessions as possible, and put yourself forward to lead them if you like.
As well as keeping club meetings informal and friendly, dedicated social events are a great way to get to know each other better and to maintain the great camaraderie and support network that exists within the club.
The Christmas buffet, the Burns Supper and the Annual Dinner are key parts of the schedule, and we should take the opportunity to hold these as well as a more diverse range of get-togethers during 2012/13.
It will be an exciting year ahead and I look forward to serving you and the club well.