Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What Toastmasters Must Learn from The Boy Scouts

Have you ever shown up to a club meeting thinking you were free and clear of responsibilities on the agenda just to find out you were supposed to be giving a speech? It does happen occasionally, but there is a way to be ready for when it happens.

First let me say, I think the Vice President of Education's job in Toastmasters is one of, if not the, hardest positions to hold in a club. You could be doing an outstanding job as VPE and you're always getting those schedules out well in advance for your club, but as something comes up, you and the Toastmaster must make quick changes to fulfill and have a great meeting. Sometimes those changes come in the form of a need of a speaker (or two).

That's what happened to two clubs I'm a member of recently. We had the schedule, but not only did one but two speakers need to drop out for the meeting on short notice AND so did the back up speaker!

Thankfully, both clubs were able to fill in speakers at the last minute and still have a wonderful meeting. If you're asking how that could have happened, let me share with you one secret that allowed us to fill the needed speaker positions.

SOMEONE WAS PREPARED

That's it. That is the single secret that will not only allow you to be ready to give a speech when you least expect it, but it will also allow you to get that next education award you're working on! 

The Boy Scouts have been teaching this motto, "Be Prepared" since 1907, and I think as Toastmasters we should adopt it as our own as well (not officially of course).

Having someone who is always prepared to give a speech takes a lot of stress off of the VPE and the Toastmaster of the evening. They know you can fill in if need be, and that makes you very valuable. I know from personal experience, you never want to be writing that speech with 3 hours notice so why not go ahead and sit down and finish out that next speech. Go ahead and have it ready to go for the next time you're called on to give it. This is a great skill to learn whether you're in Toastmasters, the Boy Scouts, or using it in life in general.

ALWAYS BE PREPARED