Toastmasters International is not just about learning to speak well and confidently in public although there is certainly that aspect to it.

Members will get that learning experience where there is a safe, encouraging and supportive space has been created.  That doesn’t happen by chance.

There are many ingredients.  They include Toastmasters International’s Competent Communicator and Competent Leader programmes.  There is the structure of the meetings with fellow member’s evaluations and supportive feedback and everyone’s unfailing support and encouragement.

There is the gentle prodding from mentors, the Toastmaster’s structure and committee members to push a bit harder, take the next step, go for the next goal.

This is facilitated by having a committee dedicated to the cause, often putting in many hours and much effort behind the scene so that meetings run smoothly and all the other aspects of a successful club are in place.

Simon Maclaren with Kevin Lee

I have been privileged to be president of Capital Communicators for 2011/12 year when all this came together.  Because a lot of people took the next step, did a bit more than they thought they could, went the extra mile our efforts have been recognised by Toastmasters International.  And it was my privilege to be able to accept the Select Distinguished Club award on behalf of the club.

It’s been a great year.  I bet the next president does even better.

Simon Maclaren