The below article was also published in the Saudi Gazette.
The Prestige of Being a toastmaster.
The prestige factor starts the moment you become a member. You immediately get the title “TM” before your name. Now you can proudly call yourself “TM XYZ” . The toastmasters welcome you to the family and the non-members place you in high esteem automatically.
Toastmasters is very generous in giving awards and recognition. The titles are full of respect and awe. Competent Leader, Competent Communicator, Advance Communicator Bronze, Advance Leadership Silver and finally Distinguished Toastmaster, the DTM. Wow. The titles beside your name add to your glory on your resumes and linkedin profiles.
And then there are officer titles. Can there be anything more royal and dignified than President, Vice President, Treasurer and high profile titles at area, division and district levels. We are now called directors and Managers.
Being called the club champion, the area humorous speech champion, the division’s evaluation champion, the district’s table topics champion and ultimately the world public speaking champion is beyond amazing. Toastmasters gives all its members every year the equal chance to compete for the World Championship. It was a prestige to see someone from our own family of district 79 winning the World Championship. I felt proud like my own brother became the World Champion. You get that feeling only in toastmasters. Pure happiness and joy and no envy. Those are the feelings instilled by the toastmasters in all its members.
There is more to toastmasters than just titles. We are addressed as Leaders in every meeting. We are looked upon as the best speakers in the community. Through our Youth Leadership and Speech Craft activities, people hold us in honour for our community service efforts. We get invited to judge Elocution and debate contests at schools and universities.
We are part of a 91 year old esteemed organization. We are interconnected with 122 countries around the world. We are different nationalities, languages, cultures, professions connected by same values and mission. In this world of division and conflict, we have remained one and we continue to remain one crossing borders and languages, cultures and professions.
In this world of selfishness and arrogance, I am proud to be a member of an organization that has such a strong emphasis on human values. Our mission is “mutually supportive and positive environment”… Where else in this world do you find such a noble setting?
Where else do you find people patient with other people? Where else do you find people genuinely interested to serve others for no monetary gains? It is one of the few organizations where human values prevail. We don’t criticise, we praise.
We don’t comment, we compliment.
We don’t degrade, we encourage.
We don’t dishonour, we respect.
We don’t pinpoint faults, we look for positive traits.
We don’t put down people, we bring them up.
We all grow together. We work hard a lot, fulfulling our duties as required by our officer roles. We work hard, not for money, but to serve our community.
In this world of negativity, I still have a place to go where there are people who are positive, friendly, warm and helpful.
We follow parliamentary procedures. Our meetings are professional, timed and scheduled. We value time. We follow democratic procedure for elections. We vote and choose our officers. Our officers are called as servant leaders. It was a highly prestigious moment for me when I was selected as the Vice President-Public Relations of Jeddah Elite Ladies Toastmasters club.
It’s an organization where service comes before self. Where we all grow together, where nobody is left behind. Where we are there for each other all the time, every time. Where we don’t leave our fellow members behind. Where everybody is given an equal chance, where there is unity and solidarity. Where there is oneness and no bias. It’s an honour to be part of an organisation where such noble values are upheld.
Our titles and awards shine on our resumes. We get an edge in the interviews because of our proven communication and leadership skills. We get promotions and raises and are selected for compering events and chairing our business meetings.
We are improving and helping people improve the skill that is no.1 requirement of the employers around the world. We are part of an organization that not only makes better professionals out of us but also tremendously improves our personal lives. We are not only helping ourselves but also satisfying our need to contribute to society by helping others. We are making future leaders by youth leadership and speech craft programs.
Thanks to our VP-PRs and toastmasters international branding, all the toastmasters members enjoy great reputation. We are considered as the elite, intellectual, influential members of society. We are the doers, the go-getters.
It was a prestige to watch Mohammad Al Qahtani the world champion of public speaking live and witness his speech at the SATAC 15. It was an honour to watch the creme de la creme of public speakers and leaders of Saudi Arabia. It was an honour to serve as tally counter for both the speech contests working with the present District Director himself. It was my honour to meet and interact with toastmasters, leaders, club, area and district officers at various conferences. It was highly prestigious to emerge as second place winner in evaluation contests.
Toastmasters are the people who know that they need to improve, self develop and they are proactively doing something about it. We are taking out time, working hard to develop our skills. We are an ambitious people who do not want to settle for anything but the best. We are always willing to listen and improve. We are always moving forward.
What was your most prestigious moment in your Toastmasters journey?