For those of you who are curious, my ship has yet to arrive. The ongoing job search continues.
But while I’m waiting for the job offer of a century, I have an award that I’m on the verge of achieving. That award is the Advanced Communicator Gold award in Toastmasters.
Now what does that mean? For those of you who are not a member of Toastmasters, it would only be fair that I explain the significance of this award.
But to understand that, we will need to backpedal a little bit to the beginning. When you become a new member, you receive a subscription to Toastmasters Magazine and two booklets. One of them is Competent Communication and the other one is Competent Leadership.
In the Toastmasters Educational Program, there are two different tracks that you can pursue. There is the Communication Track and the Leadership Track. A Toastmasters member can pursue either one of them or both. To get to my example, we will focus on the Communication Track.
The Communication Track begins with the Competent Communicator Award. To receive this, you need to complete all ten projects in the Competent Communication Manual. All of these projects are foundational to public speaking, and cover various different speech topics including organizing a speech, using body language, using research, persuading an audience and a few other topics.
The next award in the Communication Track is the Advanced Communicator Bronze Award. For this award, you need to achieve the Competent Communicator Award and complete two manuals from the Advanced Communication Series. When you get your Competent Communicator, your first two advanced manuals are free. There are 15 different manuals to choose from in the Advanced Communication Series, and each manual contains five speeches, instead of ten. These manuals cover a wide range of different topics. For me, I completed Storytelling and Interpersonal Communication.
After Advanced Communicator Bronze is Advanced Communicator Silver. The requirements are similar to the Bronze award. You need to achieve the Advanced Communicator Bronze Award and complete two additional manuals from the Advanced Communication Series. To get this award, however, there is an additional requirement. You need to present two programs. These programs are modules that have been developed by Toastmasters International. The script and visuals are provided, so all that is required of you is to personalize the content. For Advanced Communicator Silver, the two programs that you need to present are any two from The Better Speaker Series and/or The Successful Club Series. For me, I completed Specialty Speeches and Interpretive Reading for the advanced manuals. For the programs, I did one from The Better Speaker Series and one from The Successful Club Series.
Now for the award that I am on the verge of achieving. The Advanced Communicator Gold Award. This is the highest award that can be achieved in the Communication Track, and it’s a lot more challenging to obtain. Like the last two awards, you need to complete two more manuals from the Advanced Communication Series (and have your Advanced Communicator Silver, of course). In addition to that, you need to present a seminar to a club or larger audience. The seminar can either be from a Success/Communication Program, a Success/Leadership Program, or a Youth Leadership Program. The seminar that I did was from the Success/Leadership Series and was a one hour seminar on How to Conduct Productive Meetings. But due to the limitations of speaking time, this seminar was conducted over the course of three club meetings in a three-month time span. The advanced manuals that I completed were The Entertaining Speaker and Special Occasion Speeches.
In addition to that, there is still one more requirement to get Advanced Communicator Gold. You need to mentor a new member with the first three speeches. As of tonight, the person that I’m mentoring will be giving their third speech. If this changes, I will let you know. I have been mentoring this person since June on speech preparation, giving effective evaluations, participating in speech contests and any other subjects that he’s interested in. Just last month, my mentee got second place in the Table Topics contest at the District 62 Fall Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Getting back to the award, the mentoring requirement is the last one I need for this award. For the Communication Track alone, I will have presented 45 speeches. If you include the Leadership Track, it would be more than that.
For those of you who are not members in Toastmasters, this information might sound a little overwhelming. Don’t let it overwhelm you. This program is designed to make you a better speaker and a better leader.
Even after getting this award, I am far from finished. My plans include working on a second Competent Leader Award, a High Performance Leadership Project and helping plan the next District Conference, among other things. I have also done a lot of leadership in Toastmasters, but that’s another entry.
But alas. As much as I have learned from Toastmasters, my job doesn’t allow me to put any of those skills to practice. Toastmasters is designed for leaders, and communication is critical in being effective at doing this. But with an hourly job at a pizza place, it doesn’t translate very well. At best, Toastmasters can only help me with my interviewing skills. To ensure my success at this, I will be volunteering for Table Topics at every future club meeting. In the future, I hope to put my other skills to practice.
Muse: You have a meeting tonight?
Yes. You were quiet the whole time and you didn’t want to interrupt, right?
Muse: Of course! It would be rude for me to interrupt something that educational. Is there any way that I can join?
Unfortunately, no. But you can charter a club for all Intangibles to join. Just go around the Realm of Imagination and see who’s interested. Remember. You need 20 members to have a club.
Muse: Got it. I’ll look at the Toastmasters website for more information. I’m so excited! I’m starting the first ever Toastmasters Club for Intangibles! I’ll call it “The Intangible Founders Club”. See you later! I’m off to look for potential members!
The first ever imaginary Toastmasters club? We’ll see how that works. Tonight, I have a Toastmasters Meeting, so it should be exciting.
Today’s high is going to be 41 degrees and the silver lining is tonight’s Sensational Speakers Toastmasters Meeting.
To all of you who are in the pursuit of self improvement, I hope that you all have a fantastic day.
Muse: Wow! There are over 5000 people that want to join my club! Is that too much? Kyle?
EDIT: I was not present at the meeting tonight, due to some confusion with a meeting being cancelled. It turned out that the executive meeting was cancelled, and the meeting was still being held. But from what I heard, my mentee gave his third speech, so I got the award! Also, over 10,000 people in Midland were without power, so I ended up helping my grandparents instead. I guess it worked out for the better….