End of year summary

As we finish our toastmaster year, a new year begins with new members and this a summary of last year from our President David Hopkinson…

We finished the year with a meeting at the Beckenham Methodist church and it was great seeing the members face to face before the festive holidays. There was plenty of cheer and joy and even a few crackers to celebrate the successful end of the year. I as the Club President also had the pleasure of congratulating members who had completed their Pathways levels in the previous six months, which shows they are progressing and developing their communication skills. As I say, this is what Toastmasters is all about, turning a weakness in to a strength and being able to communicate a message across in a confidence manor. On a personal note, it is good to see people develop from being timid speakers to people who are outwards and raring to go and can deliver speeches with ease.

In December, we achieved recognition for the successful year of 2020-21, where we achieved the award of ‘Distinguished Club’ from Toastmasters International. This was a great success for club and the previous President, Peter but we are aiming to build on that success by achieving the ‘President Distinguished Club’ award at the end of the Toastmaster’s year in Summer 2022. We have enthusiastic members at Beckenham Communicators and should easily be able to meet this goal.

We also had further success with our VPE Juli, representing the club at the area contest and she did our club proud by winning and then going onto represent the Area at the District Contest. This was the first time a member from Beckenham Communicators had won the Area Contest. This was not only a great achievement for her but the club. It was a brilliant example to new members that after a couple of years being a toastmaster, you can develop fantastic communication skills that develop every part of your life.

This reminds me of my own journey, being a coy speaker in 2018 when I made my first step and joined a toastmasters club, it was scary and I was nervous but got through, even appearing on stage briefly. Then I was encouraged to do my first speech. I had nerves a week before the meeting but I did deliver the speech and was able to get through. It gave me confidence, which I was able to build on in later speeches developing on my delivery style and movement to engage the audience. I also joined the club committee involving myself in helping to run our club and with these experiences, learning and development opportunities led me to become the President in 2021/22. So if I can do it, I am sure everyone else can too.

There are many things to look forward to in the new year, with not only a mixture of online and in person meetings but also the club contest where we will have external judges rating our speeches and the winner has the chance to progress to the Area Contest. So if you are reading this and you want to get involved, come along, you are more than welcomed. We want new members, and we can help you develop your communication skills within a friendly environment with people who will support you. Remember, you have to start today to have success in the future.

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