“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin
Take a moment to think about your first Toastmasters meeting. How did you feel? Once you joined, did you have a mentor who showed you the way and helped you get the most from the Toastmasters program? All new members could use someone to teach them club protocol and customs and show them how to prepare and participate in various meeting roles as well as help them prepare and rehearse their first few speeches. Mentors provide this valuable service.
At the City of London Toastmasters every new member is matched with a more experienced member to guide them through their first few meetings, but it shouldn’t end there; Toastmasters International defines a “mentor” this way: “A mentor helps an inexperienced person, sometimes called a ‘mentee.’ A mentor serves as a role model, coach and confidante by offering knowledge, insight, perspective and wisdom that will allow a mentee to learn and advance more quickly.” Mentors aren’t just for new members; experienced members can benefit, too. For example, say you want to add humour to a speech and there’s a club member who excels at “the funny.” Why not ask them to mentor you on your speech?
If you need a hand with finding a mentor, drop a note with an idea of what you are looking for to firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition I’ve learned the rewards of being a mentor both in Toastmasters and in work. You can, too. Perhaps a colleague comes to you for advice on a project because you have experience. You can provide your own insights on the subject, refer them to books or other material that you found helpful, introduce them to other people who can help and provide feedback on their work.
If you want to become a mentor, drop a note to email@example.com
Ga Lok Chung