By: May Ghali, ACG, ALB
It’s that time of the year again; time to renew your Toastmasters membership.
During the lockdown, it’s more important than ever to stay with Toastmasters. By keeping your regular routine, you maintain a sense of normalcy. You can continue with your speech projects and the meeting roles you enjoy because many clubs are meeting online via Zoom and other online meeting platforms.
You will continue to sharpen you critical thinking every time you sign up for a role. I cannot stress enough, the value of critical thinking to help you sift through the massive, and at times confusing, body of information we are bombarded with on a daily basis.
Our primary modes of communication have drastically shifted to emails and virtual meetings. Schools are conducting everything online. The medical establishment and doctors are practicing telemedicine. Even government officials are conducting their business online. As a member of Toastmasters, you will further develop your computer skills. You will improve vocal variety, eye contact and other technical skills to best present yourself online.
COVID-19 had impacted the lives of many socially and economically. Many people have been negatively impacted by this pandemic through job loss or layoff. To remain connected by my club, I called the members and found out that one of them had lost his job. To cheer him up, I sponsored his membership for the next six months. He currently attends Zoom meetings regularly and practices the skills he needs in the new workforce reality. Toastmasters is his lifeline.
Nearly a century old, Toastmasters started as an American organization that has since become an international organization. Toastmasters has been embraced by the whole world for the values it instills in the members and the affect they have on their community and society. As members, it is our responsibility to see it through another century.
I encourage other Toastmasters to check on those who have fallen by the wayside. Maybe they are technically challenged. Maybe it’s a financial issue. Let’s do what we can to nurture and keep our Toastmasters family intact and thriving.