Black Friday, Cyber Monday, x number of shopping days left… We’ve reached the time of year when retail mania hits its peak; when advertisers bombard you with messages encouraging you to find the perfect gifts for all of your loved ones, friends, coworkers, acquaintances… the list goes on. And as long as you’re shopping, it’s tempting to pick up something for yourself!
Looking for the perfect gift for your fellow Toastmasters? You’re already giving it!
Most of us get involved with Toastmasters because we want to work on some aspect of self-improvement. Joining is a gift to yourself, an investment in your personal development, but did you know that you’re not the only person who benefits? The peer-to-peer nature of the program creates a community learning environment where everyone contributes AND benefits in some way. Each time you participate in a meeting or other Toastmasters event, you give as much as you get.
Every speech you deliver offers someone else the opportunity to practice evaluating. When you’re the evaluator, you’re not only supporting the speaker’s self-improvement journey and modeling best practices for the rest of the group, you’re sharpening your own evaluation and impromptu speaking skills. Every time you take a functionary role, even one that may seem minor to you, you are both developing your own skills and providing valuable feedback to the other members. Even if you don’t have a formal role at the meeting, you’re still contributing your attention, applause and respect to the proceedings! You can’t put a price on these gifts.
The best thing about the gift of Toastmasters is that you can keep giving and receiving all year round! Your presence is the true present.
I wish you all a joyous and peaceful December. Thank you for the gifts of your energetic, talented and enthusiastic voices that make our community strong!