by Candy Ikokwu
Workshops, contests, socials and of course our regular meetings; all made 2014 the year that was…full of fun, laughter, learning, growing.
From July 2014, it was a great privilege to welcome 9 new members to Broadgate, who chose us to pursue their goals of self-development in a supportive and friendly environment. As is the mission of Toastmasters International, we love to encourage others in the community to take up the opportunity to experience this life changing journey. In doing so, we also welcome people who bring in diverse backgrounds and experiences, which creates a great atmosphere in any club. The goal is to continue to expand so that we reach many more in the community and see their lives change as well as learn from them.
2014 was also a fantastic contest year for Broadgate with a variety of members enthusiastically taking on the challenge of the Humorous Speech & Table Topics Contest.. We saw very recent members as well as more experienced members push themselves at the club level of the contest; not only did they succeed in boosting their confidence, they delighted and inspired others. A special highlight was the achievement of two of our members who swept the Area level of the contest with double first place. They went on to equally great feats by coming second and third place respectively, at the Division level of the hotly contested competition. I can also attest to the motivational benefits of taking part in speech contests and would highly recommend it. February and March 2015, will provide another opportunity to challenge ourselves again and grow even further in the 2015 International Speech Contest.
The first half of this Toastmasters year also provided a great opportunity for collaborations between clubs and amongst the Toastmasters community. Broadgate is part of the group of clubs that comes under Area 58, which includes City of London Speakers, 1st London Toastmasters, PMI, MLP and Woodford Green. We were able to successfully collaborate as well as network with all these clubs. In July 2014, we had the benefit of collaborating with 1st London Toastmaster’s, Ram Maree, for a unique workshop on using body language techniques to deliver inspiring speeches. The Area 58 governing team did a fantastic job in bringing all the clubs together for the first ever joint Christmas party. We ended the year with a lovely social with City of London speakers. We will certainly be continuing in this spirit for the second half of TM in 2015.
The majority of our members were actively participating in club activities, which was inspiring to see, as well as our advanced speakers who continued to regularly participate in meetings, contests and events. Advanced speakers are vital to clubs because they provide a reference point to inspire others on the same journey. They are a testament to the impact which the Toastmasters program has, as well as offering useful experience for members who are starting out. Finally, we all know that learning never ceases and so it is important for all members to press on, the great man, Mahatma Ghandi, summed it up well when he said ‘…learn as if you were to live forever’.
A huge Thank You to everyone who has played a part in an inspiring journey so far, this includes club members, committee members, area 58 team members and members of other clubs who helped us out during the year and of course guests!
There are lots of other inspiring things to look forward to in 2015. We hope to see a few of our members consolidate all their hard work over the years with the completion of their Competent Communication and Competent Leadership awards, moving on to advanced levels.
Our first meetings back are 13th Jan and 27th Jan and promise to be exciting openers to what’s ahead in the year.
We hope you can join us!