Sioux Lookout, area Toastmasters members honoured with distinguished awards
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Siouxper Speakers Toastmasters Club President Rebecca Perry and Dryden Toastmasters Club member Louise Lomas received their Distinguished Toastmaster awards during a presentation in Sioux Lookout on May 30, attended by Toastmasters executives who travelled from Winnipeg.
“They’re at the top of the top. Distinguished Toastmaster is the farthest you can go in the education system within Toastmasters,” said David Woodcock, Toastmasters district director elect for 2019-2020.
Toastmasters.org shares, “Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., the organization's membership exceeds 357,000 in more than 16,600 clubs in 143 countries… Journey beyond being proficient and receive the Distinguished Toastmaster award (DTM). This is the highest individual honor you can achieve in Pathways. Earn your DTM when you fulfill the following requirements:
• Completing two paths
• Serving as a club officer for 12 months and participating in a district-sponsored club officer training program.
• Serving as a club mentor or coach
• Serving as a club sponsor or conducting Speechcraft or a Youth Leadership Program
• Serving as a district officer for one year
• Completing DTM project”
“It feels so elating to be able to say I’ve done it,” shared Louise Lomas.
“I am very pleased to be doing that because I started my Toastmasters journey a little over ten years ago, so this is a culmination of the work over the last ten years in Toastmasters,” said Rebecca Perry.
“I was a member of Toastmasters in Scotland, Bermuda, and then we restarted the club here in Sioux Lookout,” she said.
Perry has been living in Sioux Lookout for just over three years, and she was able to restart the Sioux Lookout Toastmasters club, Siouxper Speakers Toastmasters Club, approximately two-and-a-half years ago after being directed to another Sioux Lookout resident who was familiar with Toastmasters.
“There had been one previous and then it had died out for a little bit. I was asking around about Toastmasters and people pointed me towards Stuart Cummings, who was quite involved in Toastmasters… There were other people who had been members before who rejoined and then there were new members who joined as well because we needed a group of 20 to get the club going again,” she explained.
Being shy, nervous, or having a public speaking fear can be common reasons to join a Toastmasters club but, when asked about the environment within Toastmasters, Woodcock shared that it’s a place to learn, grow, and even make mistakes.
“They’re committed to learning, growing, and gaining confidence by speaking and leading. That’s what they’re doing… It takes practice, learning, growing, and maybe making mistakes but, if you’re going to make a mistake, it’s best to do it in a Toastmasters meeting because everybody wants you to do well. They’re uplifting you and supporting you,” said Woodcock.
For more information on the local club, check out their Facebook page @siouxperspeakers or their website at www.6001910.toastmastersclubs.org.