I recently talked to a friend of mine, Wendy (real friend, pseudonym) over a video conferencing. Wendy is trapped in the lockdown in China. Instead of feeling anxious and stressed, she asked me a simple question: when you look back on this 2019 coronavirus situation in five or ten years, how do you want to see yourself? What a powerful question! It shifts Wendy out of the urgency of this moment. It shifts her out of this pressure and anxiety in the back of her head.
What do you see when you look through that lens of a healthy mindset? While we cannot control others spreading the virus, and certainly the media’s daily promotion of the health crisis, you can control how you choose to respond. You can choose to react to the situation, adjust your behaviour, and plan your path forward. You can use the face masks, wash your hands frequently, and stay informed. Then you can use the experience and grow yourself during this downtime when meetings are expected to slow down. That’s what I did. Remember the Matrix? Red pill or blue pill?
Wendy enjoys improved productivity working from home. I have a chance to harness and practice my communication and emotional intelligence skills through online conferencing platforms, practising active listening and helping Wendy and others to defuse emotionally charged situations, using the invaluable communication and leadership skills I learn in Toastmasters.
Toastmasters can help you thrive in this vulnerable time. By treating each day with the best you’ve ever gotten, seeing yourself as the person you want to become, priming yourself for success by surrounding yourselves with like-minded people like the Toastmasters community, your behaviour will, over time, adjust to bring you closer to that image.
So, why wouldn’t you renew your Toastmasters membership now? Here are the reasons why you should renew your membership:
Global Community: Members enjoy and reap the benefits of being part of the Toastmasters community. There is a sense of inclusion that offers collaboration, support, and like-minded values and members feel a strong bond not only to other members of their club but also to members all over the world.
Credibility and Affiliation: Members see Toastmasters as the sphere of influence and feel that by being affiliated with it, gives them a strategic advantage. They might want to leverage their membership to promote themselves, their brand, be included on invitations and opportunities, and to improve their image in their community.
Resources and Experts: Members count on Toastmasters International (TI) and clubs for educational resources and opportunities, solutions to problems and access to best practices. Members appreciate that both TI World Headquarters and clubs worldwide (online and offline) can offer wisdom, know-how, and help them overcome the constant hurdles they face. Toastmasters community is like a huge Wikipedia of resources that help members find what they need.
Common Vision, Purpose and Goals: Members love leaders who have a great vision, purpose and significant goals. Members believe in Toastmasters strategic direction and initiatives. TI wants to do whatever they can to ensure that members are successful. Members want to be part of the “big picture” and invest in resources for long term sustainability.
Power to influence: Every year at the Toastmasters Annual Convention, each club has 2 votes which they cast to decide key aspects and elect Board members and directly influence the direction in which TI is heading. TI Board of Directors have the ability, vision, skills, and clout to represent members’ concerns that allows the members to focus on their strengths and achieve their goals.
Connections and Social Capital: Members aren’t really seeking ‘networking’ as much as they want to gain access to those who can help them achieve their goals. Toastmasters are linked both virtually and in-person and help members build their social capital in the area.
Top Tier Benefits: Toastmasters members are always trying to find ways to save time, gain communication skills, confidence and learn leadership skills. Members access these benefits through the Toastmasters membership. Toastmasters had already proved itself to be the first-choice provider of dynamic, high-value, experiential communication and leadership skills development when compared to any other offering. Where else can the members go to access so much in one place? Toastmasters are a one-stop shop for all of these benefits and members only need to pay one membership fee.
Are you renewing your membership this term?
Do it before March 31st, 2020 to retain your membership till September 30th, 2020. Also, clubs that achieve 20 renewals or a net growth of 5 members by March 31st, will receive 3 Toastmasters tote bag per club.
Surviving this crisis will take a shift in mindset. The global pandemic is a case of “getting well together.” Our choices affect everyone around us. Stay awkward, brave and kind. Build each other up.
Nuchanath Aumpradithpun, DTM
Club Growth Director 2019-2020