Joining Toastmasters was one of the single best decisions I made in my life. I came for the public speaking, but little did I know that it would make me a better leader. The growth I experienced has benefited me beyond quantification, both in my personal and professional life. I am so grateful to all the Toastmasters that have crossed paths with me. Receiving my DTM is not the end of the road: it is just the beginning.
What first springs to mind is my early sense of risk and shakiness, looking nervously outward, but always feeling supported by fellow newbie Toastmasters looking back encouragingly and offering kind evaluations after.
Later I dared to look in the other direction, inwards, and was able to draw and reshape for speeches and Table Topics all the raw stuff that made me, that is, growing up speaking Creole and living Creole styles in the Caribbean, and then once I came to Canada in the early seventies, revelling in the flowering of Canadian self-awareness and publishing - writers, small literary magazines and independent bookstores along Yonge Street.
Through my Toastmasters journey I gained self confidence, enhanced my communication skills, developed my leadership abilities and had the opportunity to make new friendships too. Toastmasters is priceless because it opens doors to those who are willing to learn and grow.
It was such an exciting journey. Every speech, every Head Table or
Leadership role became a stepping stone for the next one with full of a funny mixture
of anxiety and exhilaration. In that walk, there were many, many mentors and
leaders who took my weight on their shoulders and carry me to the next
signpost. The great thing about the Toast Masters is that this journey is
never alone. Thats why 'once a Toastmaster always a Toastmaster'.
For me, everything leading up to the DTM was an opportunity to challenge myself. I chose manuals, projects, and leadership roles that would be challenging, but also useful in my personal and professional life. As many who have known me for a long time will attest to, I have come a long way and am able to do things I would not have imagined possible five years ago.
After four solid and unforgettable years in my Toastmasters journey, I am very proud to be called the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). My great gratitude is expressed to everyone involved in my DTM journey and continuing be in my learning experience. In return, I have started utilizing the incredible asset of communication skills by coaching and mentoring others in the community as a token of appreciation. Let’s have a cultivated conversation soon.
I was encouraged to attend a Toastmasters club meeting as a guest by my director in April of 2012. I was very impressed with “Speak Out State Street and IFDS Toastmasters Club”, I became a member the following week. The members helped me significantly to develop my communication and leadership skills. Nada Kesavan, Dave Bachan & Zack Dawood inspired me to achieve DTM. I was able to hone my mentorship skills and I was fortunate enough to help others achieve the distinction of DTM as well. Toastmasters also gave me various opportunities to network and to form friendships with various members within the district. I started as a wild-eyed general member who was afraid to speak and now, after serving as VP Education and the director of Area 54, I am grateful for the opportunity and guidance my leaders have provided me and I aspire to do pave the way for new members.
Those long coveted initials - DTM, are now proudly part of me and many of my electronic signatures.
My DTM journey was perhaps longer than most at 15 Years and 9 Months (March 2004 December 2019), but every role, speech, manual, contest, officer position made me
a better Toastmaster and, I believe, a better version of me.
I was startled to learn that less than 1% of Toastmasters who make their Icebreaker speech actually stay around long enough to earn their DTM. Thus I believe I am in excellent company, and am proud to say that due to the DTM, I am a One Percenter.
Toastmasters International helped me become a more effective communicator and elevated my time management and listening skills.
I met likeminded individuals who have become lifelong friends. I would like to wholeheartedly thank every club member who contributed in my journey to become a Distinguished Toastmaster.
It’s definitely exciting to finally receive my DTM! I joined Toastmasters in September 2014 and while I initially came to conquer a fear of speaking in front of people, I quickly got onto the DTM track and had set a plan to complete this by June 2018. I was sidetracked by a serious injury and its subsequent recovery and I'm looking forward to the arrival of that magical plaque in the mail.
I've gained so much in working through my first DTM - confidence, speaking skills, connections with some incredible people, and opportunities to develop new skills in areas such as workshops and online presentations. I think, though, that my greatest lesson has been that it all comes together at the right time. Sponsoring DC Success Masters, a new corporate club at Durham College, was the culmination of my DTM achievements, and working with this incredible group has helped me to further develop my own skills in every aspect of communication and leadership skills. These skills have of course culminated thus far in my new role as one of D60's Program Quality Directors for 2020-21, and I'm now looking forward to my first Pathways DTM, and future opportunities!
To know what you truly feel connected to, you need to try multiple things. That is Toastmasters for me. I came here not knowing what it was but got so engrossed in the learning process that becoming a DTM never seemed like work. A journey can be categorized best by the people whom you meet along, so was the case with DTM journey. Met amazing Toastmaters along the way, some of who are good friends, became mentor to some. Such a rewarding experience! To sum it up, I got more when I gave more.
Here I am as part of my HPL project at the public library. Like everything at Toastmasters, getting a DTM is as much what you can do for others as what you can do for yourself. Enjoy the journey!
When I walked into my first Toastmasters meeting many years ago, although terrified, I knew that it was the place to grow, learn and develop my communication and leadership skills. Helen Blanchard, the first female Toastmasters International President, said, “If you get out of Toastmasters all you can get out of Toastmasters, you’ll never get out of Toastmasters.” This is the reason why I continue to be a Toastmaster after so many years.
Thank you to the organization, the many supportive clubs, members, and mentors who have helped me to achieve this milestone. For this I am profoundly grateful! Earning the Distinguished Toastmasters Award means a lot to me: dedication, hard work and perseverance. As Nelson Mandela once said, it always seems impossible until it is done. To my fellow DTMs, Congratulations!
Achieving the Distinguished Toastmaster Award showed me that with planning, dedication and plenty of patience that we can accomplish tasks that we set out to do. It also taught me that my journey was not alone - there were a number of speech evaluators, team members, and other fellow Toastmasters along the way to help me improve my public speaking and leadership abilities.
Other New DTM Recipients:
- Amina Bhanji
- Antonina Boychuk
- Jack Li
- Maria Maruskinova
- Aneeta Pathak
- Keshrinundun Kesh Pathak
- Christine Scollon-Umphrey