Have you ever been Toastmaster for a meeting and nothing seemed to be coming together? You sent out the reminder email at the beginning of the week with little response. The night before…nothing. The day of…nothing. Now you’re in full panic mode with no speakers so you call someone if nothing else but to rant. And that’s when teamwork starts.
That was the case this week for TM Sharon but then we sent out a plea for members to step up and just tell a story. “No one else sees the world the way you do so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.” Charles de Lint. Most of the time giving speeches is just story telling.
Suddenly besides myself, three of our newbies jumped in scared or not. Nancy hadn’t even given her Ice Breaker yet but she had us rolling in the aisle with her story about lost keys at the marina. Tara was up to her eyeballs in other responsibilities but she too said she would speak about something she’d used in another avenue. Candace used part of an article for her magazine. All four of us were evaluated in our manuals so the speeches counted. At the meeting other people stepped in to fill roles. Teamwork at its finest.
We came dressed in silly costumes so the mood was light. It was one of the most fun and inspirational meetings in a long time. I came away high, no drugs needed. Next time you are in a position of leadership and things are not coming together, take a breath and get other people involved in coming up with a solution. In the customer service program I teach, the most important question a service provider can ask an unhappy customer is, “What can WE do to make this right? Or What can WE do to come up with a solution?” Same question in Toastmasters takes the load off your shoulders and involves others in resolving the situation.
You can make the Toastmaster’s job easier if you check the schedule weekly to see if you have an assignment then contact the TM and confirm. Don’t hang them out to dry so they’re stressed on the day of the meeting. We all have a role in Sunshine Speakers to be team players. Everyone wins when we do.