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Toastmasters

Toastmasters

It finally happened. It took us over year and a half, but we did it – we gathered the magic number of 20 people and Toastmasters Kraków Public Speaking Club is now officially registered! We have club number, member numbers, access to the website and everything! We also already requested the certificates for our two Competent Communicators (Milena and Yours Truly), so we can achieve some awards as a club, and we can proceed with our development as members.

We celebrated the double occasion last week, in CK Browar – the other reason being St Paddy’s day, and since our current President is named Patryk, the beer was on him :)

But that’s not all good news. There is also another Toastmasters club that just opened in Kraków – thanks to Bożena’s determination and the help of some of Kraków’s club team (including myself) in organizing the demo meetings in November, my company gathered over 20 people and on Friday had the inaugural meeting of the first corporate Toastmasters club in Poland! We had many guests not only from our local, Cracovian club, but also the Area Governor Joanna Tkaczyk-Nowakowska and the President of Toastmasters Polska SA club Franciszek Szych came from Warsaw, and even from outside Poland – District Governor Monika Królak and Hadrian Lutogniewski, guy so high in the Toastmasters hierarchy that he doesn’t even need the title ;)

The meeting was a huge success – conducted professionally by Hadrian, with great Table Topic questions prepared by Franek, but the best of all were the participants from Sabre – frankly, I didn’t expect the fresh members to be so open, so active, so creative and funny when giving Table Topic speeches for the first time in their lives. I can seriously see the future of my company’s club in bright colors!

But the fun didn’t end with the meeting – later we all had the opportunity to get to know each other even better and continue interesting conversations in the Lodziarnia club, and some of us even dragged them late into the night, and then the next morning (however it may sound ;)

All in all, I’m extremely satisfied with how the inauguration of my company’s club went, and even more happy with all the people I met on that occasion.

And today, instead of going to my club’s regular meeting, I’m going to visit the “competition” – polish speaking Toastmasters club in Kraków. I’ve never seen their meeting, never even participated in a meeting held in Polish, let’s see how they’re doing and how I’m able to speak in front of the audience with the struggle with language taken out of the equation. Will it be easier, or harder? We’ll see.

Plus, I have some hidden agenda with that visit, but hush! More on that later. ;)

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Today I finished the first Toastmasters manual!

Luke brought me to the club more than year and a half ago and I became really involved really fast. Some months later I got the role of Sergeant-at-Arms, started on my Competent Communicator path and recently I got another role of Acting VP Membership (because Milenka left us and the whole country to make some political career in Europe). And today I presented my last speech from the Competent Communicator handbook and just after we finally register our club I’m sending my application.

The speech was also on topic, because a Toastmasters Conference in Warsaw ten days ago opened my eyes on what’s wrong with our club and inspired me to make some changes. So I talked about how we grew soft and all too nice, instead of giving each other valuable evaluations with constructive criticism; how I, as a VP Membership, forgot to assign new members their mentors or buddies, and finally, how we all forgot that Toastmasters is much more than just a place to learn how to speak, and we all have a great oportunity to learn many leadership skills.

Which is my next objective – I just discovered the Competent Leadership manual (about a year too late…) and start fulfilling it project by project…

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