24. A New Series: My Personal Journey in Public Speaking: 11. Distinguished Toastmaster! At last?


After 5 and a half years, from April 2007 to October 2012, I have finally reached one of the main goals of a Toastmaster, the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) level!

After a long journey in public speaking, attending meetings, presenting speeches, organising contests, hosting events, conducting meetings, meeting people, helping others, being helped by others, it has finally come to this…. Going on stage at the Semi Annual Convention in October 2012 at Subang Holiday Villa!

It was an extremely joyous occasion when I heard my name called out to receive the DTM award. In my mind, I triumphantly shouted, "It is done!"

I was on Cloud 9 for a while, as I walked up the stage and received the award…..then I returned to my seat. I continued to clap hands as many of my fellow members were going up on stage to receive other various awards.

It was a happy and satisfying night where many of us got to savour the feelings of contentment and accomplishment as we received both recognition and praise.

Then the night was over and I went to my car and drove home slowly. On the way home, my mind started to wander, "What shall I do now? What's next in my Toastmasters journey? Now that I have checked off the last box on my DTM checklist, what more can I do?"

As I parked my car in my home porch, I sat there in the dark with my car engine still running as I allowed my mind's eye to think back on all my fellow Toastmasters whom have achieved DTM. What are they doing now? What did they focus on after they became DTM?

I knew some whom have continued serving in Toastmasters happily, going for their second CC, second CL, second ACB, and so on, towards their second DTM. In the process, they lend their experience to younger Toastmasters members, helping the less experienced members in contests, in events, running for offices at Area level, at Division level, at District level and even at Regional and International level.

I also knew some DTMs whom decided to slow down their participation within Toastmasters, and decided to take their newly acquired skills and experience outside, into their working world, into their own personal lives.

Both I believe have their merits, both have their advantages, both have their purposes, and one thing I know, both signified continuous learning.

It is definitely NOT the end of the road for me. In my years as a Toastmaster, I have learnt that it is better to give than to receive. It is better to help others in any way we can, and in the process of helping, we ourselves improve and get better as well. Therefore, whatever I decide to do after this, I know it will not be sitting still, it will be helping in some form.

I guess that is why my main passion today is teaching and sharing….

Now, as I conclude this post, I want to just share with you my thought process as I deliberated what shall I do next in life.

What are my current priorities in life?

  • Family (my second child was less than a year old and my eldest was about to reach three years of age)

  • Church / Faith life (I was about to be nominated to take on the role of Council Chairman for my church in Bangsar)

  • Work (I just started a new job at a new place of employment a few months ago)

  • Passion (Teaching and sharing)

I leave you now with these thoughts in my mind, until the next post next week!

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