DISTRICT 40
TOASTMASTERS

OH-IN-KY-WV

The First Blog

Why write the first blog?  Of anything?

To show the way….

Hi, I’m Kathy Donavan, Club Growth Director for District 40 of Toastmasters International.  “What is District 40”, you ask?

That’s easy.  We are a group of individuals from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana who believe that the role of communication is important to having a great life, a great family experience, a great career… a great everything!   In communicating well, we also gravitate toward various aspect of leadership – from helping a community resolve an issue, to helping a child learn about what education can do for them, to helping a business grow and thrive.

And the first step to making great things happen is not learning how to write a speech (which we do) or learn how to be a better project manager (if you choose this path) or even filling out a membership application (which would be wonderful!) …. It is….  Listening!

We learn to listen first and foremost.  It is called active listening.  How do we do that?  We help others who are practicing various aspects of speaking in front of a group and give them feedback.  Why do we do that?  For several reasons, including improvement for the speaker in the future, improvement for those who listen to the evaluation (there’s that listening again!), and improvement for the evaluator who can take their own advice when they speak next!  It’s a win-win-win.

And in reading this blog you are actively listening to what I am saying.  You’ve already started your Toastmasters journey.  But don’t take it from me….

Take it from the over 4,000 people in our district that are members today, or the over 330,000 members all over the world who are a part of other districts around the globe (142 countries worth), Toastmasters  has helped them get jobs, keep jobs, get promotions, win over customers, run meetings better, save a relationship or two, convince communities to invest in themselves, improve public services, make a better life for their family, and the list goes on and on and on.  And they all started where you are right now.

Why write the first blog?

So that Toastmasters who are in this wonderful district of ours will share their insights, will also help you see what I have seen over the years.  That when you join Toastmasters, and you join the friends you’ve made at meetings, contests and conferences you will have what it takes to be more of you. Then, when you look back on it all, you will remember what you learned in that speech about someone’s trip to Germany, you will embrace the first aid tips you heard, you will relish someone’s joy as their baby is born or as a scientist explains what the latest advances in his cancer research have been.  When you think you’ve learned a lot and you still learn more at each meeting.  When you laugh more in meetings than you do during any other hour of the week… that… is when you might say “I’m glad I read that First BLOG”!

Kathy Donavan, Distinguished Toastmaster

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