Patricia Hetherington, a resident of Gibsons and a member of Morningstars, has just completed a major goal in Toastmasters. Read about it in this interview.
How long have you been in Toastmasters and why did you join?
One morning at 7:15 am I saw friends heading to their car – looking like they were happy and having fun. When I asked where they were going at that hour, they said Toastmasters! They also asked, Why don’t you come? I went to the meeting and felt like a duck in water within 5 minutes. I joined immediately. That was 6 years ago.
You just reached a really important milestone. Tell us about that.
I have just completed my ACG – Advanced Communication Gold. It’s a hefty award to earn because in addition to completing 2 speech manuals, there was the requirement to present a Success Leadership Education Session and coach a member in her first 3 speeches.
As we progress through the communication and leadership levels, the mountain gets progressively steeper; it becomes more difficult to earn the awards. ACG has taken me 3 years to complete. During the 2011/2012 Toastmasters year, I was Area 76 Governor which kept my attention more focused on other [Vancouver] clubs, and making it difficult to work on my own goals.
What would you say to someone who was thinking of joining Toastmasters?
Would you like to surround yourself with smart, enthusiastic, supportive folk who are interested in seeing you learn & grow? If so, Toastmaster’s the place to go. It is truly a treasure if you love language, want to polish up your speaking skills as well as leadership skills, meet great people and raise the bar in your life! It’s also fabulous value for a minimal cost.
What’s the next milestone you want to achieve in Toastmasters?
In order to earn my ALS Advanced Leader Silver, I require a 6-month role of mentoring a newly chartered club. Clubs don’t charter all that often so I am keen to find one for the 2012/2013 year. Finishing this mentorship requirement, I will earn my DTM Distinguished Toastmaster [which I call the black belt.] This is a personal goal because I like to complete what I start. The journey to DTM will take me 7 years in total. Sounds like a long time, but it is a challenging process. Most members do not reach this one.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
People complain about our 7:15 am start time. Like a friend of mine, who walked the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage in Spain with me, says, “If we weren’t doing this, we’d be doing something else.” That just about says it. Besides, where else can you have this much fun & excitement this early in the am?