The Forgotten Promise?
When I served as your President between July 2009 and June 2010, one of the things I wanted to bringinto our club’s culture was the Toastmasters mission statement.I wanted to work in the mission statement somewhere in the proceedings, but given the 42 seconds or soit takes to recite it and keep our meetings under an hour in length, that initiative was repurposed. Nowadays, you see the Toastmasters mission statement on the backs of your tent cards when you sitdown for a meeting at our club.If you sometimes are fortunate enough to go to Toastmasters club meetings in other spaces, you willsometimes (after the Pledge of Allegiance) be asked to recite a second Toastmasters doctrine: “TheToastmaster’s Promise.”As a member of Toastmasters International and my club, I promise...
To attend club meetings regularly;
To prepare all of my speech and leadership projects to the best of my ability, basing them on projects in the
Competent Communication, Advanced Communication
To prepare for and fulfill meeting assignments;
To provide fellow members with helpful, constructive evaluations;
To help the club maintain the positive, friendly environment necessary for all members to learnand grow;
To serve my club as an officer when called upon to do so;
To treat my fellow club members and our guests with respect and courtesy;
To bring guests to club meetings so they can see the benefits Toastmasters membership offers;
To adhere to the guidelines and rules for all Toastmasters educational and recognition programs;
To maintain honest and highly ethical standards during the conduct of all Toastmasters activities.Admit it. How many of you knew all the words of the Promise before reading this article? How many of you knew we
a Promise? Can you recite it, by heart? More to the point, how can you use thePromise to make yourself a better member of your Toastmasters club?Your being part of any Toastmasters club is not just an exercise in professional development, or speaking skills, or even learning about leadership, something Toastmasters International has beenemphasizing the last few years. Instead, think about your commitment to the improvement of
members of our club. We have been called a very strong club by our Area Governors over the years.Why? Because we’ve developed a culture of flexibility over the years. We always seem to be able tofill out all of our meeting roles every month (except for late August when vacation and the end of thefiscal year tend to keep people away). Our unofficial motto is “Flexibility is our policy.”It’s also a pretty good corollary to the Toastmaster’s Promise.
Al Mattei, AC-B,