Blog & Resources

Go Boldly ...

Q: What do Alexander the Great, Brigadier General Henry Martyn Robert, and Dr. Ralph C. Smedley have in common?

A: Each of these men in their own distinct way boldly went out into the world to conquer ignorance.

Alexander spread Greek culture and built libraries in many of the lands he conquered. Robert crafted a set of rules that many organizations to this day refer to when keeping their meetings in order. And Smedley built an organization one club at a time that today spans the globe and assists many with improving their listening, thinking, and speaking skills.

Please excuse me as I digress a moment to give credit to Golden Gavel Award winner Tony Buzan for his connecting Alexander with Smedley. [NOTE: The champion of Mind Mapping shared this idea with me just a few years ago while we were dining in Washington, DC, at the Toastmasters International Convention (2016). But that’s a speech topic for another time.]

The connection between Robert and Smedley should be easier to make as a copy of The Great Peacemaker can be purchased from the ‘company store’ managed by Toastmasters International. See Item B57 when shopping at the TI store.

So how will you go into today’s ever-changing world? What are you doing to conquer ignorance? Will you go boldly and attack your challenges armed with improved communication and leadership skills developed in Toastmasters? I hope so. Please comment if this post was at all compelling.

Three men who boldly went on — each in their own distinct way — to conquer ignorance.

Three men who boldly went on — each in their own distinct way — to conquer ignorance.

What constitutes international business experience?

Q: What constitutes international business experience? Does supporting a program such as the JSF qualify?

A: I think some would say "yes."

... While serving as the director of an innovation center, I can point to many opportunities to apply my Toastmaster’s skills working with representatives from the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Turkey.

The F35 or JSF is a multi-national program with international reach.

The F35 or JSF is a multi-national program with international reach.

Bully! ... Beware the hyphenated-Toastmaster.

Teddy Roosevelt was considered by many to have popularized the phrase "bully pulpit," this President spoke out on many issues and was considered one of the more progressive leaders in his day.

It's Presidents' Day in the United States. And regardless your place or origin or your citizenship, communication and leadership go hand-in-hand.

Who is your favorite political figure? What sort of communicator is/was he or she? Would the core values of our organization — integrity, respect, service, and excellence — describe or fit this public figure’s character?

Consider dropping in on a local #Toastmasters meeting in honor or this holiday for that's #WhereLeadersAreMade, honing their leadership and public speaking skills.


Beware the hyphenated-Toastmaster. What do I mean by a hyphenated-Toastmaster? Have you heard of members sorting themselves into groups such as …

  • I’m a community-Toastmaster versus a corporate-Toastmaster?

  • I’m an advanced-Toastmaster … Perhaps hinting that timing lights and other rules need not apply.

  • I’m from an on-line club. I’m from a traditional or legacy-club. Etc.

Our global organization reaches out to all members and offers an equal opportunity for all to learn and grow. With this equal opportunity comes challenges which the International Board of Directors may face in the near- to mid-term. For example:

  • How should the dues be set so as to attract and retain the optimum number of members?

  • What accommodations should be made for members who attend their meetings on-line, or in so-called hybrid clubs with some members meeting face-to-face while others teleconference into these meetings?

  • Should there be a policy in place to help club-level officers get their needed training without extensive travel or expense?

It is this candidate’s view that we are all Toastmasters and that policies and protocols must best reflect this principle of fairness and equality. Beware the hyphenated-Toastmaster.

I say, “Bully!” Beware the hyphenated-Toastmaster.

I say, “Bully!” Beware the hyphenated-Toastmaster.

Best job I ever had!

With all due respect and empathy for the victims of war and not wishing to comment here on the politics of any war, past or current …

There’s a certain level of commitment to one’s fellow soldiers which was captured in the movie, FURY. This commitment to one’s comrades was articulated by nearly every member of the tank crew that became this movie’s central figures. What was this line? “Best job I ever had!”

So what has been the best job you’ve ever had while serving as a member of Toastmasters International? What has been your favorite club officer position? What has been your favorite job while serving your district?

And after thinking about this job, what made it your favorite? What did you learn while performing your duty in this job? In other words, why was it the best job you ever had?

Best job I ever had!

Are you on the path to Toastmastery?

What does it mean to truly master a skill? Many believe that the Pathways program represents a leap-ahead innovation within the Toastmasters experience. Most of the projects are targeted for members working within their respective clubs. Some of the more advanced projects found at levels 4 or 5 allow for members to apply their learning to service within their district or beyond.

How have the lessons you’ve learned in Toastmasters served you along the way? I hope that you’ve integrated what you’ve mastered into your family life, into the hours you spend at the office, into the volunteer work you do within your church, community, or favorite charity.

Remember that any path will get you to the summit so long as you keep climbing.

Are you on the path to Toastmastery?

Are you on the path to Toastmastery?