Saturday, July 30, 2011

Toastmasters Overkill

Greetings Happy People,

Before I write this message to you, I would like to let it be known that I love Toastmasters. I love the people in the organization and enjoyed the friendships I have made through lots of Happy People. When it comes to this organization, I have plenty of good times, great experiences, and awesome learning siutations that I would not trade for anything. This experience not only goes for the Las Vegas area, but also the rest of the world. I love this organization very much.

With this said, I have a question to ask.

Have you ever asked yourself when too much was just too much?

Two years ago, I finished up a successful term as a Division Governor. The Division was President's Distinguished for the third year in a row. Four out of the five areas were President's Distinguished - thanks to some amazing people (Karyn, Pablo, Jake, Nora, and Adella). I was getting ready to serve as the Chief Judge for the Division. And I belonged to seven different Toastmasters clubs!! That's right!! SEVEN!!

Can you say OVERKILL?

At some point, I cut down the membership of these clubs to a pretty decent number, 3.
When I cut down the club memberships, I felt a good release of tension and pressure that was off my back and was able to join my experience.

Now let's fast forward to today.

I just came from a pretty challenging year as a Lt. Governor of Marketing for my District. Lots of things were riding on the District. It had a chance to become Distinguished for a third year in a row - which has not happened for a long time. Some folks wanted to walk across the stage in Las Vegas celebrating that accomplishment. Others wanted the Las Vegas valley to be their own District.

The last two weeks of that year was even MORE challenging that the 50 weeks before that. When the smoke cleared, the District was 98 members away from being Distinguished - OUCH!! During these last two weeks, new clubs have chartered and some of them were joined by yours truly. Once that term ended, I find myself belonging to seven clubs again!! Can you say history repeating itself?

Before I can go on, I realize that too much is starting to become too much. To enjoy this Toastmasters experience, take on the leadership roles I am currently doing, and keep my insanity, I have to do some more cutting again. By October 1st, I will chop it down again. If I don't, then I won't enjoy the experience as much and it can become very stressful.

This story is an example on how too much of a good thing can not be so good. Within my years of Toastmasters, I have also seen people wanting to become the best speakers they can be only to leave because they took in way too much. This is especially heartbreaking if one is in a contest and forgot the rest of the lines. I have seen this at different levels. It makes me want to shake my head.

Again folks, I love Toastmasters. I love the people in it and am willing to help out as much as possible with filling a role at a club meeting, or a contest, or even get a new club started where folks actually want to start one. As the current Lt. Governor of Education & Training, I am willing to serve the District as best as I can for the whole District. However, in order for me to serve, learn, grow, and do my best, I have to let go of a few clubs that I currently belong to. Some folks may think that eight is enough, but I say that seven is too many!!

Before I end this message, I see people joining 4 Toastmasters clubs as we speak. That can easily turn in to 5, 6, and 7 if one is not careful. I see people overevaluating contestants preparing for different speech contests. I see people take this organization too seriously to the point where it it no fun at all.

To those people, all I can tell them is to enjoy Toastmasters as much as you can. The way YOU want to enjoy it!! There are great experiences on all levels!! Just don't overload yourself with it. This can lead to burnout if one is not careful. Remember that this is still a hobby. And like other hobbies, it can be a fun one, if you choose to make it fun for yourself.

Never kill yourself by overkilling. It does favors for nobody.

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

1 comment:

Tim Chedester said...

Jesse, one of the biggest contributions to overload.... is when someone enables a club by becoming a member to support it in winning an award. With little or no intention of staying with the club. We have paper clubs where we have no members, no meetings..... just a means to an end ... with no integrity or leadership, I might add. We have district leadership manipulating the numbers, just so they can walk across a stage and look good .... with ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE of what leadership is about. I say shame on them ......

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