A Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking and the value of mentors

Fellow Toastmasters and Guests,

Did you attend the first ever virtual D27 District Conference? If not, you missed a real treat: Aaron Beverly, the 2019 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking, gave a keynote speech. Here is a link to his winning competition speech “An Unbelievable Story” from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmj1LBJu_Ss

Far from basking in the glow of being a reigning champion and his own laurels, on Saturday, May 16, 2020, Aaron Beverly talked about the value of mentors. I won’t even try to summarize his beautifully crafted speech. I couldn’t do it justice. The important take-home message is his acknowledgement how important mentors are. I could not agree more! Mentors are important in all aspects of life, including Toastmasters. Among the qualities to look for in a mentor, Aaron Beverly listed that a mentor should have been where you want to go, be “a champion of the fundamentals” and fit your speaking style.

Old Town Toastmasters shares the belief that mentors are invaluable. However, we think everyone can be a mentor, no matter at which stage in their Toastmasters journey they are. This why we have the Old Town Toastmasters Buddy system. Every club member can opt to get a buddy. These buddies are mentors to one another. Your buddy is the person you can call or email, if you have Toastmasters-related questions, if you want to practice your speech, need a boost of motivation to continue with your projects, or simply encouragement to get to the next Old Town Toastmasters meeting.

If you don’t have an assigned Old Town Toastmasters Buddy yet, contact the VPE or VPM and ask to be paired with one of your fellow Toastmasters or, even better, let us know you have decided to form a buddy team with someone.

Birgit Schwenzer, DTM (VP Membership & VP Public Relations, Old Town Toastmasters)