In Support of Leadership

I mentioned in my last post that I plan to make Competent Communicator and Advanced Leader Bronze this year.

In fact, to make Advanced Leader Bronze, I need to make Competent Communicator first.  It’s Toastmasters requirement.

While I do understand that Toastmasters is primarily a public speaking organization and, as such, the Communication Track of the Educational Program is stressed more than the Leadership Track, the disparity seems excessive.  It’s to the point that the Leadership Track seems very much like an afterthought.

For example, every speech gets a written evaluation as well as a verbal evaluation which is a standard part of the club meeting, but leadership projects get only written evaluations and rarely get a mention during a typical meeting.

Additionally, in the Distinguished Club Program, six of the points are awarded for educational achievements.

Of these, four are for Communication, two are for leadership.  The first two are for two Competent Communicators each; the second two are for Advanced Communicators and the third two lump together any leadership award and the Distinguished Toastmaster, which is awarded for completing both Communication and Leadership tracks.

This means that each year, clubs are expected to have six members complete communication achievements versus only two leadership achievements.

This is not even considering that there are three speech competitions annually and one speech evaluation competition and nothing comparable for leadership.

As I said, I do understand that Toastmasters is very much about communication and I do agree that the Communication Track should get the majority of the stress.

However, if your going to have leadership as part of your educational system, such extreme lopsidedness seems like a disincentive to focusing on leadership.

I had intended this post to be about my Toastmasters educational plans for the year, but it seems to have gotten away from me and become something of a rant.  I suppose the plan discussion will need to wait a bit longer.



About Dan Kingsepp, ACS, ALS
I'm starting this blog to share my thought on the use of the English language and my experiences as a Toastmaster.

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