Move forward

At last Thursday’s meeting Michael Said gave a speech titled “Where Leaders are made”.  I have to agree on what he has said. Toastmasters can be a very good learning ground for leadership.

At the beginning of 2011 I took on organising the Phillip Division International Speech contest as my High Performance Leadership (HPL) project.  Even 12 months prior to this I had no aspirations of going for my Distinguished Toast Masters award (DTM).  Let alone do a HPL.  However the opportunity was sort of thrown my way so I decided to take it.  What a learning curve it was.  There was lots of guidance involved, arguing, and disagreements to the point where I almost ‘threw in the towel’. However I made it to the end. I am glad I stuck to it as I certainly learned a lot and came out of it a much better person. A DTM award is now something that I can see happening. 

There has been a very big positive which came out of that experience.  As most of you know Michael Said and I were married last year in December.  This was by no means a small wedding with a total of 235 guests present.  As you can imagine, a wedding of this proportion needed to be well organised.

The training I received during my HPL came in very handy.  While I had a vested interest in the Wedding going smoothly I was not afraid to delegate.  This was a skill I learnt during my HPL.

There was also planning to the smallest detail.  We had a run sheet done as a joint venture with my soon to be husband and I, which was extremely detailed.  My daughter thought we were being a tad overdone with the run sheet but I can assure you that the day came together extremely well with only a few minor hitches which went un-noticed. It meant that on the day we didn’t need to think about anything.

What lessons had I learned?

  • Planning is vital to the smallest detail
  • Don’t be afraid to delegate
  • Take on advice from people who have been there and done that
  • Think of anything which may or may not go wrong and plan for it
  • Above all………..don’t forget to have fun.

My advice to everyone from the newest member to those who have been around for awhile.  If you have the opportunity to take on a leadership role, don’t think about whether you can or can’t do it.Have a go.  One thing about Toastmasters is that people are always willing to help you. Sometimes all you need to do…………………… ask!!!

“Toastmasters………….where leaders are made!”



  • Recently married Michael Said on 2nd December
  • Been a toastmaster since 1986
  • My official work title is “Clinical Support Specialist”  I teach and support nurses on the use of Medical Devices. This position would not have happened without toastmasters.
  • This job has allowed me to travel not only right across NSW but also to Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.


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2 Responses to Move forward

  1. Malkit Banwait says:

    Thanks Linda for your tips and sharing your TM experiences with us. Totally agree with you about leadership and planning. I’ll pass this article to my son & his fiance who are getting married in March and busy planning. See u on Thursday. Malkit


  2. Nirish Shakya says:

    Some really great advice there Linda! Wish I read your blog post before my wedding.


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