The Drip Method
One of the best parts of the Toastmaster program, and its communication and leadership tracks, is flexibility.
What does this mean in practice? Three things. The program meets people at their point of need, provides them with opportunities to develop, and gives people the control to develop skills at their own pace.
Many Toastmasters begin their journey by completing a Speechcraft course. By the end of this course participants have improved their skills, have an excellent idea of their current abilities and needs, and know how they can progress further if they want to.
Often people will visit a Toastmasters club to observe what happens during a meeting. There is no pressure to join a Toastmasters club and this, I think, is a big incentive to join. Visitors typically recognise the excellence of the Toastmasters program and want to participate. There is no pressure needed because the Toastmasters programs sells itself.
New members are assigned a mentor and are provided with an early speaking opportunity for their Icebreaker. After they have finished a few speeches and received plenty of encouragement, the flexible Toastmasters program becomes clearer. Members have the choice to do as much or as little as they like, to progress as fast or as slow as they want in the two tracks.
Many people want to do as much as possible as quickly as possible. And that is perfectly OK. There are so many things to do. Work through speaking manuals, take on club leadership roles, participate in club competitions, and go beyond your own club at the Area, Division and District levels.
Others take it slower. And that is OK too. The method I use in Toastmasters, and other areas, is called the drip method. This is a method of achieving success where you focus on the journey of reaching your goals rather than the goals themselves. It’s a long-term, laid back, incremental method of progress. This approach enables you to enjoy reaching goals as they come rather than seeking out specifically to meet them.
It’s not for everyone, especially since we live in a such a busy time-driven world with pressure to meet dates. But it can mean:
- Less pressure because you are happy with small steps toward a bigger goal, not so much stress
- Greater likelihood of reaching your goals because you are satisfied with the slow and steady approach, less chance of dropping out
- More appreciation of the journey you’re taking to reach your goals because you have been able to slow down and enjoy the process
- Opportunities to develop patience because rewards are likely to be delayed rather than immediate
The beauty of Toastmasters is that any method of progress can work – fast or slow. It’s up to the individual to pick the pace they are most comfortable with and the flexible Toastmasters program will ensure their success.
You can read a good summary of the drip method of achieving success at http://bemorewithless.com/the-drip-method-a-minimalist-guide-to-success/.