Several weeks ago, I had an interesting meeting with an influential business man in Zimbabwe. I met him at a hotel in Johannesburg while we were both waiting for someone. It’s not unusual that I have random conversations with strangers but, I usually have to initiate them. In this case it was the other way round. At the end of our conversation, I discovered why this man had approached me when he said “I saw your Toastmasters pin and I knew I could have a good conversation with you.” This gentleman was not even a Toastmaster, he was a Rotarian but, he said, “I knew the kind of person you were as special type of people join organisations like Rotary, Toastmasters, Lions Club, etc.”
This is not the first time I heard something like this. Sometime ago when I went to Malawi I met a Toastmaster and Rotarian Jean Rene who shared a similar story. All of a sudden it makes sense why in my early days in Toastmasters, we had a member in my club whose work travels almost made it impossible to attend meetings but, they renewed their dues religiously and always wore their Toastmasters pin wherever they were. I have met Talent Managers and other recruiters who mention that they immediately shortlist someone with Toastmasters on their CV. I also know a couple of corporate clubs whose members cling on to membership due to benefits of associating with the Toastmasters brand in their company. This is because, an organisation like Toastmasters is a meeting of productive people with a dedication to improving themselves and in some instances people dedicated to serving their community.
I know the kind of person you are just because of your association with an organisation like Toastmasters. I am not afraid to start a conversation with you when we meet. This my friend can open doors of opportunity in your life – a life long friend, a business partner, a lifeline. Several weeks ago my doors of opportunity were opened due to my association with Toastmasters and this is one of the reasons why I keep my Toastmasters active.
Frank Tsuro DTM