Nurturing Leadership

A Toastmasters Journey

In this article, we delve into the heart of the Toastmasters mission and explore practical strategies for fostering leadership and personal growth within the club. The mission statement encapsulates the essence of Toastmasters, emphasizing creating a supportive learning environment for developing oral communication and leadership skills. However, the challenge lies in consistently putting “people first” as we navigate the leadership landscape.

Making Personal Connections to Inspire

To inspire individuals rather than merely motivating them to take on leadership roles requires a genuine commitment to personal connections. Molly Hamilton’s insightful “S.I.N.G.” acronym serves as a guide: Show up, Improvise, Never Give up, and Gift. The first step, “Show up,” is a reminder of the power of presence. Attending meetings and events demonstrates commitment and provides opportunities to connect with members on a personal level.
Sharing personal stories of leadership challenges and triumphs can be powerful in inspiring others. Encouraging open communication and vulnerability fosters a culture where members feel comfortable sharing their own stories, creating a sense of connection and shared experience. By highlighting the human aspect of leadership, we reinforce the idea that everyone, regardless of their current skill level, has the potential for growth.

Growing New Members for Positive Experiences

Growing and integrating new members into committees is vital for a thriving Toastmasters club. A positive experience begins with a warm welcome and a sense of belonging. Assigning mentors to new members ensures they have a go-to person for guidance, questions, and support. This personalized approach helps acclimate newcomers to the club culture and accelerates their integration into committees.

Creating a structured onboarding process for new members, including an introduction to the club’s committees, allows them to understand the available opportunities for involvement. Emphasizing the value they bring to the club and the importance of their unique skills helps build confidence and encourages active participation.

Sharing success stories of members who started their journey in committees and eventually took on leadership roles can inspire new members. These narratives serve as testimonials to the positive impact of committee involvement on personal development and leadership growth.

Listening to the Skills and Desires of Committee Members

Listening is a fundamental aspect of effective leadership. To harness committee members’ skills and desires, leaders must actively listen during meetings, one-on-one discussions, and feedback sessions. Providing a platform for members to express their aspirations and concerns fosters a culture of collaboration and inclusivity.

When forming committees, consider members’ existing expertise and aspirations. Aligning their roles with their skills enhances the committee’s efficiency and ensures members feel valued and recognized for their unique contributions. Regular check-ins and feedback sessions create an ongoing dialogue, allowing leaders to adapt and tailor committee experiences to meet members’ evolving needs.


In the tapestry of leadership within Toastmasters, weaving personal connections, nurturing new members, and actively listening to the desires of committee members are threads that contribute to a vibrant and dynamic club culture. By adhering to the principles of the mission statement and embracing the “people first” philosophy, Toastmasters leaders can create an environment where every member thrives on their journey toward enhanced communication and leadership skills.

Eugene Sicat, DTM 
District 42 District Director

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