Pinnacle of Achievement:
My Second DTM Award- With the Grace of God
Hats Off to Weekend Wordmasters Toastmasters Club for Being the Greatest Support for Achieving My Second DTM Honour
How I Started This Journey
First of all, I want to thank all my dear members at Weekend Word-masters Toastmasters Club, DTM Randall Edge, and DTM Laurel Wingert my mentors. Also, DTM Michele Fisher has been so supportive whenever I needed help since the day I joined the club. I joined this precious club during the pandemic. In fact, the pandemic was a blessing in disguise for me, when I look back as I have grown vigorously thanks to Weekend Word-masters. I am a Sri Lankan who really likes to improve my communication skills, public speaking skills, and leadership skills. I still can remember how DTM Randall Edge stayed after meetings and helped me understand the importance of placing pauses strategically. Even DTM Laurel Wingert was behind me till I came up to the expected standard. Therefore, I would say the support I received from the Weekend Word-masters Toastmasters Club is priceless and fragrant. I have been a Toastmaster since 01.03.2020. Although I am a member of 10 Toastmasters clubs, I consider Weekend Word-masters Toastmasters Club as my Home Club because it was the Home Club where I started this impressive journey.
I took part in almost all the meetings on Saturdays enthusiastically. There were speech marathons on certain days. There was a competition to deliver speeches. All meetings were innovative and exciting. English is my second language and after taking part in this Canadian TMs club, I was worried about improving my storytelling capability as a non-native English speaker. I was worried that I would lose my edge compared to other native English speakers. But the warm club atmosphere helped me realize the fact that the quicker I accept who I am, the better speaker I will become. The club members’ expertise kept encouraging me to complete my DM journey because almost all the members were DTMs. Without great mentors, coaches, evaluators, and fellow Toastmasters, I would not have completed my Toastmasters journey. Let me take this opportunity to convey my gratitude to Dan Lonechild, the outgoing Division B Director, and Bev LeBlanc, DTM, the outgoing District Director for their guidance and kind support.
I want to thank all my Toastmasters friends who listened and helped me improve for years especially because I did not have any pauses or full stops when I first started speaking. I thank them for tolerating me and assisting me in becoming a fully-fledged Toastmaster. On top of all I am ever so grateful to my fellow Toastmasters for accepting me for my mistakes. Also, would like to thank Toastmasters members for being great motivators and continuing to encourage me throughout the journey. I discovered my speaking style and learned what I am passionate about, and helped me realize that I love to make people inspire. I could understand the real essence of Toastmasters thanks to my club members. ( Anna Karlsson, Achol Koni, David Keene, Daniel Elendu, Blain Paul, Dhvanika Shah, Farhan Muhammad, Frances Ryan, Jess, Johnson Obayuwana, Marta Koszmider, Leanne Woodhouse, Marg Ustupski, Pall Agarwal, Rebecca Frey, Sanjay Anant, Arunima and Terry Tuharsky)
First and second DTM
I offered my first DTM to District 50 as I was an Area Director for the first time in that District. After completing my first DTM, I have been eagerly waiting to offer my second DTM credit to Weekend Wordmasters and God has granted me that opportunity.
Being a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) was never the ultimate goal. The learning experience that Toastmasters offers goes beyond mere titles and achievements. This is why there are members who still remain in this organization after so many years. I will forever be thankful for the platforms and learning opportunities this Toastmasters International has offered me. From learning how to organize events I have familiarized myself with priceless skills that I know will help me one day in the future.
The following are some of the milestones of Weekend Wordmasters meetings.
My life has knocked me down multiple times but thanks to the Toastmasters fraternity I am still standing. I have had enough challenges in life but I still manage to smile. My fellow Toastmasters replaced my tears with smiles. I learned to smile better from my fellow Toastmasters. Further, I dreamed BIG thanks to Toastmasters. Toastmasters isn’t just about learning to speak confidently in front of an audience. It’s a transformative journey where one evolves as a communicator and a leader according to what I believe. With each speech given, each role taken up in club meetings, and each project completed, we gain a new understanding of ourselves and the world around us. This transformation, for many, is the true essence of Toastmasters.
My second DTM journey can be compared to climbing a mountain. As with any ascent, the journey was filled with its fair share of challenges, but it was also laden with moments of introspection, growth, and triumph. While reaching the summit or, in this case, achieving the Second Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) Award, is a noteworthy accomplishment, the journey to get there holds invaluable lessons. It was a culmination of dedicated efforts in both communication and leadership tracks. A journey worth remembering. Furthermore, I assume one can embody the essence of a Distinguished Toastmaster even before receiving the accolade. According to my perspective, achieving this award is a testament to one’s dedication, commitment, and passion for self-growth and service to others.
I would like to encourage all of you to start and continue your Toastmasters journey. At most of our jobs, we may be getting paid hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or annually. But being a Toastmaster, we will get paid over a lifetime. We will continue to grow as better leaders and most importantly better public speakers. Looking back at the journey, Second DTM I would describe it as “priceless” But still I have to learn. What I know can be compared to a tiny droplet of water in the ocean, the rest is what I do not know.
My dear fellow Toastmasters thank you so very much for helping me to see my untapped potential and unleash my ultimate energy to create an epic, life-changing experience. As a result of it, I thought bigger, pushed limits, and imagined the unimagined.
The end is just a new beginning. So, let’s start our journey, embrace the challenges, and aim for the stars, for the journey is as beautiful as the destination. DTM credit is a truly Divine Gift! Crowning Glory!
Lathisha Ramanayaka, DTM