This DTM journey is not unlike the first!

I found looking at the requirements for the Pathways DTM, that I had achieved most of them! And that’s how it was the first time around. But that was a Legacy DTM, this is a Pathways DTM – hmmm! The same objective, but slightly different requirements.

When I investigated what achieving the DTM means it “represents the highest educational achievement in Toastmasters, in both Communication and Leadership.” The bottom line is, I feel like the same person! For me, it (the Pathways DTM) was the next hill to climb.

I look around and see members who are better speakers, and stronger leaders. They take copious notes or are much more organized than I am. I have judged myself on that. However, my knowledge and experience are a part of me and I have much to offer from having internalized my experiences over time. Sharing that is my big learning. And, I learned, that it is my superpower! Sharing and providing opportunities through working with youth, through building and supporting new clubs, supporting new members supporting fellow toastmasters! That sounds small to me, but but’s those things that add up to big things!

When one achieves the Distinguished Toastmaster award, not only does that represent a level of educational achievement, but it represents a level of service to the Toastmasters community and District. This is what helps our organization survive and thrive. I am part of that! Wow! And you are part of that too. This organization would not be here if it were not for the brand new Toastmasters struggling to sort this all out, to the old hands that are always there and support those new folks.

My biggest challenge, and the one I see most DTM aspirants struggling with, is what to do for that DTM project. Knowing that I like to pass on knowledge and support others, I decided I wanted to mentor members who, like me, were focused on achieving that DTM award.  That guided me as I ran the DTM Mastermind Group in 2023.

My advice is to Capitalize on your strengths, capitalize on your network, and capitalize on your mentors! And, yes, find some mentors if you do not have them now. Go to trainings, contests, your club meetings. Who are those people who resonate with you, challenge you and listen to you? Those are your mentors! Create a relationship with them. Be open to learning something new, always!

Mary Schoendorfer, DTM
D42 YLP Chair

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