2016 has been another great year for Dublin 18. There were plenty of notable achievements the most significant of which was the awarding of Distinguished Toastmaster to three of our members, Colm Roe, Brendan Haughton and Karen O’Donnell. Both Karen and Colm were awarded President’s Distinguished Awards for excelling in their roles as Division Director and Area Director respectively. Karen topped a very successful year by winning Toastmaster of the Year for District 71, a district that includes 4,500 members in clubs across Ireland and the UK.
These awards are a reflection of the depth of experience that exists in our club. They are also a reflection of the culture of our club and the dedication of its members. For me, the culture of a club such as Dublin 18 is hugely important. It is the glue that binds us together. The core values of our culture have got to be about respect and trust. In this trusting and safe environment, we feel valued & protected and learn the skills of public speaking.
The reason why I joined was that I wanted to learn how to be a better speaker and overcome my fear of speaking in public. To achieve this, I needed an environment that I felt safe and comfortable in; an environment that allowed me to grow in confidence and learn how to be a better communicator. Dublin 18 has proven to be an excellent club to build one’s confidence. By working my way through the ten stages of my Competent Communicator manual I tackled my fear of public speaking and built up my confidence to stand up and speak in the process.
The achievements of our more experienced members act as a motivator to spur us all on as we look on in awe at what they have achieved and what they contribute to our club and Toastmasters.