I had to let you know this hot off the press news! Julie our long standing and eldest member of Lewisham Toastmasters Julie Kertesz, has just been given a DTM. No it’s not an alcoholic cocktail, it is the Distinguished Toastmaster award. This is the first time Lewisham Toastmasters has had a DTM. Julie is also the first DTM to be recognized this Toastmaster year for the whole of District 71 so it’s extra special!
Personally, I think Julie deserves the award just for her enthusiasm, passion and willingness to give her time so generously to coach and mentor new Toastmasters and contest winners alike. Alas, I do not make the rules! So to put this into perspective for you, if you want to follow in Julie’s footsteps you have to complete the following:
- Competent Communicator manual (most of us at Lewisham are here!)
- Competent Leader manual (we can complete this along-side the above)
- Advanced Leader Bronze
- Advanced Communicator Bronze
- Advanced Communicator Silver
- Advanced Communicator Gold
- Advanced Leader Silver- which involves a high performance leadership project. Julie chose to implement an area wide story telling project which helped toastmasters like you and me learn to tell stories as part of their speeches. The result -8 people ended up telling stories to a fee paying audience at the back in March 2013
To us Toastmasters novices, that basically means A LOT of public speaking!
As if all of the above was not enough, to be eligible for this award, you also need to be a club Officer for a year and then serve your District as well. Julie has been president of our club, and was also Area Governor for District 71 for 2012/13.
I know some of us are not at Toastmasters for the awards, but I cannot stress how major this award actually is. It’s testament to Julie’s hard work and perseverance. Its evidence that her confidence, and speaking skills are at the highest level.
It’s also proof that this Toastmasters stuff works!
It’s hard to believe that it has only taken Julie 5 years to achieve this incredible accolade.
What is even more inspiring is that Julie has done all this at an age where society says she should give up and ‘retire’. Luckily for us she decided not to follow age stereotypes and has gone on to become a commended keynote speaker and stand-up comedian.
It just goes to show that if we persevere and keep coming to the club, keep giving our speeches, keep getting signed off for the roles we take on each club night and stay committed to our own development, there is no reason we cannot reach these heights too!
The only thing stopping us is us!
We are honoured to have such a humble experienced Toastmaster in our midst.
Please join me in congratulating Julie!