End of an Era - Time To Evaluate

Written on August 20, 2023

Now that my journey with Toastmasters has come to a close (for now), I’ve now found some time to reflect on the incredible five years I’ve spent within this organization. Let me share an excerpt from my farewell speech to my club, where I highlighted the list of accomplishments:

… Completed 2X Pathways Paths, 2nd Place at District Humorous Contest, VP Ed, Treasurer, Mentor, Speechcraft Coordinator, Event Speaker, Contest Judge, speaker at 2 virtual conferences, took on a people leader role for a bit… and probably a few more I can’t recall

It’s truly unbelievable! Even as I read over these achievements, they still don’t feel entirely real to me—as if someone else accomplished all these incredible feats while I was merely cruising along in the backseat.

What I vividly recall are the moments of time, effort, both joy and frustration that accompanied each of these experiences. Suffice it to say, I am absolutely brimming with pride for what I have managed to achieve.

However, this isn’t the end of the road. While I might be concluding this chapter for the time being, I’m excited to announce that a sequel is already in progress!

As I gear up to return, my primary focus will be on evaluations. It’s interesting how I inadvertently let the evaluation aspect of Toastmasters slip by the wayside, despite the fact that one of my speeches explicitly highlighted the critical role evaluations play in achieving success as a presenter! I’ve come to realize that one doesn’t easily spot their own bad habits while on stage—what’s needed is someone who can deliver these insights in a way that’s constructive and valuable.

By gaining a deeper understanding of the evaluation process and knowing what to look for, I’ll not only be assisting others in their growth but also learning which elements to incorporate and avoid in my own presentations.

My next undertaking revolves around a program developed by David JP Philips, who conducted an extensive study on the techniques successful speakers employ in their presentations. He distilled these findings into 110 effective communication and public speaking techniques. You can find his insightful TED Talk here: [link]

Each of these habits and techniques serves as a powerful tool in the toolkit of a polished speaker. My long-term goal is to internalize these practices, utilizing them not only in my own presentations but also offering valuable feedback to fellow speakers I’m guiding along the way.

This journey is far from over—it’s just the beginning of an exciting new phase of growth and development. Excited? Yep!

About Gerald Hartley

Lives in New Zealand, Laughs at Bad Jokes, Loves Data & Analytics