What is a Toastmaster mentor?
A mentor is an experienced member who provides guidance and support to empower protègés to reach their goals.
A protègé is any member who seeks guidance and support from a mentor to reach his or her goals.
What are the qualities of a good mentors? They are
Experience and knowledgeable
Positive and supportive
Respectful and caring
Committed and dependable
I personally greatly benefited from a successful and effective mentor whom I luckily had when I first joined TM 20 years ago!
Her name is Pam Nagle. Pam was an experienced TM member. She was one of the founders for our AxcioMaster DG club.
I remember I was so nervous, even frightened to give an Ice-breaker speech. I thought my personal story would bore people. In addition, I had to talk in front of a large group (our club used to have a lot more members, over 20) and present the speech in a big conference room. (I was intimidated!)
Pam, my mentor was my lifeline:
- This was how she addressed my fear – She told me people, in general, were interested in personal stories. Our club members were not going to judge me. They just wanted to help me to improve presentation skill (and my English skill – I said to myself! – by then I knew what TM is about. It is not designed for English as 2nd language speakers who are trying to learn the language)
- She guided me thru the first TM manual, called Competent Communicator manual.
- She showed great interest for my life stories when I practiced my speech in front of her.
She tirelessly edited my speech and helped me rehearse the speech for numerous times!
- When I was ready to present it, my speech was polished, my confidence level was up there.
- I still remember I wore my favor green top and was excited to walk up to the podium instead of being scared. I had eye contacts with audients. They were looking at me, nodding, smiling. They gave a warm round of applause at the end.
- That very first presentation set TONE for my future speeches. I can never image that positive experience led me onto a long journey – a 20-yearsTM journey. And it still goes on… I only have done a few things for 20 or more years: being a daughter, being a wife, being a mother of two daughters, and being a TM member!
- After the presentation, Pam gave me a constructive feedback and encouraged me to do more speeches.
- This kind of mentoring process repeated for next several speeches.
Pam also guided me to get involved in the leadership roles: I was a secretary, a treasurer, and a VP marketing.
Until today, we keep in touch even though she has moved to Michigan several years ago. She sort-of picks up another hat – a virtual mentor. A virtual mentor is an experienced member who shares knowledge and experience in a specific area via the internet.
As for insight into my potential as a Toastmasters mentor, I can say this: I am in-debt to our club. I am happy and willing to help as much as I can, and as long as I can…
As her protègée, I want to take this opportunity to say this to my mentor: Pam, you have empowered me to reach my goals and beyond. Thank you so much from bottom of my heart!