Ian for VP Education

We all come to Toastmasters to improve our public speaking, and it is the role of VP Education to move members along that journey. It’s also the VPE’s responsibility to ensure that as well as individuals reaching landmarks, the Club as a whole makes progress.

It’s a big role and anyone going for it should feel the weight of responsibility.

I am a long standing EBS member, representing the Club at three District Finals. This year I have been Sergeant-at-arms, and seen that EBS really is blessed with fantastic members who are proactive in making it world class, and one I’m very proud to be a member of.

Beyond moving the chairs around and understanding how the projector works, I’ve been a coach for public speakers at all levels: best men to CEOs, bar mitzvah boys to cabinet ministers. I’ve spoken at events – TM, corporates and comedy – from Dallas to Sydney – and have flown the flag for EBS all over the world. Whatever speaking problem you may have, I’ve probably had it myself, or worked with someone else who has had it, and noted how what looks like it’s all going to go wrong can be made to go right. I wrote a book about it, you know…

The educational needs of the Club are a journey with no finish line, with members of all abilities. And yet it is a race we can all win together.

How do we do this? I believe the answer is accountability and communication. As VPE I would provide regular updates on our progress towards educational goals. I will be regularly updating a visual representation of our progress so that members can see how they are contributing to the Club.

If you didn’t know how much I love a good visual representation of data, you’re missing a treat – I wrote this article off the back of data collected at an EBS meeting.

From the data gathered both as Sergeant-at-Arms, contestant and member, I can tell you exactly what the ‘spirit’ of EBS is, and sorry to disappoint, but it isn’t magic. Quite simply, I know of no other collection of people so diverse, who have in common the readiness to roll up their sleeves and make it happen. Whether it’s helping a nervous first time speaker or leading a meeting, there are no passengers in EBS, and as VPE I see my job as being the sat-nav, or at least, petrol pump.

You have one vote for VP Education – and if you are good enough to give it to me, I will give you my best.