Sunday, March 23, 2008


By, Sherri Raftery, DTM

"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand
in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use." Earl Nightingale

After three years of being a Toastmaster – joined February 2005, and after three District Governors with three different themes, I earned my Distinguished Toastmaster Award (DTM) which is the “highest recognition in both the Communication and Leadership Tracks”!

How did I do it?

First let me add that as the District 31 2007-2008 Lt. Governor of Marketing, one of my Monthly Membership Building Contests is “SHARE YOUR TOASTMASTERS STORY”. Members from District 31 - which covers eastern Massachusetts and the entire state of Rhode Island send me their own personal Toastmasters Stories about how Toastmasters has changed or enhanced their own lives. (Yes, I got this idea from the Toastmasters Magazine!).

I post their stories and photos on the District 31 Website
View members submissions here.

Each month a winner is posted on the District 31 HOMEPAGE , receives a $25.00 gift certificate to the District 31 bookstore and a “Share Your Toastmaster’s Story” Winner certificate to put into a frame.

So I thought if I am asking members to share their stories then it only seems fitting that I should “lead by example” and “Share My Toastmasters Story” as well!

Here it is….please note I have MANY People to thank along the way!

In 2005, I saw a bulletin posted on my local cable station in Saugus, Massachusetts that read “Would you like to conquer your fear of public speaking”? I thought to myself …“Yes, I would love to conquer my fear of public speaking… AND…as a member of the Theatre Co. of Saugus I thought this would also help enhance my performance and Stand-up Comedy Skills".

I called the number and asked for Marlene Westerman, who was listed as the Vice President of Membership for the Rumney Marsh Club # 8431. Marlene invited me to attend my very first Rumney Marsh Toastmasters Club meeting at the Saugus Public Library which meets on the first and third Monday of each month.
I joined the exact same night in February 2005 that I attended! WHY? I liked the professional structure of the meeting, (which included Parliamentary Procedure), the opportunity to deliver a speech and received constructive feedback and more importantly the warm welcome from the Rumney Marsh Club members was overwhelmingly inclusive and inviting!

I knew that Toastmasters (at least the meeting at this point) was exactly what I needed to help me with public speaking and performance skills and then later to my surprise my leadership skills were about to emerge!


The 2005-2006 District Governor, Thomas Weber, DTM’s theme was “Create Your Destiny” and I believe I did that when I became the Rumney Marsh Club’s, Vice President of Public Relations Officer. I LOVED IT! I created a Club newsletter, wrote stories, took photos, contacted local newspapers, attended events such as the Club and A-2 Area Humorous and International Speech Contests and more importantly I had a voice and a vote during our Club executive meetings each month.

I was worked diligently on my first speaking manual by writing and delivery delivering speeches, receiving feedback, learning about other roles in a meeting - My two favorites are still the "Table Topics Master" and the "Toastmaster"!

Respectfully Submitted
By, Sherri Raftery, DTM



Narrative: a message that tells the particulars of an act or occurrence or course of events; presented in writing or drama or cinema or as a radio ...a piece of fiction that narrates a chain of related events; "he writes stories for the magazines"

Floor: a structure consisting of a room or set of rooms at a single position along a vertical scale; "what level is the office on?"

History: a record or narrative description of past events; "a history of France"; "he gave an inaccurate account of the plot to kill the president"; "the story of exposure to lead"

Report: a short account of the news; "the report of his speech"; "the story was on the 11 o'clock news"; "the account of his speech that was given on the evening news made the governor furious"

Parlimentary Procedure

Parliamentary procedure is the name given to the set of rules governing the decision-making process used by a deliberative assembly. It is part of the common law and developed in the same manner, precedent by precedent. Like the common law, it was guided in its development by the power of legislative bodies to make rules and to enact laws.[1]

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