A Secret About Anna and a Request

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Dear Heart Friends:
I’m about to let you in on a secret. I’m an introvert. Shhh! It’s true. I was a painfully shy person until I was in my 30s. What brought me out of my shell? Two things: having children and becoming a writer. What made me feel confident that I could speak in front of others and that I had a message worth sharing? Toastmasters.
Toastmasters has been a vital part of my life for the last 13 years. For most of that time I was raising a young family and I was also a homeschool mom. That meant that once a week I took my two sons with me (we started when they were 6 and 9 years old) and they sat quietly while I learned the intricacies of public speaking. They were little sponges who soaked up everything I was learning and then some! They were my first evaluators as they listened to me practicing my speeches. They were my audience. They were my encouragers.

There is a situation occurring right now in Toastmasters, my beloved organization, which needs to be rectified. Currently there is an outdated and inefficient means of giving officers credit for attending a mandatory training every 6 months. I am recommending a new way of giving credit to officers which also gives every officer credit, regardless where they receive (or give — since many of us are trainers) that training. It only seems fair that if 200 Toastmasters receive credit for attending a particular training because they went to a local training, that if they are joined by someone from a different district — who is also part of Toastmasters International, that they should get credit, too. Unfortunately, while that is usually the case, it isn’t always the case.
Please look at this petition to decide if you would like to support my suggestion. I believe it could help streamline the process needed to give officers credit and it would also show equal respect for any district-sponsored Toastmasters Leadership Institute.  https://www.change.org/petitions/toastmasters-international-give-distinguished-club-program-credit-to-any-toastmaster-attending-any-district-approved-toastmaster-leadership-institute# I have benefited greatly from Toastmasters — it’s what enables me to conduct my radio show and to speak to groups all over North America. Without the training and the practice I receive at my Toastmasters weekly meetings, I am certain I would revert back to being more introverted and self-conscious when speaking in public. Because of Toastmasters, I have developed confidence and can focus on the message I am trying to convey instead of the art of speaking itself. Thank you all for your consideration and for sharing this with others.