Toasting to the Leadership Journey

Featuring Elizabeth Mancuso CC, ALB

The Toastmasters education program is an amazing opportunity to develop into an effective leader and communicator. I sensed this as a guest and joined Red Bank Toastmasters to work on those skills. At first, my goal was to give my Ice Breaker speech and keep on giving speeches until I finished the CC manual. To this day, I believe my Ice Breaker speech was the hardest because of how nervous I felt as a new member in the front of the room. I didn’t think too much about the projects in the CL manual, however my mentor was the VPE and she made sure I was also signing up for leadership roles. After a while, I started taking on roles, like “Mentor a New Member” and “Help Organize a Club Speech Contest”, that expanded my Toastmasters

Congratulating Red Bank Toastmasters member, John Connors on receiving his DTM

horizon. Soon I shifted my focus from participating at meetings to further my own journey to helping others work on their journey. Taking leadership roles gave me an opportunity to better know our members and understand how the club works. Eventually, I was asked to be a Mentor Coordinator, and I gladly accepted the challenge of supporting members on an ongoing basis.

As Mentor Coordinator, I worked closely with the VPE and I gained an understanding of what it takes to be a club officer. I attended officer meetings and had the pleasure of getting to know the fine members who share the responsibilities of maintaining a successful club. With encouragement from my mentors and from members, and with serious nudging along the way, I decided to serve as the VPE for the 2016-2017 year.

Proudly displaying my ALB ribbon

That’s when things really got rolling. As an officer, my leadership track began to take a new direction. I was actively working towards completing my CC and CL manuals and other requirements to achieve Advanced Leader Bronze award, while serving as Vice President of Education. It would be another year before I fulfilled all the requirements to submit for this designation, and I am proud of myself for setting goals and going out of my comfort zone to achieve them. I encourage you to revisit your CC manual and to set a goal of taking your journey to the next level.


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