2012 was such an incredible year for Great Britain with the success of the Olympic Games but also 2012 was another memorable year for me because of the start of my incredible Toastmaster Journey, ultimately achieving my Distinguished Toastmaster Award in 2020.
The Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award represents the highest level of educational achievement in Toastmasters.
I officially joined Norwich Speakers Club on the 1st April 2012. Humm some would say April fools but that day was no joke, it was the day I have to be for thankful to my dear friend and fellow Toastmaster Anita Martin for inviting me to step over the threshold into the world of public speaking, Norwich Speakers Club, and Toastmasters International. That special day and the last 8 years has certainly changed my life forever.
I had never heard of Toastmasters and I often wonder why, but I am a true believer in synchronicities and things come into your life for a reason, season or a life time. I know for sure that through that, whatever the future holds the last 8 years will be embedded into my life moving forward forever. Toastmasters came into my life when I needed it the most after my 7th redundancy, Life changing sports injuries and my self-belief and self-confidence at an all-time low.
To begin with I was very happy just to absorb all the many positive attributes of NSC but soon came to realise that there was this comprehensive exciting educational program available following a Communication and Leadership Track which certainly was a great attraction to me.
Education is an important part of every Toastmaster’s journey, and it is a critical aspect of all club meetings around the world. Participating in Toastmasters’ education programs allows you to gain the valuable practice needed to develop your public speaking, communication, and leadership skills. The safe and supportive environment clubs provide allows you to learn at your own pace in a curriculum that has helped millions meet their personal and professional goals.
As we are all aware Toastmasters has a comprehensive and inspiring education program as above. I achieved my DTM through the Traditional Education Program which has now been superseded by the new Educational Program of Pathways. The thing I enjoyed so much was I could work on both tracks at the same time.
Through my whole journey on the leadership side I have been honoured and privileged to have served as a committee member at all levels for my home club , and lead my home club as President for 4 terms. I have served as Area Director for Area 25 as well as being invited to be the Administration Manager on the District 71 leadership team for Past District Director Red Skelton in 2017-2018. All these roles have given me so much on my own personal growth as well as being able to give so much to others.
One of the highlights of my Toastmaster Journey is being invited to lead the District 71 Conference in my home city of Norwich. It was an incredibly proud moment for me at the opening ceremony when months of hard work by my dedicated team all came together. Toastmasters and all the wonderful support by the people around me gave me the confidence and self belief to achieve my dream.
It is said there is a story in everyone and my communication track was made up of many speeches relating to my life, the crazy funny things that have happened as well as the more serious, sentimental things. I also have learnt so much reading from extracts from peoples work and delivering them towards the communication awards. One thing I have often been inspired to do is write a book on my Toastmaster journey to help to inspire others. Wouldn’t that be such another a synchronicity, as the reason I joined Norwich Speakers Club was when Anita invited me, she wanted to go to NSC to gain experience to speak at her own book launch back in 2012.
What does my DTM mean to me?
Ultimately achieving this award means the world for so many reasons but it’s the journey I have been on and all the people who have supported, inspired, encouraged and believed in me which is why it has made it all possible. All journeys I believe comes with its challenges, highs, lows and personal doubt at times, but I will be forever blessed that I have had that opportunity and experience to look back on with great pride and passion with the knowledge that along with many other things in my life Toastmasters and Norwich Speakers Club has made me the person I am today.
I personally would like to thank everyone who has been part of my journey as without all of you this would not of been possible, so fellow Toastmasters I encourage you to embrace Pathways to see what is has to offer as we all have different goals and aspirations in life and 8 years ago if I hadn’t dared to go through a place full of exciting unknown challenges, I wouldn’t be reflecting today on what has been a wonderful journey to achieve my DTM.
What next for me moving forward on my next 8 years………. Who knows where it will take me but even in the world we are today………
Whatever you are aspired to do, very best wishes to you all.
Sue Eastman DTM
Norwich Speakers Club President 2020-2021
Sue Eastman DTM has been a long standing member of Norwich Speakers Club for almost ten years and continues to inspire, motivate and empower so many people to achieve their goals. Sue's commitment to the club is absolutely incredible and this is testament to this amazing achievement reaching Distinguished Toastmaster. A great friend and inspiration.