Dublin South Toastmasters: Most Improved Toastmaster of the Year 2020/21
The other significant award of the year, “Most Improved Toastmaster of the Year”, has been awarded to Eilish Cashman, who joined in February 2020, only attending a few meetings before we all were confined to the online environment. It has, however, proved to be very beneficial for Eilish, her icebreaker speech deviating from the norm, about the Apollo missions in her speech entitled “One Giant Leap for Mankind”. Throughout her journey providing speeches with deeper meaning and purpose, she has drastically improved along the way and a true role model for any new member joining Dublin South.
We caught up with Eilish to reflect on her achievement.
1. Congratulations on being Dublin South’s “Most Improved Toastmaster of the Year for 2020/21”, how do you feel?
I was really grateful to receive the award. It came as a bit of a surprise to me, however I was really appreciative to receive the recognition.
2. What advice would you give to other newer members to be in line for following in your footsteps?
I think it is important to set short term goals, for example plan to complete 1 speech in the next 4-6 weeks or plan to put your name down for specific roles over 4-6 week period. Also, preparation for your speech really helps to make you feel more confident and also gives you the chance to enjoy the experience a bit more.
3. Have there been any particular standout moments that you have looked back on fondly?
I have enjoyed all of the Toastmasters evenings, therefore it is difficult to pick out a particular standout moment. However, I would say that since I joined Toastmasters, I have become more acutely aware of the fact that we are all on a learning journey, that it is rewarding to push yourself out of your comfort zone and also that you are part of a group proactively working to support each other.
4. Despite most of your time with Toastmasters thus far has been on Zoom, how do you feel it has impacted your life so far?
Of course, Toastmasters has been quite different on Zoom compared to meeting in person in the Clayton Hotel. However, I think it has been a good experience for me as it gave me some valuable lessons on how to make a speech presentation/perform various roles on-line. Post Covid, I imagine that a significant amount of communications (professional / personal) will continue to take place on-line, therefore I think the Toastmasters Zoom meetings have helped to give me a good grounding in managing communications on-line.
5. What are your goals for this coming year as a speaker and a new member of the committee?
I am hoping to make a significant impact on speech assignments in Level 3, which will be a tall task as there are a lot of speeches in Level 3 and hopefully also continue to improve in my speech preparation and delivery. As a new member of the committee, I hope that I can support the onboarding of new members and also encouraging existing members to progress in their Toastmasters journey. Relative to other on-line courses, which can sometimes be quite expense, I think Toastmasters is exceptional value for money, providing members with access to such a well structured syllabus, opportunity to improve your skills in a practical way and the support of like-minded team members.