Naska was interviewed in 2012 when she was Vice President Membership. Now, we want to ask her what Toastmasters changed in her life since that time besides of taking role of Club President. She is Club President and soon her cadence would be ended but she still want to commit herself to
Toastmasters. She is very helpful and warm person, always trying to give best advices to new members.
1. Could you tell us what was the most challenging during your presidential?
The most challenging is to deal with difficult situations and people, to find the best solution by resolving those difficult issues. What I found out during my cadence is that in each difficult situation there is a challenge for you to improve your work and become better leader. Believe me – each difficult situation or person has positive side and when dealing with difficult situation or person you can come up with new fresh idea – not only how to build better leadership but also how to build better relationships. Use the difficult situations or people to convert them into challenges for new initiatives and ideas, benefit from them because then the whole club benefits as well.
2. What did you learn from this experience?
My presidential opened in front of me totally new world, new vision about interpersonal communication and relationships and I gained and continue to gain a lot of knowledge about leadership. I become better leader and better person as well because I learn and improve by experiencing different leadership techniques and different interpersonal techniques. And it works. Just you need to realize that there isn’t “I” but “WE” on board and the needs of the club and its members are on first place then your needs and wants. You should see not only the separate parts of the whole but the connection between them, the link which connect each one.
3. Elections will be held soon, what best advices do you have for the next executive committee?
To have officer position is the same as to be member – the same rules and benefits apply. But being an officer means that you are the face of the club, you promise the club you will lead it and you take this responsibility for the next one year. And this is not only time and commitment. Believe me.My advice for each officer is to work with heart. To work in the way to reach members hearts. I work with heart and my leadership is based on that. I believe that you should have heart and use it when leading our Toastmasters Club. Because it’s not about you, it’s not about the work and the benefits for you that you will achieve one more step in the Toastmaster leadership program. It’s about to share your experience and knowledge with the members, to establish good relationship with them, to inspire them, to make them respect you and admire you, to make them listen to you, trust you and to leave them something from you that they will always remember. That’s the meaning of leading the club.
4. Now you are organizing International Speaking Contest in District 59, would you like to tell us more about your plans for the future?
I’m the Chief Judge of the Area M4 Spring contest 2014. In May I’m going to lead club officer’s elections and in June I’m going to lead the Installation ceremony for the new elected officers. During that four months, my last four months as proud President of Speaking Elephants I have to finish some projects together with the Committee. There are few Newsletters to be written, few educational and integration events to be organized. After June I will become Immediate Past President and will stay in the club Committee for the next one year anyway. So, my plans are to not apply for officer position. I believe that each one should try to be club leader and let’s give them chance for that. My plans for the next Toastmasters year are to be more concentrated in my communication track, to focus on projects and speeches.
5. Last but probably most important question – please tell us how did Toastmasters society have changed your life since your first day as a member?
Toastmasters changed my life in a way that now I’m better person and I’m proud of myself.
I joined Speaking Elephants November 2011. I delivered my Ice Breaker three months later. I was afraid to deliver it earlier and when I did it, I realized that my Ice Breaker was a disaster. My first months as a member were so stressful for me. I didn’t know how to answer in Table Topics and I was afraid of the warm-up session question…but I realized that the only way to overcome all those psychological obstacles is to commit myself and be engaged in all club activities.
Six months after I joined Speaking Elephants the club elected me for Vice President Membership (May 2012). One year later – May 2013, the club elected me for President.
My life has changed not only thanks to all activities, projects, events and challenges which the club provides you with and you take part, but because of the work with people and work for people.That’s the most essential thing. That’s my vocation in life and thanks to Toastmasters I realized it and I have clear conception now how to live my life and in what direction to go. Toastmasters helped me improve myself and Toastmasters taught me how to use my knowledge and experience to help others to improve themselves, to improve their skills and become better speakers and leaders.
Toastmasters changed me in a way that I love to give and I do it with my heart!
That’s what will stay with me forever.