Dear Toastmasters of District 82,

It’s been a joyful journey!

During the last 10 years, I enjoyed the joy of being a Toastmaster. It was truly a blissful experience that kept me engrossed in every activity and opportunity we did as toastmasters from the very first Ovation of 2006 as a volunteer (prospective member) to date.

For that matter, participation at Ovations and Reverberations was a pilgrimage or a ritual where I was able to record 100% achievement at Ovations. Engaged in opening over 35 clubs, sponsored 6 new clubs and mentored 07 more clubs, I was a member of organizing committees of all 4 Ovations held in Sri Lanka including conference chair of Ovation 2012. I enjoyed attending varied installations from simple ones to flamboyant ones to meet and greet many members and applaud their achievements, though at times it felt a bit tedious.

That’s my engagement in brief, which elevated me gradually to be your leader for the toastmasters’ year which begins today, 1st July 2016. I am truly humbled and proud to be the District Director of my dear family of toastmasters as your SERVANT LEADER, of District 82 the marvel of toastmasters International. Whilst appreciating your confidence placed on me, I wish to place on record and recognize the countless contribution made by our own committed leaders of the past and present who made this rock solid Castle named D82 for us to crown. Not only them but every toastmaster of the past and present, from my 1st day in toastmasters to date, who made me strong with words of wisdom and advice, made silent and salient evaluations, helped me along the way in kind and creed, assisted in sweat and tears, mentored with love and affection… I owe my journey to every one of you.

This is not only the most opportune time to pay my gratitude to the entire membership but also to humbly urge every one of you to be with me to give voice to the potential of our membership.

I am fascinated in reading Buddhism as a leader; the Lord Buddha is one visionary leader who placed & pronounced his goal with the end in mind, just at the birth.

Similarly, please join me to make District 82 “to be the best President’s distinguished district in the world of toastmasters”, when we reach 30th June 2017.

How do we do that & how do we measure that? It’s just by realizing the toastmasters’ philosophy of ‘believing in individuals and keeping the program simple and enjoyable’.

First, Let us ENGAGE ourselves to RE -VISIT the three missions;

MISSION OF TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL – We empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.

MISSION OF THE DISTRICT – We build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence.

MISSION OF THE CLUB – We provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

Accordingly, I shall guide and direct my able District Team & Extended Team of true volunteers to serve every club in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka in achieving excellence by becoming a Distinguished Club and to have minimum a of 20 active members. District team shall launch programs to support building sustainable new clubs and to retain existing clubs with special emphasis on Club Quality.

Equally I urge every club officer to fulfill your duties by keeping in mind that Quantity is a by-product of Quality. As a Club officer, please Engage fully in serving your members to achieve his or her plan for the year, which in turn would make your club a Distinguished Club.

Members, let us ENGAGE ourselves to realize the toastmasters promise we took in becoming a member by involving fully in club activity to evolve as better communicators and leaders. Let us inculcate the Values of Toastmaster that our decisions, behavior and attitudes would always be based on Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence.

Secondly I wanted you to ENJOY the journey by keeping it simple. Do your speech or role the best you can, bring variety and fun to the meeting Agenda, relish the joy of camaraderie, meet & greet other toastmaster at conferences, organize family events and theme events and above all enjoy the satisfaction of serving as a member helping another member in your club.

Thirdly, I want every member to ENRICH your lives with toastmasters, may it be in your career, or profession, within the community or at home. Enrich yourself by actively participating in the program and development of skills. Impart and share your knowledge with everyone you come across, help in assisting a distant club, mentor and coach members, make the word of mouth the strongest medium to let the world know of toastmasters. In other words enrich yourself to be the Brand ambassador of Toastmasters.

Whilst being fully aware of the challenges we would come across in the New Year, we are confident that following a simple logic of ‘planning the year and taking action to achieve it collectively’ by reaching everyone’s goal 100% – whichI named “Operation 100%”

As Dr. Smedley once said:

“I would rather be rich in friendship than in money. It’s a privilege to make a contribution to the welfare of my fellow toastmasters”

My dear toastmasters of district 82, let us begin our journey with the end in mind, let us Engage, Enjoy and Enrich ourselves in pursuit of becoming the best President’s Distinguished District in the world of toastmasters”

Happy Toastmastering!

Sudash Liyanage
District Director