What are the Ten Promises?
Oh no, is this some kind of catch?
No! In fact, the Ten Promises are about you developing powerful soft skills such as listening and giving powerful evaluations of other members (as opposed to just speaking.) This is done by taking on roles in meetings when you are ready and, initially, with guidance from experienced members. It also makes the club function as it needs these roles to create the best speaking experience. Put simply, if you speak you will expect these roles to be performed by other members for you; likewise, other speakers would like you to reciprocate.
All the club asks is that you try to perform these functions when asked and if you can. You may be a Timer and Evaluator for another member. Don’t worry. You don’t get this put on you as you walk through the door at your first meeting! By the time you are asked you will be very comfortable watching these roles. Here are the Ten Promises and we have added, where appropriate, some comments:
- To attend club meetings regularly [No, this does not mean attending every meeting and yes, work and family commitments come up. All this asks is that you get into a routine of attending when you can so that you build up your speaking skills and are always ready. Also, that you are the audience for other members, and give feedback, rather than just turning up to speak when it is your turn.]
- To prepare all of my projects to the best of my ability, basing them on the Toastmasters education program. [Each club has a VP for Education. The VP will help you progress. But it is important for you to start to think of speeches you can give and there is a lot of help.]
- To prepare for and fulfil meeting assignments [These are the roles we mentioned in the above. Doing them will massively help you develop your soft skills’ potential. You can read more about meeting roles here.]
- To provide fellow members with helpful, constructive evaluations. [Members always give feedback. Toastmasters does this in a constructive way. We tell speakers about their strengths. What of weaknesses? Yes, we raise these too but showing that the speaker would be better if they addressed these and suggestions on what they can do.]
- To help the club maintain the positive, friendly environment necessary for all members to learn and grow
- To serve my club as an officer when called upon to do so. [There is never any pressure to take a role. But, it really helps if people do. People from an accounting background often volunteer to do the Treasurer’s role. It’s about finding roles that fit in with your skills and so are effortless for you to do for the Club.]
- To treat my fellow club members and our guests with respect and courtesy
- To bring guests to club meetings so they can see the benefits Toastmasters membership offers
- To adhere to the guidelines and rules for all Toastmasters education and recognition programs
- To act within Toastmasters’ core values of integrity, respect, service and excellence during the conduct of all Toastmasters activities