TV doesn’t scare me!!! At least that’s what I thought two years ago when the Mental Health Association in Niagara County needed a host for the local access cable tv show that is presented to the community on mental health issues. I had been working part-time at the MHA, my little retirement job, for several years and very much enjoyed the opportunity to help educate the public and also to support those in the community with a mental health diagnosis. So I took on the challenge and felt well prepared to handle the task because I am an experienced Toastmaster. Monthly I would invite guests to appear, interview them and lead a discussion on mental health issues.
And then one day a conversation with a fellow AM Lockport member made me realize that my High Performance Leadership project had been handed to me on a silver platter!! LCTV is our local cable access station, and they are very welcoming to new ideas. So we proposed a show about Toastmasters to help the public understand the nature of the leadership and education program that we know and love! After deciding on a method of presentation and inviting a few fellow club members to perform on camera, we managed to get our first two shows “in the can”.
Our format is simple – the show begins with some basic information about the history and worldwide reach of Toastmasters. Then each show has included a speech and an evaluation, followed by brief interviews with each of the participants to discuss what led them to TM and what the lessons of TM have helped them achieve in their life. Plans for the future include more in this vein as well as an attempt to present Table Topics, and remote filming of club meetings, speech contests, etc.
Our TV crew includes quite a few club members because LCTV offers training in camera operation, graphics illustration, directing and production, and the members of AM Lockport are always ready to try new things!!! Our AM Toastmasters show is aired on Channel 20 weekly at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m. Our community station is available on the internet at LCTV.net, and I’m willing to bet many communities offer this same kind of opportunity for Toastmasters to get the word out.Jackie Kenney AM Lockport Toastmasters, Club 5460, District 65 firstname.lastname@example.org