Sue Burnett DTM

Sue Burnett DTM
  • Joined: October 2005
  • Clubs: Anglia Communicators Club
  • Roles: Area Director, Club President, VPM, VPPR

What did it feel like when you earned your DTM and how did your celebrate?

It’s been a while since I began the Toastmasters journey. It hasn’t felt like a long journey it’s been a rich, rewarding and remarkable journey. It’s rich in education, rewarding in terms of helping others and remarkable to realize that less than 1% of the people that join Toastmasters achieve the Distinguished Toastmasters award. That makes it extraordinary. I’ve taken my time and enjoyed the journey gaining dearly treasured memories along the way. It’s certainly an honour to have earned such a great accolade and it’s only just beginning to sink in what this might mean to me for my future. There’ll be a celebration later this year for this accomplishment, I’m sure it’ll be a fantastic celebration that merits the recognition of others who have supported and helped to bestow this award upon me. It happens to coincide with Anglia Communicators celebration 15 years of helping men and women develop leadership and communication skills in a safe supportive environment.

What was your greatest personal achievement on the journey to your DTM and why is it so special to you?

There have been a number of personal achievements in fact I still remember giving my icebreaker without notes, and delivering the motivational 10th CC speech. The greatest personal achievement has been to help others to overcome their fears of public speaking and to enable them to become better versions of themselves through mentoring, support and leadership. It is so special to me because it is only through working with and leading others the successful milestone of the DTM has been realised. I couldn’t have done it without you for that I am truly grateful.

Who was the most influential mentor(s) on your journey and why?

It’s quite difficult to pin point the most influential mentor. There have been many great Toastmasters I have met and admired along the way through various events at club, area and district conference events. Inspiration has come from those around me in the Toastmasters organization. In particular, my thanks are to Tracey Walker then member, now (DTM) who introduced me to Toastmasters. One of the founder members of Anglia Communicators, Graham Frost (DTM), was the first member of our club to achieve this great award, for as long as I can remember Graham lived and breathed Toastmasters it was his greatest passion for a long time. If he had a spare moment he was at a Toastmasters event most nights of the week. Once immersed into Toastmasters journey it was the lure of leadership that did it for me, becoming an executive officer in my second year as Vice President of Education, the arrival of the Competent Leadership manual and meeting other like minded people allowed me to develop leadership skills there was no looking back.

Having achieved the highest educational award that TMI can bestow, what new goals are you looking forward to?

There is much I feel grateful for, Toastmasters isn’t a tick box exercise, it’s an amazing life changing experience. For me, it’s been a lifestyle choice of personal growth and development. There’s still much more to learn and to give back. We are born to serve and through serving others we grow more. It’s fortuitous the new educational program of Pathways has arrived. It’ll provide a Smorgasboard of learning projects for future development through the enhanced Pathways program I’m certain I’ll become a better version of myself by supporting and helping others to grow and reach their potential.

What tips or advice do you have for members on the DTM journey?

• Find a Mentor (s) who is/are able to support you on the journey.
• Create a strategy that works for you.
• Be flexible in your approach, some projects can be started before others.
• Focus on where you are going. How can you get there if you don’t know where you are going?
• Look for opportunities. Sometimes we miss them if we don’t pay attention.
• Do things before you are ready. Great people do things before they are ready.
• Enjoy the journey. You never know where it might take you, what you things you will do or who you might meet along the way.