Joined: December , 2015
Clubs: Bedford Speakers, Cornerstones
Roles: Pathways Ambassador, Club President, VPM, VPPR.
What did it feel like when you earned your DTM and how did your celebrate?
It was a pepperpot of emotions. It is always wonderful when you get recognised for any accomplishment but this was very special for me. It represented a personal journey to finding my voice and developing the skills to use it effectively.
I felt like screaming ( …and I did!). I was ecstatic, grateful and humbled, especially with the comments from other toastmasters.
I celebrated by going to dinner with my sons Matthew, Jonathan and Erhan, who listened to all of my 40+ speeches several times over and always clapped with enthusiasm.
What was your greatest personal achievement on the journey to your DTM and why is it so special to you?
My greatest personal achievement on my journey was winning the BBC New Voices competition 2019. The main reason behind this choice is the fact that people not associated with Toastmasters still recognised anx validated my public speaking ability.
Toastmasters is still the world best kept secret. I have learnt so many transferable skills in leadership , writing and public speaking that my life has truly been enhanced. Toastmasters feature in every aspect of my life.
Who was the most influential mentor(s) on your journey and why?
I had many mentors along my journey to DTM. In my personal life my mother ,Teslyn Dawkins, was my biggest supporter and cheerleader.
My two most influential Toastmasters mentors were Elizabeth Jordan because she embodies the ethos of toastmasters and is beyond reproach when it comes to integrity, a value I hold dear.
My second mentor was Red Skelton who heard me speak at speech number four in the CC manual and told me he believed in me and I had potential to excel. Those kind words have remained with me all these years. Sometimes it takes someone else to see what you cannot see in yourself. Each time I doubt myself I remember his encouragement .
Having achieved the highest educational award that TMI can bestow, what new goals are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to giving back to the organisation that has given me so much. Mentoring new members and sharing my skills with others is at the top of my list. Service is one of the core values of the Toastmasters family.
I am so looking forward to completing my Pathways and earn a second DTM.
What tips or advice do you have for members on the DTM journey?
Enjoy the process. Recognition is great, but the journey is one of self-discovery. DTM is a wonderful accolade but the skills you develop will stay with you for life.