I’m Suzette Martinez Standring, and it’s humbling to receive the District 31 Q1 (2023) Mentor of the Quarter award. I’ve been a member of Quincy 675 Toastmasters since 2014, and I needed help with giving workshops and speeches. I wrote The Art of Column Writing, and The Art of Opinion Writing; award-winning books used in universities.  I was nationally syndicated for my spirituality columns, and hosted a cable TV show, It’s All Write With Suzette, which featured writers and their works. Writing has led to many speaking opportunities, and here’s where Toastmasters proved invaluable. I’ve never been afraid of public speaking, but wow! I learned a lot about being concise, and how to convey a powerful message by being clear and engaging. Use humor, be organized, and stick to the time, so many skills I had not considered before joining Toastmasters.

Mentoring was a natural offshoot from serving as a past Secretary, Public Relations VP, and President. I became familiar with the needs of new members and ways to help. Individual needs differ greatly. It may mean sustained support with pronunciation when English is a second language. Or it may be coaching a future speech along on Zoom, or encouraging a new member to be brave and give an icebreaker. Other needs may be demonstrating the step-by-step of Pathways, or just checking about progress.  A feeling of friendship and caring are vital.  Nobody wants to feel like a “project,” and it’s common for those needing help not to want to impose, but the improvement and feelings of satisfaction are exponential.

Suzette Martinez Standring
Current Co-Secretary, Quincy 675 Toastmasters
www.readsuzette.com

Congratulations on your award, and thank you for your service to the district and its members Suzette!

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