After a number of years watching many toastmasters at various functions Richard found that there was no common standard amongst those working in the profession, and although some were excellent others were not demonstrating an acceptable level of professionalism.
Richard decided, having worked as a toastmaster himself, to formalise his training with an established guild of professional toastmasters. His intention was to become a member of a guild to demonstrate his passion and ideals. Richard found the training did not meet his expectations and was not up to the standard he had hoped for. Services being delivered were not to his exacting standards and were being delivered in a less personable manor than those which Richard feels his clients should receive and deserve.
Having worked to an extremely demanding and high standard in the IT industry, where things were either right or wrong and there was no room for error, Richard decided to push for the ISO 9001:2008 standard for the administration of his business as a toastmaster. This was to make sure that his clients would know what to expect even before the service was delivered and Richard has now held this standard for over ten years. Part of this standard also includes ensuring that your clients are satisfied after the work is complete.
Richard found there were no set standards or qualifications for toastmasters and each of the organisations differed in their training content, delivery and method of teaching. But more importantly other organisations representing toastmasters had either no code of ethics or in one particular case a code of ethics that did not meet Richards high standards.
For example, toastmasters from a number of organisations are allowed to consume alcohol whilst working, which the English Toastmasters Association does not consider professional. Clients now demand a higher level of professionalism from their suppliers and they sould be treated with respect and professionalism.
To raise the bar within the entire profession and to bring it into the 21st century, Richard, along with the other founder members, Linda Palmer and Russell Rainger, decided to start the English Toastmasters Association and registered the name as a trademark on the 25th March 2004.
To make sure the English Toastmasters Association did not suffer the pitfalls of other organisations, firm foundations were built during the first 3 years, and on the 1st March 2007 the Association welcomed its first member.
The English Toastmasters Association is now the largest and still growing, quality association for toastmasters in the UK and has a clear and set vision to raise the value and quality of services that toastmasters offer to their clients.
English Toastmaster assisting the photographer
at Manor of Groves, Hertfordshire.
Photograph courtesy of
Essex wedding photographer
David Court www.courtoncamera.co.uk
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