Toastmasters have a mentorship role integrated into the growth curve for members. We use it, adapt it with our youth club.
- Participation as a mentor helps a member grow personally.
- Mentorship is all about doing something and not being something. It’s more like peer to peer support, teamwork.
- A member can be both a mentor and also mentee to different people.
- If buddies help each other with speech preparation, that is fine, too.
Ideas that came from brainstorming at one of our meetings:
- A mentor can help the mentee prepare for the speech.
- Brainstorming speech topics
- Helping with speech preparation – compiling ideas, logical organization, etc.
- A mentor can guide and support mentees after the speech, continuing the feedback loop (what was planned, how it went …etc.). A mentor can help mentee implement suggestions from the feedback.
- A mentor can be friends with peers (other members), make them even more comfortable, and be a valuable resource for them.
Keys to success of this:
- If anytime, the mentee isn’t ready to talk or open up, the mentor pulls back. As a mentor, you are a resource, you make yourself available, but you aren’t there to impose anything if the mentee isn’t ready. So, it’s more of a relationship that develops over time during the session. Again, if the mentee isn’t prepared to receive, the mentor should take a step back, and think of ways to make the mentee feel comfortable. When mentee initiates conversations, it becomes so much more fun, meaningful, and productive.
- Relationships develop over informal, friendly exchanges outside the meetings.
- If any member thinks of this as interference, he or she would rather not deal with, no need for this in that case. Coaches are still there to support.
Why do this idea of mentorship?
- A similar age group and friendships hopefully bring more fun for teenagers.
- Mentor and mentee both learn teamwork.
- Mentorship is a strong leadership skill to develop; teenagers can use this rest of their lives.
- If it works, members have additional support.
We will figure projects in the Competent Leadership (CL) manual where members can get credit. That way, it contributes towards their Competent Leadership (CL) award.
Other areas where mentors can help:
- Help coaches with meeting planning, coordination for a week (just one week, or maybe two if you can make time for it). For that week, communicate with all in the group, get speech titles, confirm roles, budget meeting time, bring printed agenda to the meeting.
- Bring table topics around a specific theme, and run table topics session (be a table topics master).
- When you have ideas, insights, observations as to where members need more help, bring it up to any of the coaches; this can be a priceless feedback loop. Coaches will listen to your ideas.
- If you’d like to do this and have time:
- Create fun video clips to explain specific ideas; we can publish this to our blog (this website).
- Take any of the blog posts we have for the theme, and start conversations among members using comments area.
- Create new blog posts even if you have ideas.
Every single bit that you contribute to help others helps you grow and develop further as well.