April 29, 2012

Becoming Club President Changes You

leader and minionsby Promod Sharma, President 2011-2012, CC

I didn't expect to become the President of Goodyear Toastmasters, especially just months after joining. Somehow, I got nominated and then elected. I knew I could fill the role but still felt awkward.


At the start of club meetings, we introduce ourselves. In the beginning, I was reluctant to say I was President. I didn't want to look superior to other members. I'm more of a servant leader. Titles don't matter. Being President doesn't make you better at Table Topics or speaking. Yet titles raise expectations.

Within weeks, I became comfortable stating my position in person and on LinkedIn. It's funny how a title bestows more authority. Your opinions carry more weight. I knew that happened from my years in the corporate world. I had 10 staff and indirect influence over dozens more.


Now I feel proud of the role and what we've achieved in our club. If you want to run for club executive, have an inspiring vision in mind backed by a plan that can be implemented within a year.

My focus was on leaving a legacy that the 30 year old Goodyear Toastmasters club could celebrate in 10 years on our 40th anniversary. This required replacing the website and embracing social media to accumulate our history (see the living legacy Viewpoint).

The Meetup group is successful. Twitter is sporadic (@gytm81). This blog is doing well (this is the 49th post!) and traffic is growing (but there are too few contributors). Some members have put videos on our YouTube channel.


Overall, I feel more confident due to being President. I'm perceived as a better speaker. My LinkedIn profile looks more credible too. The overall experience has been excellent.

A club role may be ideal for you. There are positions for different levels of experience (including none). If don't want to run but get nominated, please don't reject the nomination without suitable consideration. You’ll lose an opportunity to make a difference and improve yourself.


Promod Sharma is the President of Goodyear Toastmasters from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 (promodsharma.com).


  1. The first paragraph in this post sounds exactly like my situation. Last week I was elected president of the Jacksonville Toastmasters. I didn't run or campaign but was nominated, to my surprise, then elected.
    I am looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  2. Congratulations on getting elected President, Joe. I hope you'll have a great experience.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.