Jackie Lowry of the Monday Night Vernon Toastmasters Club has been presented with the organization’s highest honour, the Distinguished Toastmaster award. (Contributed)

Jackie Lowry of the Monday Night Vernon Toastmasters Club has been presented with the organization’s highest honour, the Distinguished Toastmaster award. (Contributed)

Distinguished honour for Vernon Toastmaster

Jackie Lowrie presented with Toastmasters’ highest honour, Distinguished Toastmaster

From curious chauffeur to capturing the top honour her organization gives out.

Such has been Jackie Lowrie’s journey in Toastmasters from November 2008 to June 2021.

She is a proud member of both Monday Night Vernon Toastmasters and Lumby’s Monashee Toastmasters.

“I didn’t plan to join toastmasters in November 2008 – I planned to take my son, Justin, to the meeting and drop him off,” said Lowrie. “But, curiosity got the best of me and I stayed for that meeting and the next and the next…”

More than a decade after that stay, Lowrie was presented with the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) honour, the highest achievement a Toastmaster can earn. It is presented to someone who “demonstrates outstanding leadership and communication skills, and by helping others in developing their self-development efforts.”

“Not always an easy path, yet exceptionally rewarding,” said Lowrie who, in her own words, takes you on her Toastmasters journey. “I worked through the Legacy Program; developing and honing my skills which enhanced my confidence. During my first year, I entered our club contest. I was both nervous and excited about competing, yet the skills and confidence I had already gained helped me through it.

Some important skills she learned include: listening and giving effective, positive evaluations; speech organization; delivering speeches with impact; chairing a meeting with confidence; the value of mentorship; and communication and leadership styles, which she says are invaluable when interacting with family and others.

“All of these skills have given me confidence to be a better communicator and effective leader. All Toastmasters learn these skills as they work through an education program that is proven and improving for 97 years.

Toastmasters also has a new online education program – Pathways – which offers learning experiences to develop and master real-world transferable skills through the five core competencies: public speaking, interpersonal communication, strategic leadership, management and confidence. Members are able to choose their path and progress at their own pace with the support and encouragement of club members.

There are five Toastmasters clubs in the North Okanagan. They are all meeting on Zoom at present, and Lowrie calls that a “new and valuable learning experience.”

“The upside of zoom is we don’t need to rent a room for our meetings so the membership fees are very reasonable.”

For information about local clubs contact Nell at hootyowl@shaw.ca.

For more information about Toastmasters International visit toastmasters.org or D21toastmasters.org.

READ MORE: New members sought for Lumby toastmasters club

READ MORE: Vernon Toastmasters club helps hone Zoom skills

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