Multiple Club Memberships

An Interview with Becky McGilton, DTM

by Julie Salgo

When did you first join Toastmasters, and are you still a member of the same club?

I first became a member in 2008 after visiting South Beach Toastmasters with a friend. I discovered that Rockwell Collins had a club, and I ended up joining both clubs from the start. I am no longer a member of either, one due to club closure, the other due to the need to free up my Wednesday evenings at the time when I worked through the District Trio.

When clubs met in person at certain locations, how many clubs did you visit and/or join?

I have visited more clubs than I can remember. The most clubs I have joined at any given time is 8.

How and why did you decide to become a member of several clubs at the same time?

I started out as a dual member, based on two things: The corporate club where I worked paid for my dues, and my first impressions at South Beach were so impactful that I felt an instant desire to join.

How many clubs are you currently a member of? How can you manage without confusion?

I am currently in 7 clubs, spread across three districts. I am a very organized person who relies heavily on the calendar, so I don’t miss them. In addition to that, when I take on officer roles, I try to have the same role in each club, so I don’t have to remember which is which.

What benefits and challenges have you been getting from being a member of several clubs?

Benefits include more speaking opportunities, different perspectives on my approach to speaking and evaluations, faster progression through the educational programs, more social contacts and many more. The main challenge for me is also one of the benefits: with different perspectives on speeches and evaluations, you learn to take everything in stride and apply only what makes sense.

Since you had multiple memberships before and after ZOOM, what different benefits do you see in the past and present Toastmasters system and practices?

For me, the biggest difference is our ability to “travel around the world” virtually and gather even more perspectives and ideas while building a larger network.

What was a memorable personal experience you received the most satisfaction from?

When I was able to have both my mom and my daughter in attendance as I was sworn in as the District Director in 2015, it was definitely the most memorable experience. Both have been inspirations for me throughout my entire life.

How do you convince others why they should accept the multiple membership challenge?

I don’t really try to convince anyone. I may share some of the benefits of multiple memberships by sharing what I have gained or what they may gain from multiple memberships, especially if they join a specialty club that can help them with a particular focus area they are working on.

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