I’ve taken on a major leadership role in my Toastmasters district in this coming year. If I’d known I was going to wind up making big map-boards as if I was going to a science fair, I’m not sure if I’d have stuck around to be nominated for the job… or doubled down.
I learned quite a lot from the process of making, though, probably more than anyone would learn who looked at it. For one thing, I learned that Toastmasters in our district is an urban phenomenon, clustered close to our major population centers. This gave me a sense of how to go about marketing Toastmasters in the few places left in the District where we don’t have clubs yet; but it also suggested to me that pushing hard to develop a lot more clubs in the areas we already have them could be wasted effort — or it could expand the size of the clubs we already have quite nicely.
Deb Castellano of Charmed Finishing School once told me to make such a board, but to include at least one “serial-killer catcher” line of red thread in the construction of my board. I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate that particular detail into this specific project, at least not this time. On the other hand, this board is likely to come back to me, and I’ll be able to adjust it further in the near future. It does tell an interesting story, of course, to see a board and map like this, and it’s mightily thought-provoking, indeed, to see how the river valleys of the Hudson and the Connecticut and the Thames river (pronounced THAMES, rather than TEMS like in England) continue to be the major corridors of human development, settlement, and population density. We just don’t get away from knowledge like this.
I think my next step is to replace the all clear pegs with pins of different colors depending on whether the given club is an open or community club, whether it’s a corporate or closed club, or whether it’s a hybrid club of some kind. That means using three colors of map pins. Next steps, indeed.