Sunday, March 10, 2019

DTM Badge and Pin - Worth Getting?

When once I was thumbing through the Toastmasters.org product catalog long before its online shop counterpart, I was fascinated at the pins and badges that were promoted.

Occasionally, I would receive recognition pins as awards. Of course, I was happy that I received them. I probably wore them once or twice in meetings, but that was it. Thereafter, they've been stored away somewhere.

But a DTM pin? And a DTM badge? Now, those are something else.


(photo credits: Toastmasters.org)


Significance of the DTM Pin and Badge

The Distinguished Toastmaster award (DTM) is the highest norm. If you've achieved all norms leading to DTM and need to wear only one pin, this would be it.

The DTM badge tells the wearer's name, club, and the norm. I've never had an official Toastmasters badge before, but I've been wearing a name tag since January, 2018.

Thus far, I've not seen other DTM's here who wear the DTM badge (yellow and red) as shown above. Maybe some don't bother getting or buying one. Maybe some have it, but don't wear it as often. Or maybe some reserve it for social functions like the DisCon? I don't really know.

There are other types of TM badges that TI issues as shown below.



Who Wears Toastmasters Badges?

But what is commonly worn here is the District Director badge (red and white). I suspect that these are provided free to the few District-Level officers. They also show the years covered by the term.

Another TM badge I recently saw is the Pathways Ambassador or is that Pathways Guide (blue and white). These are given to those who helped roll-out the Pathways program.

I believe in other countries, the blue and white badges are made also for club officers. It's not a practice here, as far as I know.

The red and blue badge is really for the higher-ups holding office: Board of Directors or Regional Advisor and staff. The yellow and blue badge is reserved to WCPS winners (World Championship of Public Speaking) and Accredited Speakers.




Why Wear a DTM Badge?

Maybe the question is why get one at all? The following are my reasons:
  1. It's the highest award accorded to an individual member. It is the pinnacle of being a member in the Toastmasters organization.
  2. Only very few achieve a DTM. From what I've read, less than 1% of all members finish the DTM requirements.
  3. It's an official Toastmasters badge that's recognizable in all clubs.
  4. It's practical and can replace any name tag because it already contains pertinent info like club name and club number.
  5. It's a good conversational piece and a means to promote Toastmasters. The same is true with pins.
  6. I love the cool colors and design. I especially like the contrast of yellow with the red colors. And these colors stand out on most shirts, jackets or blazers.
  7. With all the speeches I delivered and the leadership roles I took to fulfill the DTM requirements, I deserve it!

Deserve to Wear the DTM Pin

But to have the right to wear the DTM badge, I believe one has to BE the Distinguished Toastmaster that he is. There is a comment from a TI President (2017-208) Balraj Arunasalam that I find truly inspirational.


Balraj Arunasalam was featured in Toastmaster Magazine and is one of the mentors of Dananjaya Hettiarachchi, the 2014 World Champion of Public Speaking. Dananjaya, in my opinion, is the best WCPS ever.

It was Niccolo Machiavelli who said, "It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles." So, for me, that means to honor the title that was bestowed on you by being that person - by actively taking on the role of that title.

Sometimes I liken it to graduating from college. You studied to learn those skills. After completing them, you graduated. Now is the time to BEGIN using those skills. That is why graduation ceremonies are called commencement exercises. Commencement means beginning.

You don't graduate so you can have a diploma to hang and admire. It's the same thing with the DTM award. You don't get the DTM award just to display the pin, badge, plaque or whatever.

You have to BE it.