News from District Director, Vanessa King

Succession Planning – Already?!

Dear District 91 members and leaders,

Vanessa King
District Director

I know it feels like a strange time to start thinking about the next group of leaders. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been through a bit of a shock at being elected to your role and you’ve experienced some awe when you’ve thought about the task ahead. However, you’ve built relationships with mentors and friends, you’ve had some training and you start to feel like you know what you’re doing. Surely it’s not time to hand over the baton just yet?

Well, no, it’s not quite time yet. You do have another few months to serve your members, see your vision come to fruition and develop your skills in leadership and communication. However, it’s never too early to start thinking about who you can ask to step up. Who can you nurture and encourage by suggesting they stand for election as a club officer or district leader? They may need some time to think about your suggestion, ask questions and seek advice from people they respect and admire.

Read More

Report from PR Manager, Helena Brewer

Busy, Busy, Busy.

There’s already been a flurry of activity across the District in 2017.  From the mouths of members, it’s ‘are you entering the contests?’.  There’s a definite buzz as clubs set contest dates and members prepare to enter. The articles from members this month reflect experiences of entering contests, even though they’d not been a member of Toastmasters all that long. Remember that you can support by offering to take a role at contests too. Articles on this will follow over the next couple of months. Keep your stories coming, share your experiences with fellow members. Read More

It Takes a Village

“And first place and the District 91 Humorous Speech Champion for 2015…Selina Jones”. I gasped and jumped out of my seat as the room applauded. I couldn’t believe I had won!

But actually, I hadn’t won at all. Or rather, I certainly hadn’t won on my own – this was a real team effort, as I think all Toastmaster’s contests are. Read More

I owe this to Toastmasters

A little bit over one year ago, I arrived in the UK. After a life time of being conditioned what I should and should not be doing, I came to the UK to pursue a new job and to build a new life.

Moving from Vodafone Egypt to Vodafone Group in the UK I was appointed to be a service manager, a role where I will have a team to lead, presentations to make, and studies to prepare, I needed to take my personality and my confidence to a whole new level.

I joined Toastmasters back in March 2016, and I was hooked, I originally joined Newbury Speakers club, and soon after I decided to join Ascot Speakers as well. Read More

Awaken the Giant Within

Okay, okay, I need to attribute this title to the great Antony Robbins, but on Tuesday 11 October 2016 my ‘Giant’ sprang into action.

Just over six months ago the thought of public speaking (like with so many others) would have driven a stake through my heart and until the speech had been delivered, every living moment would have increased the intensity of waves of nausea. I know I am not alone here and that most Toastmasters start off their journey in same state of dismay. Read More

How to create a great environment in a new club

Creating a new Toastmaster Club is not without its challenges, but executed correctly, can be an incredibly rewarding endeavour.

I would like to share with you my experience of starting a new Club, what I learnt and what I believe are the three key ingredients to success.

wokinghamWokingham Speakers chartered 3 years ago. It is now a thriving Club with 34 Members, having recently obtained 10 DCPs for the first time in its history. However, its ability to enjoy this kind of success is a tribute to its early days and the firm plan put in place by its founders, which leads me aptly onto my first piece of advice; Read More

Toastmasters Come to Tech Data – Concept to Charter in 5 months!



Steve Vear – President,  Natalie Wesson – VP Membership, Lauren Cooke – Treasurer and Secretary, Sandie Jackson – VP Education, Nikki Whyte – VP Public Relations

Tech Data is a multinational IT distribution. company operating in many European countries, North American, Latin America and Canada. It is no stranger to Toastmasters International with a corporate club in the Worldwide headquarters in Clearwater Florida and also in our Canadian business. However, until March this year when local Toastmasters from around the District held a demonstration meeting, members of the UK headquarters in Basingstoke had never heard of Toastmasters. Read More

Life on the District Leadership Team …

… reflections on my first three months

After taking on the role of Club Growth Director at the end of July, it was only two weeksandy-hammond later that I found myself at the District Officer training in Washington D.C.

I know that sounds glamorous, but it was certainly no holiday. I arrived on the Saturday evening to be given the schedule of interviews on Sunday for the candidates for the International Board roles. With Vanessa and Pedro we completed 23 separate 15 minute interviews that day. A fascinating, if tiring, experience. That left us free to concentrate on the two training days, Monday and Tuesday, with each running from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We kicked off in one large group of some 400 Toastmasters from all over the World. We then split into various groups over the two days, coming back together for the closing on Tuesday evening. It was awesome to be able to share ideas and experiences with enthusiastic colleagues from such varied backgrounds. I had to return home on Wednesday so missed the convention itself, but nonetheless it was a wonderful experience. Read More

DEC Meeting Minutes – 4 November 2016

The meeting minutes from the DEC meeting held on 4 November at the Doubletree hotel in Woking are published via this link – DEC Meeting Minutes



Hall of Fame!

Division J at Hall of FameAt the 2015/16 awards, the achievements of our district’s leaders, clubs and people were celebrated.  You can see who received the honours here.

The list of achievers can also be seen in the list below;

District Leadership

Special Roles

  • Paul Walsh, Alignment Committee Chair
  • Richard Murray, DTM, Alignment Committee Strategy Adviser
  • Sandra Lawes, DTM, REP Chief Ambassador
  • Andy O’Sullivan, DTM District Chief Judge
  • Elizabeth Toohig, Trainers Bureau Coordinator
  • Jill Segal, DTM Club Extension ChairD91 at Washington international convention
  • Helen Green, Audit Chair
  • Bob Nisbet, DTM, Logistics Manager
  • David Sutcliffe, DTM Parliamentarian
  • Chris Howell, Culture and Diversity

District Leadership Team

  • Suzi Fish, Finance Manager
  • Meg Heyworth, Finance Manager
  • Helena Brewer, Administration Manager
  • Hilary Briggs DTM
  • Dorothea Stuart, DTM, Excellence in Marketing
  • Vanessa King, DTM, Excellence in Education and Training
  • Jean Gamester, DTM, Presidents Distinguished District, President’s 20+ Award

Read More