Featured Posts

Breakfast Briefing – 7 February

We have invited the HR Directors of a number of large companies and Government Departments based in London to find out how Toastmasters International can help their organisation strengthen their employees’ communication and leadership skills.

We are holding a breakfast briefing, free of charge, at 08:30 on Tuesday 7th February at Premier Meetings, London Victoria, 82-83 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1PS.

The briefing lasts about an hour and will give them an introduction to how Toastmasters works, the benefits for their organisation and their staff, and share exciting news about the new Toastmasters Pathways programme.

If you know of an organisation that would like to attend, please email me to register. The briefing is limited to the first 20 confirmed delegates.

 Andy Hammond DTM
Club Growth Director

District 91 – UK South

email: andythammond@btinternet.com

My Journey in Toastmasters by Brian Skelton

In May 2005 I attended a three Day Speech Therapy course with the Starfish Project which is a non – profit making organisation that helps people who stammer.

During those three days, amongst other things, I was taught a breathing technique that helps me to control my stammer. It will not make my stammer go away but it gives me control over something that has controlled me since I was a young boy. Read More

6 Weeks to Go. Lots done. Lots still to do.

6 Weeks to Go!

From Jean Gamester, District Director

With 6 weeks to go to the end of the Toastmasters Year, I’m delighted to see that our district is doing so well.  We are on the verge of being a distinguished district because of our growth and strength and for the second year running, we are currently in the top 3 districts when it comes to the percentage of distinguished clubs.


At last weekend’s conference we saw people stretching themselves to achieve at the highest level – honing international speeches, delivering great workshops, competing to be elected as district leaders.  These guys didn’t see a target and do just about enough to get over the line.  They they didn’t give up because the target seemed challenging.  They strove to jump over the line, to keep trying so they could get better and better.

And that is what I would love for us to challenge ourselves to do in these last six weeks of the Toastmasters Year.   Read More

Toastmasters with Different Abilities

Toastmasters with Different Abilities – Facebook Group

A new Facebook group has recently been set up for Toastmasters with different abilities.  The purpose of this group is to provide a space where disabled Toastmasters can ask questions and share experiences to support them on their Toastmasters journey.

The group was set up because we realised there was a need for a space where Toastmasters who need to do things a bit differently can find out from others who are in a similar situation how they have dealt with challenges and what solutions they’ve found.  This could be valuable to both new and experienced members alike – you never know who might have found the solution to the challenge you’re facing!

If you’d like to join us to get the most out of your Toastmasters experience and help members around the world do the same please come and say hello at Toastmasters with Different Abilities Facebook group!

100 Days to Go

There are 100 days left to go in the Toastmasters year and I am a Deadline Girl. In fact, I am sure that is one of the reasons that I love being part of this organisation – each year I get a new mission and each year comes with a deadline, the end of June.

small shutterstock_309774686This time, I found myself thinking about what I wanted for the district in this last quarter of the year. We’ve made great progress so far and the team is really committed and hard working. If we stay the course, we will achieve our goals of growing the district and supporting our clubs in being excellent. So I wondered, beyond continuing to stay focused on achieving our goals, what else could we do?

To explore the question more, I reached out to our current and past international leaders to get their tips on what we could focus on – Regional Advisors, Morag Matheson and Vicky Ferrer, as well as our international Director, Teresa Dukes. Their tips were so useful, I decided to share them in this month’s update. Read More

New Expense Claim Form

Following feedback from our recent (successful) audit, we have redesigned the District 91 expenses claim form.  This form should be used for all future claims.

Voucher for Reimbursement

This form can also be found on the district’s finance page – http://d91toastmasters.org.uk/district-finances/

PR Publications Service – Call for Quotations

PR Publications Service – Update

Following discussion at the District Executive Committee in September and November, this February we published a call for quotations for the PR publications service on behalf of both Districts 91 and 71.  By the closing date of the 25th of March we had received four proposals from prospective suppliers.  Having reviewed those proposals, the leaders of both districts agreed to re-appoint Panpathic Communications for the period 2016-19, subject to annual renewal.


Toastmasters UK and Ireland (Districts 71 and 91) are seeking a supplier to deliver a public relations publication service for the period beginning July 2016 for three years, subject to annual renewal.

The following document; UK and Ireland D91 and D71 PR Publication Service Requirement, describes the requirements for the service and provides information about Toastmasters International. It also provides the questions we would like to have answered in any quotation for the service.

The closing date for quotations is the 25th March, 2016.

International Director Teresa Dukes to visit D91!

International Director Teresa Dukes to visit District 91 between 5-9 November 2015!
Teresa Dukes, International Director, Region 11

Teresa Dukes, International Director, Region 11


District 91 is delighted to be hosting Teresa Dukes for the first of her official international visits following her election in August 2015 to the Toastmasters Board of Directors as International Director for Region 11. Teresa is a Past District 71 Governor when D71 covered the whole of the UK and Ireland.

International Directors
Toastmasters International Board of Directors 2015

Toastmasters International Board of Directors 2015

International directors are members of the Toastmasters International Board of Directors, each representing one of the fourteen Toastmasters regions. International directors are elected to two-year terms. They support Toastmasters both in the boardroom as organizational fiduciaries and out of the boardroom as representatives of the Board. You can read more about the role here: http://www.toastmasters.org/About/Board-of-Directors/International-Leadership-Roles


A Region is a grouping of Districts. There are 14 Regions spanning the world. District 91 (UK South) and District 71 (Britain and Ireland) are in Region 11 together with District 59, District 95 (Continental Europe), District 74 (Southern Africa) and District 20, District 79 (Middle East).

TM Regions July 2015

D91 Great Western Conference

Great Western Conference Toastmasters UK SouthWe are delighted to announce that Teresa will be the Sunday Keynote Speaker at the D91 Great Western Conference in Swindon 7-8 November. Teresa will also visit clubs and potential corporates throughout her official visit to explore various club building and recognition opportunities.

Click here to book on the D91 Great Western Conference.

Teresa Dukes elected as International Director, Region 11

Toastmasters members elect Teresa Dukes as International Director, Region 11 on the Toastmasters Board of Directors
Teresa Dukes, International Director, Region 11

Teresa Dukes, International Director, Region 11

Teresa Dukes, of Speak Easy at Martlesham in Martlesham, Suffolk, has been elected to the Board of Directors of Toastmasters International, the world’s leading organization devoted to teaching skills in communication and leadership. Dukes was elected to the 2015-2017 two-year term at the organization’s 84th annual International Convention, held August 12-15 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As a member of the Toastmasters International Board of Directors, Dukes is a “working ambassador” for the 300,000 member global organization. She works with the Board to develop and support the policies and procedures that guide Toastmasters International in fulfilling its mission.


Further information about Teresa

Teresa Dukes, DTM, of Ipswich, Suffolk, is a speaker, trainer and coach at Dukes Consultancy, a company she founded in May 2009. Certified as a World Class Speech Coach, she helps individuals achieve their personal objectives and reach their full potential. Her clients include CEOs, apprentices, high school students and small to medium size enterprises. Teresa also works as an associate trainer for Speakers Trust, a charitable pubic speaking organization that specializes in training and educating the not-for-profit and community sectors.

While studying at Kings College in Charlotte, North Carolina, Teresa earned a diploma in secretarial science. She continued her education to study marketing, geographical analysis and project management. She worked as a corporate director before becoming an entrepreneur.

A Toastmaster for 16 years, Teresa has been a member of her home club, Speak Easy at Martlesham in Martlesham, England, since 2004. She has held a number of high-profile leadership positions within Toastmasters and has attained the Distinguished Toastmaster designation—the highest level of achievement in the organization.

Teresa says, “Toastmasters means courage, opportunity and challenge: the courage to share ideas where they are heard, the opportunity to develop skills at your own pace, and the challenge to help others grow.” “Together,” she says, “Toastmasters not only grow personally and professionally, but are ready and able to grow their communities and businesses as well.”

Toastmasters Where Leaders Are Made

Conference Time!

by Jean Gamester, District 91 Director 2015-16

I joined Toastmasters almost 10 years ago. A few months after I joined, my Club President asked if anyone wanted to come along to the district conference – he said it would be really good, so I decided to go along, not sure what to expect. And when I got there, I was blown away.

This was Toastmasters on a whole other level. There were people from all over the district, lots of them seemed to know each other and lots of them were new. The workshops were brilliant, the contests were cool and the parties went pretty late into the night. And I saw the district governor speak and I wondered how someone gets to do a role like that! I could never have imagined that ten years on I would be the person leading the district – I do think that going to that conference was what set me on this path.

Did you know that over half of our members in District 91 have been members for less than a year?

That says to me that there are lots of people who are yet to experience what Toastmasters is like beyond their club. Yet to be inspired by the workshops you get at a district conference, yet to feel the excitement of the contests, yet to see for themselves their leaders at work and how they can get involved themselves.

In just over a month, our next district conference will take place in Swindon. We can learn about storytelling, powerful presence as a speaker and what it takes to get to the world championship of public speaking. We can learn about building clubs and becoming better leaders.

We will make decisions together in our council meeting, where every club and every district leader has a vote on how we run the show. We will see, live, who will win the district table topics and humorous speech contests.

If you are even slightly curious about all of this, if you are thinking you might just enjoy it and benefit from it, I will see you at the Marriott Hotel Swindon on the 7th and 8th of November.

To find out more and how to book, you can find a link to the conference site at our district website d91toastmasters.org.uk

Who knows what your visit to the district conference will spark for you!