Pedro Casillas, District Director (DD)
Toastmasters International CEO, Dan Rex visit to D91
We now have the dates for the visit of Toastmasters International CEO Dan Rex, please see our website page for details.
District Council & District Executive Committee (DEC)
As we prepare for the District Conference we have the small matter of District Council (Sat 5 May) and DEC meeting on (Fri 4 May). Besides the District Leadership elections, the District Council will be an opportunity for members to hear an update on the many changes which have been and are happening across the Toastmasters world.
We have already published some documentation on D91 website and more will be appearing before the end of the month. Please take a moment before District Conference to take a look at these important documents:
As you will be aware, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) comes in to force on 25 May 18. We have been in touch with Toastmasters International Legal team and expect full guidance for our District to be available by the end of April. Please see our website page for further updates.
Andy Hammond, Program Quality Director (PQD)
Now that the dust is beginning to settle on the April membership renewals, we can start to congratulate our Distinguished Clubs, Areas and Divisions. Thanks to the fantastic efforts of our members and Club Officers, supported by the Area and Division Directors, we already have 79 Distinguished Clubs in our District, beating the 50% target for President’s Distinguished District with over 2 months still to go. Furthermore, D91 is 4th in the world (out of 107 Districts) for Distinguished clubs!
That is a great achievement – thank you. What that means is more of our members continuing to develop their skills and achieving education awards, more new members benefiting from Toastmasters, and well-managed Clubs with trained Officers supporting their members.
A special mention for our President’s Distinguished Clubs, areas and divisions:
- MLP London Bridge Speakers and Oxford Orators Club having achieved all 10 goals.
- Berkeley Square Speakers Toastmasters Club, Cardiff Toastmasters, City Limits Speakers, Covent Garden Speakers, Early Bird Speakers, Guildford Speakers Club, London Business School Public Speaking Club, and Maidenhead Speakers Club achieving 9 of the 10 goals.
- Congratulations to our 2 President’s Distinguished Divisions, J and L.
- Congratulations also to our 3 President’s Distinguished Areas, A42, H32 and K3.
If you want to see how your Club is doing, have a look at the Toastmasters Dashboard. I look forward to sharing an even longer list of achievements at the end of June!
With all the Division Contests now complete, have you booked your tickets to support your winners at the District Finals on May 5th and 6th? In addition to the contest finals there are great educational sessions, the Council Meeting where next year’s Leadership Team will be elected, a rare opportunity to hear in person from the Chief Executive of Toastmasters International, Dan Rex, and of course to meet up with Toastmasters friends old and new. For details of the weekend’s programme, all the great workshops, and ticket prices, have a look at the conference website.
We are now a month into the new education program, Pathways, and it is great to see so many members completing the new Ice Breaker project. Remember that all new members will now go straight on to Pathways so make sure your club has Pathways Pioneers who have sufficient knowledge to support those new members – and the older ones too! Your club’s VP Education also has ongoing support from the Pathways Guides, so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you need it.
While the overall response to Pathways is extremely positive, I have heard some concerns about how to choose your first Learning Path. When choosing your first Learning Path, in addition to using the online assessment I recommend reading the Pathways Paths and Projects Catalogue for more detail. In particular, look at the required projects for each Learning Path as you can chose the optional projects later. One of my club members has also prepared a summary matrix of the required and optional projects which you may find useful. Both documents are on our website.
Florian Bay, Club Growth Director (CGD)
Congratulations! You have once again smashed a target! I am very excited to announce that more members renewed their membership in March 2018 than in October 2017. What’s more, many of you are still chasing down some last minute renewals in your clubs. It could very well be that together we will manage to renew 4,000 members, which would be a formidable achievement! Remember to keep nudging lapsed members to renew and do not hesitate to have phone calls with them.
Additionally, no less than 34 of our clubs successfully completed the ‘Talk Up Toastmasters’ challenge by recruiting 5 or more members during February and March. This year we are truly growing forward together and you are making many more people aware of what Toastmasters can do to help them.
The Toastmasters year is still far from over and there a lot that you can do to boost your club and finish the current Toastmasters year with a bang:
- Organise an open-house meeting to raise your club’s profile in the community and inspire guests to join it. Remember that the District can contribute up to £100 for the venue costs of the event and will send a FREE Demo Box full of supplies to support you.
- Make sure that your club is on Google Maps so that potential guests know where to go to attend your meetings.
- Welcome all guests with a smile and give them information via guest packets, a welcome to TM ribbon and by seating them next to a member. Simple actions can go a long way to raise guest conversion!
- Ensure that every meeting displays your club in a positive way with positive and insightful evaluations of the speakers.
- Highlight the exciting benefits that the new Toastmasters Pathways learning experience provide. With 59 projects in 10 learning paths, no has never been a better time to join Toastmasters!
The ‘Path to Toastmasters’ challenge will be running until end of April and recently, the District designed a glossy 8 pages guest booklet for your clubs. Come and pick up some at the conference or contact me and I’ll send some to your club.
Efforts to support our new clubs are continuing and half a dozen clubs are edging ever closer to chartering and become official members of our Toastmasters family. A special workshop will take place on Wednesday 25th April to learn more about new clubs and how they can best be supported. Sign-up for your place here.
Do you want to jump into the dragon pit and take on the ultimate leadership challenge of starting a new club? Contact me! Some final words of wisdom from a fellow CGD:
When your words are engraving the most beautiful effect on human hearts
Know that what cannot be moved by the machine you can move it by the word
Toastmasters clubs your gateway to the profession of the word and the manufacture of the impact
Be one of its pioneers.