We are approaching the end of the first quarter of the Toastmasters year, which marks a number of key milestones. Probably the most significant is that we now have an approved District Budget.
You will be aware that Toastmasters International decided that there would no longer be a November conference, and one consequence is that the District Council meeting normally held during that conference, and where the District Budget is approved, now has to be a virtual meeting, and conducted before 30th September.
We held our first ever virtual District Council meeting on Saturday 15th September, and I think it is fair to say it was a mixed experience. The meeting itself ran very smoothly overall, and we received some very positive feedback from those attending, and constructive improvement points, in true Toastmasters style, for future virtual meetings.
However, attendance was poor, with only about 80 Council members out of a possible 374 taking part. We, therefore, failed to achieve a quorum so no decisions could be taken on the day. We subsequently conducted an email vote and I am delighted to say that the District Budget has been approved by 195 votes to 3.
We are reviewing the whole process to see what lessons we can learn. Perhaps the most important is that there appears to be insufficient awareness and engagement between us as District Leaders and the Club Officers and members. This is my third year on the DLT, having previously served as CGD and PQD, and I know I slip into the jargon of DEC, DSP, DOT and COT all too easily. Have I lost you in acronyms yet? And that is part of the problem.
We will be looking at how we can better explain our roles and how they relate to club Officers and members. One idea is to include a brief session in the Club Officer Training events. I also hope that these monthly updates help you understand a little better what we are doing on your behalf. If you have other suggestions please let me know.