Over the past months, we have seen a steady
growth in the number of educational awards being submitted, and I am thrilled
that we have now over 1,000 educational awards this Toastmasters year
across our District! This is a tremendous achievement and shows many of you are
progressing with your goals. Congratulations!
More than 2/3 of educational awards have been
awarded under the Pathways programme, which shows more and more of you are
engaging with our education programme. To put it into perspective, this is over
15% more awards than this time last year! Congratulations again!
Don’t forget to check with your VPE that you
progress is fully accounted for, and all your achievements recorded in Basecamp
are formally recognised. Let’s aim high and why not reach that coveted 1
educational award per member this year?
For anyone still completing educational awards
under the Traditional programme, I would like to remind you that all
traditional awards must be submitted by 30th June 2020 in order
to be recognised by World Headquarters.
Over the last couple of months, I have been dispatching Open House boxes to our clubs. Many clubs are using the opportunity of Talk up Toastmasters to promote their clubs, invite guests along and showcase what Toastmasters is all about.
What’s in the box?
There are ribbons, badges, pens, leaflets, timing cards, badge holders, table topic cards and Toastmasters promise cards.
These materials help you run the event. Though the hard work begins way before you receive the box of goodies.
It’s all in the promotion of the event. I accepted an invitation to attend the Open House held by Ascot & Bracknell Speakers, to assist by running the Table Topics session. In arriving early, they put me to work, setting up the room and putting out chairs.
The members managing the registration desk were prepared with guest packs and smiles. The doors open, guests arrive, and the guests keep coming. From this point on, the club members were set to work, greeting guests, showing them to seats and chatting about Toastmasters. This created a fantastic atmosphere and a buzz around the meeting venue. When the club VPPR came up to me as said, ‘Wow, the promotion on Facebook worked.’ Similarly, aghast and chuffed all in one.
The promotional activity and marketing is key. Focusing efforts on
this side reaps results. There is £100 available to help cover venue hire and
marketing of this event. This is the question I receive most, how to claim the
£100? The District Finance Guide is the starting place https://d91toastmasters.org.uk/district-finances/ You will
need receipts for the expenses.
Good luck to all those with Open House meeting planned for the next couple of months. Remember to post on social media afterwards too. Encourage members to like and share you posts. Add in hashtags #Toastmasters#wearetoastmasters#whereleadersaremade it all helps raise awareness.
Pizza time…. Renewals of your club membership, it now this time of year.
Help your club Treasury’s by renewing your membership with them as early as
possible. Our incentive the 80:20 pizza challenge is back too. This proved to
be extremely successful in the Autumn with clubs managing to retention 80% of
their members and along with renewing 20 plus members. Clubs have already
started submitting renewals, which is fantastic.
At events I have attended; the London TLI which kicked off 2020, Division
TLIs, contests, club launches and Open House meetings, it’s you the member that
makes the magic happen. You have made me so welcome. Thank you for all your
hard work over the last couple of months. It is much appreciated.
At a Toastmasters Leadership Institute last weekend, somebody invited us to think differently about how we market Toastmasters. We were challenged to market it more along the lines of “Toastmasters will change your life” rather than along the lines of “it’s a structured programme, there are Pathways that will teach …”
In other words, we should begin with the ‘Why’ of why somebody might be interested in joining Toastmasters instead of focus on the ‘What’ and ‘How’.
This approach strongly resonates
with me though it often requires thinking outside of the box. As we are in this
busy month of February, remember to begin with the ‘why’ when you Talk Up
Toastmasters and perhaps organise an open-house meeting to
promote your club. Don’t forget to use the ‘why’ when collecting membership
renewals and to simply ask ‘why’ if someone is unsure about renewing. We can’t
change somebody moving overseas to start a new job, but we can do something
about supporting members in our clubs and providing them with new challenges.
Don’t forget too about the
#MyWhy campaign that Toastmasters has been promoting for a few years. Your
members’ stories are powerful tools to inspire someone to join or rejoin your
club. A smartphone is all that you need to begin collecting stories. What’s
more, the District created many #MyWhy videos that you can find on our YouTube
channel alongside may other goodies too!
We have just concluded 7 weeks of Divisions conferences and I am very proud of the quality of events and look forward to seeing the our Division winners in May for our District Conference (1-3 May 2020).
Our London 2020 conference needs your help! If
you can offer some of your time to help organise the event, please reach out! We have
opportunities in Finance, PR, Sponsorship, Education, Registration and
Now the Autumn contests are behind us, it is
time for training our current and future Club leaders. All the COT (Club
Officer Training) and TLI (Toastmasters Leadership Institute) dates will become
available on our District
calendar. If in or around London, save the date Saturday 4th January
2020, we have a TLI planned with Past International President Lark
Doley delivering 2 workshops, an event not to be missed.
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