Archives for Susan Rayner

We’re well on our way

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.

Many Clubs have already started the next round of Contest, check out the latest rulebook for any question, and I look forward to seeing you on stage in London at our annual conference on 1-3 May!

Expand your speaking opportunities

Do you want to speak beyond your club, do you want to deliver a speech to a new audience. Then why not join in the mock conferences at London Metropolitan University (Holloway Road campus).

The purpose of the mock conference is to create an opportunity for students to practice simultaneous interpreting in almost real scenario.

They will cover different topics and and are looking for speakers who are interested in delivering approx. 10 minutes presentations.

They have 4 mock conferences on Mondays and run two sessions each time:

  1. From 12.00-14.00 with interventions in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Japanese
  2. From 15.00 = 17.00 with interventions in English, Italian, Chinese and Polish

General topics are:

  1. Monday 24th February 2020 – Looking to the future: the UK’s relationship in Europe – bilateral relationships with European countries now and beyond Brexit
  2. Monday 9th March 2020  – Mock conference of the European Works Council meeting for a company operating in the automotive industry
  3. Monday 23rd March 2020 – The development and impact of ITC (Information and Communications Technology) and social media on our daily business and personal lives.
  4. Monday 20th April 2020 – Let’s talk business, changing the way we shop, new strategies to develop ecommerce, reinventing the high street shopping experience

If you are available and willing to contribute on any of the dates, please contact Ewa Jasinska-Davidson

Open your house and talk up.

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.

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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 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.

And finally…

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.

Begin with the why #MyWhy

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!

Toastmasters Leadership Institute

Announcing 4th January TLI

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 Logistics.

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.