What is an Area?
An Area is made up of four to six clubs in close geographical proximity. Areas fulfill a number of complementary purposes:
- Sharing best practices and ideas between clubs.
- Training club leaders twice a year.
- Supporting all clubs in serving their members better through twice-yearly club visits.
- Encouraging and motivating all clubs to become Distinguished as part of the Distinguished Club Programme.
Every Area is led by an Area Director who works directly with all club leaders in his/her Area. Area Directors are trained by the District at District Officer Training events and also form part of the District Executive Committee. They are an essential conduit between Clubs and District and will often be the first point of call if specific information about a club is needed.
Becoming an Area Director is a very rewarding experience and represents an opportunity to influence the direction of several Toastmasters clubs through the creation of an Area Success plan and associated activities. These activities can include Club Officer Training, educational workshops for club members and social events to build links across all the clubs in an Area.
The role of Area Director offers many opportunities to develop and learn leadership and communication-related skills:
- Meeting facilitation through chairing Area Council Meetings.
- Facilitating and conducting training sessions.
- Coaching and mentoring by working with club leaders in club visits and one-to-one communication.
- Event organisation and facilitation.
- Team-building by fostering a sense of common purpose amongst club leaders in one Area.
The District Leadership Team supports Area Directors with training, an Area budget to spend to support the clubs in the Area and many other resources to help their clubs including training materials aimed at Club leaders.
If you are already in the process of handover, planning your succession or just thinking about learning more about the role, this Handover Checklist will help structure your work and thoughts.
The Area Council is made up of the Area Director and all Club Presidents, Vice-President Education and Vice-President Membership. Assistant Area Directors appointed by the Area Director also sit in this council.
Meetings of the Area Council happen every two months – every month in some Areas – and are a chance for all club leaders to discuss challenges affecting their clubs, share ideas and brainstorm solutions. The meetings are typically conducted online and last around an hour.
Assistant Area Director
Area Directors can appoint a number of Assistant Area Directors to provide better support for the clubs and to delegate responsibilities as needed. Assistants do not receive formal credit for their service but can attend District events and training in lieu of their Area Director if she or he is unavailable. The exact responsibilities of Assistant Area Directors will vary depending on the needs of the Area but can include organising all aspects of the Area Contests or performing club visits on behalf of the Area Director.