Celebration Season

Fellow leaders,

Congratulations to our Division Directors, District contest winners and all those who have made the contest season a success. The Bristol District Conference in May 2024 will be exciting with competitive District Contests to look forward to.

Congratulations to all our Members who were recognised at the Division Hall of Fame events. Every award is testimony to the commitment of our club officers who manage clubs and the unique developmental opportunities provided by the Toastmasters education programme.

Christmas festivities are upon us and I look forward to celebrating our D91 Toastmasters 10th Xmas as we look forward to both our District 10th Anniversary celebrations in May 2024 and the Toastmasters International 100th Anniversary later in 2024.

Well done to all clubs that have successfully renewed enough members to remain in good standing. We have achieved over 4000 membership payments to date, thanks to your hard work and support for the District mission.

This is not yet celebration time as we now need to focus on supporting many of our clubs to rebuild our membership base to ensure we have enough members to provide quality club meetings.

Many of us join Toastmasters for a specific reason and the success of the Toastmasters programme is best reflected in October renewal dashboard as many members have developed the skills and confidence required to fulfill the Toastmasters mission. Congratulations to our immediate past members and renewed members as we approach the milestone of 100 years of Toastmasters International and 10 years of District 91.

Thanks to our new club coaches volunteers, we do require more volunteer club coaches to support our low member clubs, please contact the Club Growth team if you would like to be a club coach which is a prerequisite for becoming a DTM and an opportunity to share your knowledge and ensure the benefits of Toastmasters can reach more people in future by helping build sustainable clubs.

As we consider the opportunities to grow our clubs, rebuild our low member clubs and build new clubs, it is important to ask ourselves this question?

What do I want to achieve as a Toastmasters leader in the next 7 months?

Wishing you a merry Christmas.

Mo Dawodu
D91 Club Growth Director 2023-2024

Club Growth Newsletter – September 2023

Club Contest Season and Growth Opportunities

On Wednesday 21 September 2016 I walked into Lewisham Methodist Church with a friend. It was the venue for Lewisham speakers Toastmasters club, and it was a special night, Humorous speech, and Table Topics contests. That was my first Toastmasters experience and my first meeting with Julie Kertesz who was in the table topics contest and still a member.

I eventually joined Kent Speakers in May 2017, and club contests have played an important part in my Toastmasters development. I recall being excited after finishing third in our club Humorous speech contest. It did not matter that there were only three of us in the contest, my “I did it” moment was fulfilling. I subsequently performed better in the International Speech Contest reaching the Division H finals with Sandra Mighty and Dan McGill in Edenbridge in 2018.

Mo Dawodu at Contest

My International Speech Club contest experience made me both curious about Toastmasters and inspired me to attend my first Toastmasters International Convention in Chicago, where I experienced the international speech contest final live, Ramona J Smith with a speech titled still standing contributed to my long-term commitment to Toastmasters.

At club level we hold contests twice a year. I believe these are unique events to promote some of the benefits of Toastmasters, and we should consider sharing this experience by welcoming guests at the club, Area, and Division levels.

I have experienced many contests in the past six years, many as a functionary to support both at Club and District levels. Taking part in speech contests has challenged me to grow and as a member I will encourage you to take part as a contestant or support as a functionary.

Lot of winners are created at Club, Area, Division, District, and international levels. Like Ramona you could be still standing.

What next?

  • Why not invite guests to your Club, Area, and Division contests?
  • Take advantage of the opportunity to add five new members to qualify for the Smedley award benefits.
  • Please contact your Area Director, Division Director, or Club Growth Director with membership and new club ideas.

Thank you!

Mo Dawodu
Club Growth Director, 2023-2024

Club Growth Newsletter – June 2023

Let’s Finish the Year with Determination

In Toastmasters, we place great emphasis on finishing the year with determination and striving for success until the very end. One example that resonates with this concept is the story of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. Throughout his career, Phelps consistently demonstrated the power of finishing strong and overcoming challenges.

Phelps faced numerous obstacles and setbacks on his path to becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, during the 100m butterfly event, his goggles filled with water impairing his vision. Despite the disadvantage, Phelps didn’t give up. He continued to swim with unwavering determination and managed to win the gold medal by a mere one-hundredth of a second.

Phelps’ story showcases the importance of resilience, perseverance, and never giving up, even in the face of adversity. It serves as a powerful reminder that finishing strong is not only about achieving personal success but also about inspiring others and leaving a lasting impact.

In Toastmasters, we can draw inspiration from Phelps’ story by channelling our energy and efforts into finishing the year with the same level of determination and perseverance. Let’s support our fellow members, celebrate their achievements, and assist them in reaching their goals. Doing so contributes to a thriving Toastmasters community where everyone can strive for excellence and finish strong together.

Let’s celebrate our successes and finish strong together.

Let’s Celebrate New Clubs

I am thrilled to welcome two new clubs to District 91.  These clubs provide a platform for employees to sharpen their public speaking skills, refine their leadership abilities, and foster a culture of collaboration and growth. Through the Toastmasters program, members of these clubs will embark on a transformative journey, gaining the confidence and expertise needed to excel in their careers and make meaningful contributions to their teams.  Please welcome Natwest Wealth CDIO Toastmasters and Dr Martens Toastmasters Clubs.

NatWest Wealth CDIO Toastmasters

“We are proud and excited to join Toastmasters International and build our communication and leadership skills within our organization. We’re very grateful for all of the support from District 91; we’ve had 2 amazing sessions so far with resoundingly positive feedback and we’re building confidence with each step we take on this journey.”

Dr Martens Toastmasters

‘We are all really excited to get the new DM’s Toastmasters club off the ground and create a safe, supportive and fun environment to watch club members build confidence in public speaking’

Net Growth 10

The first 20 clubs who, by the 15th of June 2023, achieve a net growth of ten new members from their 1st July 2022 base number will win £100 to boost their club’s funds.  The winners so far are:

Bank Street Toastmasters

Beckenham Communicators

Bloomberg London Toastmasters

Bristol Central Speakers

City of London Toastmasters Club

Early Bird Speakers

Farnham Speakers Club

Holborn Speakers

Kent Speakers Club

London Cardinals

London Public Speakers

PA Consulting London

Winchmore Hill Speakers

Beat the Clock

Clubs adding five new, dual or reinstated members with a join date between May 1 and June 30 receive a Beat the Clock ribbon to display on the club’s banner.

District 91 will offer an additional monetary incentive for unique new and reinstated members only of £30.  The winners so far are:

Bloomberg London Toastmasters

City of London Toastmasters

Kent Speakers

Central London Toastmasters

London Public Speakers

Bank Street Toastmasters

Phoenix Award

This is an award to any club that started the year with 12 or fewer members and throughout the same toastmaster year built their membership to charter strength (20 members) by 30th April 2023.  We extended the deadline to 15th June.  I am happy to announce that the winners to date are:

Bank Street Toastmasters and Winchmore Hill Speakers.

Let’s Celebrate New Members!

We are thrilled to celebrate the remarkable addition of 2,103 new members to District 91. This remarkable achievement is a testament to the dedication and enthusiasm of individuals committed to personal growth and effective communication and marks an incredible milestone for District 91. With each new member, our Toastmasters family expands, bringing a diverse range of perspectives, skills, and aspirations to our community. Let’s celebrate the incredible accomplishments of our 2,103 new members, who have embarked on an exciting journey of self-improvement and shared success. Here’s to their boldness, ambition, and the bright future they bring to District 91.

Finally, take a moment to reflect on what you and your club have achieved this year so far, whether it’s a successful speech contest, a new member achieving their goals, or a great meeting. Celebrate your successes and use them as motivation to keep going.

Let’s use the next three weeks to complete our goals and finish strong.  I look forward to seeing you at the finish line. Let’s keep going and let’s win together!

Thank you all for your efforts and many congratulations.

Debbie Williams
Club Growth Director, 2022-2023