District Training, Contests, Conference and Club Quality

By Diane Richardson

District & Club Officer training

Thank you all who attended the first round of club officer training. After a lot of work by Division and Area Directors I can report that 119 out of 167 active clubs had four or more club officers trained with 20 of these having all seven officers trained. What is also pleasing to see is that 673 officers were trained. Many of these officers attended multiple sessions. In total we had about 1,000 Toastmaster members attend the 20 training sessions organised by D91. Thanks, should also go to everyone who attended and then readily shared their experience with others, to make the training a “richer experience” for everyone.

At present we have 89% of District Officers trained. We know this will increase as we still have a catch-up District Officer Training event in late September.

Starting Soon! Club Contests

Club contest season is about to start once again with the Humorous Speech Contest and the Table Topics Contest. Please ask your Area and Division Directors to confirm the dates for their contests dates as soon as possible allowing club officers plenty of time to organise their own contest. Whilst the recent District Executive Council meeting (DEC) meeting vote for Hybrid Contests at the Area, Division and District level, a quick reminder clubs can hold contests In-person, Online or Hybrid, or nominate a candidate if they do not wish to hold a club contest. Clubs do not have to use the same format for all four contests. This applies to all four contests including the International and Evaluation contests which usually start in January: Any member of a club in Good Standing (Basically eight or more members) can enter the Humorous, Table Topics, and Evaluation contest. However, the eligibility rule for the International Speech contest has changed from last year. To enter the International Speech contest, you must either have a DTM (Pathways or Legacy) or have the certificates for level 1 and 2 in a Pathway. This is a change from last year, when any member who had completed six speeches from the Competent Communicator manual could enter.

Conference News

I am delighted that Angelie Bharwaney of Harrovian Speakers Toastmasters has agreed to be the Conference Director for the May 2023 Conference. Covid-19 regulations permitting, the event will be our first hybrid conference and the face-to-face part will be held in Central London on the 6th & 7th May 2023. Angelie is currently looking for volunteers to help on the Conference team. If you are interested in helping, please either contact her directly or let me know. We are looking for Finance and marketing volunteers especially.

Club Quality support

To help new VPE’s and Club Presidents succeed the district will be holding monthly VPE Drop-In sessions. Witneys Speakers, VPE Mary Robson hosted the first ever VPE drop-in at the end of August and I am looking for a volunteer for the second session at the end of this month and for the following months. These monthly sessions aim to offer VPE’s the opportunity to share best practices and to answer questions from less experienced VPE’s.