Pedro Casillas (District Director)
For those of you who attended the Autumn Conference at Gatwick, I hope you will agree that it was a wonderful showcase of all that is great in D91: superb Table Topics; very humorous speech contest and well run and received workshops. I am very much looking forward to our Spring conference on 5-6 May! Hope you will all join us there!
Farewell Autumn Conference
With the close of the Autumn Conference for the last time, we are in the process of setting up a committee, let by Area Director, Dee Alimi, to review how we will handle District business from 2018, with no Autumn Conference. Watch this space for updates over the coming months.
With preparations for Pathways now underway, ALL members need to logon to https://www.toastmasters.org/login and update their details. This a mandatory requirement for using Pathways. It would be great if all members could get this done before 1 January. If you need any help doing this, please speak with your club committee – they will be able to help.
You may have noticed an official visitor at your club in recent months – this will have been you Area Director. They have a role to work with all clubs in their areas; to assist where possible and to ensure all club Officers have been through COT (Club Officer Training) so that all members can get the best experience of the Toastmasters program.
By the end of November Area Directors will have submitted their reports to Toastmasters and have created action plans where required to support you club. To find out more, speak with your club president who will have received a copy of the Area Directors report and any action items arising.
DEC (District Executive Committee)
Four times during the year, the DEC meet to review and discuss the goals for the District. The DEC is made up of the DLT (District Leadership Team) and Division and Area Directors. So that you can better understand what is going on in D91, we have published the District Success Plan and DEC Agendas and Minutes on our website.
Andy Hammond (Program Quality Director)
Thanks to all those members who attended the Gatwick Conference earlier this month. The feedback has been very positive, and much of the credit for a successful event goes to Filip Balota, Conference Director, and his team from Gatwick Communicators. You may be aware that following the decision by the Toastmasters International Board, that was the last ever autumn conference. It has been decided that each District Leadership Team (DLT) should in future concentrate their efforts on providing education opportunities for members in this period, rather than on organising a conference. That leaves us with a number of challenges and opportunities, not least how do we approach the contests with District finals usually held in November, and what alternative events will deliver the greatest benefit to members? To look at our options, we have created a new Conference Committee, to be chaired by Dee Alimi. Dee has already begun to gather a team to serve on the committee and they will be seeking your views in the coming weeks. That committee is also being asked to look at potential locations for future May conferences, after the 2018 event at the Coppid Beech in Bracknell.
You should by now be aware that Pathways is scheduled to roll out in our District in March 2018. I am busy recruiting Pathways Guides, who are the members that will be providing training and support to clubs early in the new year. Expect to be notified of your Pathways Guide by mid-December. The D91 website has new sections devoted to Pathways and we will be adding more content on a regular basis.
Toastmasters Leadership Institute
Toastmasters Leadership Institutes (TLI) are full-day training events for members which aim to provide a broader range of opportunities for leadership development and communication skills. We are planning five events in January, potentially two in London and one in each of the other three Divisions. Please do let me know if you have any suggestions on the content you would like to see or possible venues. We will be using the Area Directors’ club visit reports to identify any common themes that would be of benefit to members.
Florian Bay (Club Growth Director)
I recently had the pleasure of spending a lot of time with our inspirational Region Advisor Aletta Rochat. We both share a passion for growing clubs and growing Toastmasters, in addition to common interests in many other subjects and a hunger for learning. I’m excited that a really good vibe for growth is in the air in our District. Many clubs are considering spawning off sister clubs, new corporate leads are coming to our attention every week and interest in the “Open-House” meeting initiative is huge.
Still unsure what an “Open-House” meeting is? It’s a fun and celebratory club meeting, to tell more about Toastmasters to members of the public and show them Toastmasters in action. Each club organising one will receive a Demo Box full of marketing materials, name badges and more plus £100 towards the cost of hiring a venue. Do you want to get involved? Please get in touch with me!
Why I and Aletta are so passionate about growing your clubs?
Because when your club grows, you grow as well by meeting new people, coming across new ideas and by speaking if front of a bigger audience. The more members we have, the more clubs we have, the more clubs we have, the higher our profile is in the wider community. The higher our profile is, the more others will know that you as a Toastmasters member are an extraordinary person that’s learning valuable skills!
What can you do today to help your club grow? Loads of things!
- You can bring your friends, colleagues, neighbours and partners to your club. Let them see what we’re all about.
- You can increase your club marketing profile by sharing updates on social media, creating short videos and creating professional guest packs and leaflets for your clubs. Templates will be available soon from my printing company.
- You can track your guests attending each meeting and follow-up with them by e-mail or by phone to invite them back.
Let’s work together and grow our membership.