Program Quality Newsletter – September 2023

How is it possible that we are now in the third month of this programme year? I don’t mind admitting that I have been a lifelong Star Trek fan and the speed of everything in the district at the moment reminds me now of a quote that I often use when I am doing the timekeeper role at my club:

“Time is the fire in which we burn”.

The thing with time is that it can be both a healer and stealer.

It might be a good time to consider what were your Toastmasters goals when the year started? What were your professional goals and what were your life goals? Where are you and what course correction might you need to make to ensure you can achieve what you want to achieve? Don’t ever underestimate the progress you can make with your goals just by breaking them down step by step and taking time to celebrate the small wins.

I am writing this newsletter article while sitting in Nassau at my first ever Toastmasters International Convention. It has been an unbelievable reminder about the sheer size of our organisation and how many people across the world enjoy the benefits of membership. Our board of directors confirmed that next year Pathways will be transitioning to a new LMS (Learning Management System) and at the same time we will take the opportunity to reduce the number of paths transitioning over and focus on the ones that prove most popular to members across the world.

We have recently completed the first round of Club Officer training, and I want to thank the hundreds of you who came to one of the training sessions provided by either your area or division director – or even another district. Whether you were being inducted into a new role or receiving some useful reminders about the duties of your office, well done for giving up a few hours of your time for the good of the members in your club.

Speech contest season is now here, and I wish all participants in the Humorous and Table Topics contests the very best of luck. The final of all our District level speech contests will be taking place at the district conference in May 2024!

Talking of conference: we need your help! At the time of writing, we don’t have any nominations for Conference Chair.

Do you have an interest in running events? Do you think you could build and inspire a team to run a weekend where we will celebrate 10 years as a district? If anyone is even thinking of stepping forward, please do not hesitate to contact me – or even if you would like to nominate someone I should ring and present this amazing opportunity: please do let me know.

Finally, I want to finish with some well-deserved recognition. This month, Debbie Williams, Immediate Past Club Growth Director has been awarded her Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award. This is the highest award that Toastmasters International can give in the educational program. It represents not only humourous speeches but also proof that the member has gone well ‘beyond the club’ and has made a significant contribution for the good of our organisation.

Many, many congratulations, Debbie Williams DTM.

I will see you in October (well at least through the newsletter).

Steve Vear MBE DTM
Program Quality Director, 2023-2024