Slicing the Cake

Insights from the October renewals

Thanks to the work done by the District Leadership Team (DLT) to improve our communications and send you, our fellow members, information that is relevant to you, we have gained some new insights on members’ Pathways journeys when they leave Toastmasters. It also allows us to connect better with each member rather than sending out a mass email to everyone. Just as with a cake to eat a whole cake is probably too much yet everyone would like a slice that satisfies their needs at the time.

Of the 1,265 members who left District 91 at the end of September, 871 of them had enrolled in Pathways, however, more than 1,000 members left without gaining a single Pathways award. This shows that members are not engaging with Pathways even though they have signed up. I would encourage new members to start their Pathways journey soon after they join a club. Experience has shown that members who enrol and are active in Pathways are the members who gain most from their membership. Whilst seeing other members speak or give an evaluation can be helpful, the best way to get better at anything, public speaking, cricket, home baking etc. is to take part in a safe club meeting environment. Think of your club as a training ground before you go “onto the pitch” giving a speech or presentation at work or at a friend’s wedding.

In a related issue. To help build a picture worldwide across Toastmasters International, long standing Aylesbury Speakers member Selina Griffin is conducting research that is trying to build a predictive model looking at using Pathways data to find Toastmasters that appear at risk of leaving so we gain a better understanding of why members leave. This is part of her PhD research with the Open University. She is working with Dr John Lurquin a member of staff at Toastmasters HQ. All information will be anonymised, and John will be selecting potential interviewees. 

Thanks Toastmasters Campaign – goes real!

You have hopefully seen the Thanks Toastmasters campaign ads in past couple of years, which clubs can download and use for their own publicity. In this month’s newsletter we have another real-life example of Thanks Toastmasters, a video from Remko Timmermans, a member of Didcot Speakers on how Toastmasters has helped him in his career in rocket science. Last month’s newsletter article on how Toastmasters has helped Tom Bailey become a Barrister, was the most read article. Nikita is looking for further examples of current or past members who are willing to make a short video or draft a short article explaining how Toastmasters has helped them achieve their career or life goals. If you know of anyone then please ask them to contact Nikita. The articles will be shared in the D91 Website, newsletter, and other social media channels.

Happy Anniversary – Campaign

A benefit of introducing the new CRM programme is that we can now more easily find members who have a membership anniversary. In the last few weeks with the help of the D91 Public Relations Manage, Nikita Parks, we have sent out congratulatory emails to members who are celebrating their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th or even their 10th or 30th membership anniversary. It is a way for the DLT to thank members for their continued membership and support of Toastmasters International and D91 and their local club.

New Administration Manager

Unfortunately, Aayushi Jain DTM has had to step-down as our District Administration Manager. However, I am delighted to announce that Janet Alkema DTM has agreed to become our new Administration Manager with Immediate effect. Janet is a very experienced Toastmaster and has been a Division Director twice, the first time for Division A in 2019-20 and last year as Division D Director. I am sure you join me in wishing Janet all the best in her new role.

Diane Richardson
District Director 2023-24