Welcome to the new year of opportunity, that is 2021. Staying in continues to be the new going out.

Take a moment to reflect on how far you have virtually travelled in 2020 and how much further you can go in 2021. Our typical routines have changed completely. There has for many been massive adjustments balancing work, family life and Toastmasters. These challenges have definitely led to new approaches to solving problems, better collaboration, and personal accountability. By any measure, it’s impressive just how much you have adapted and thrived over the last year. Long may this continue.

District Program Quality

During the summer of 2020, the District, like your clubs, wrote its success plan for the year. Reflecting on what was set out for Program Quality, two main goals stand out:-

  1. to restart the District webinar series; and
  2. reboot the Trainer’s Bureau.

I personally thank all those who have joined these sessions, to all the presenters and audience members who have engaged. Both these goals have been achieved and are now valuable resources available to all our members.

Building on this success, the Program Quality Team has been busy preparing for 2021.

The District webinar series commenced on Sunday 3 January. The full calendar of events from January through to the end of February has been published.  Here’s the flavour for January:-

The next Speaker to Trainer workshop is being held on 5 & 12 February; places are limited contact me directly.

Our District Conference Director, Guler Cortis, has been busy and has already built a fantastic team to work on delivering this event on our behalf. The conference will be an online event. Mark the dates in your diary of 1 & 2 May. More information will follow over the next couple of months.

Education Awards

The numbers speak for themselves, 789 education awards achieved so far by you. There are 12 members that have achieved the highest award in Toastmasters, becoming Distinguished Toastmasters. Plus, 46 members have achieved three education awards or more, gaining their Triple Crowns.

January is the month to deep dive into the Toastmasters learning experience. For members, that have a free path to choose from, what’s stopping you? For members that have yet to enrol onto the education program, what’s stopping you? For club officers not enrolled on the education program, lead by example, what’s stopping you?

If you need help, ask! Across our District, at all levels from club through to District, you will find workshops, drop-in sessions and one-to-ones on everything from on how to select your path to being a Basecamp Manager. It is all out there for you. On 10 January the District webinar series will host Pathways 101, delivered by Mary Robson, DTM and a past Pathways Guide. If you don’t know where to start, join this webinar – what’s stopping you?

Club Officers and those considering becoming a club officer

Distinguished Club Program anyone?! How is your club measuring up?

Now, we have the second round of club committee training. Your Divisions and Areas have already been promoting their training events, Toastmasters Leadership Institutes or Club Officer Training. This time it is reflecting on the planning you made back in the first round. Particularly important to review your club success plans, as these will require tweaks. Consider everything from membership growth, e.g., have you considered holding an Open House event or running a Speechcraft course? How are members personal goals are being achieved? i.e., which level do they need to complete, have they committed to a time scale to complete this? Alternatively, do they require a mentor to help them along the way? Remember, there is also the Pathways Mentoring Program.

Now is a fantastic time to look ahead to your own personal goals for the year ahead and map out what you want to achieve by 30 June 2021 within Toastmasters and consider what longer-term plans you have for your personal development. Our reconnection to self will make us better family and team members, reflecting on our motivation and how we contribute to maintaining balance and happiness is key.

Review, refocus, re-engage. After all, what’s stopping you?