Nearly Distinguished, Membership Recognition and Contests
Publication deadlines mean that I am drafting this article on the 30th April, rather than in May. It also means that as District we are “nearly Distinguished,” with 66 clubs having already passed the Distinguished milestone, we need two more to become a Distinguished district. When I look at the Toastmasters International dashboard, I also see that many other clubs are working hard to reach this goal and are tantalizingly close. I know from my three years serving as a club officer how difficult and how much hard work and planning is needed for a club to reach Distinguished or higher status. It is a great achievement and leading a Distinguished Club helps officers’ point to successfully running a team on their CV, to their employer or LinkedIn profile, hopefully meaning that members gain an economic benefit outside of Toastmasters. Please also remember that a member of the D91 Pathways Champion team can help club officers with data cleansing to ensure that clubs have claimed all or their DCP (Distinguished Club) points, just get in touch with me if you need this additional support.
On the City of London Toastmasters LinkedIn page, they recently wrote “receiving awards and recognition for our performance serves as a powerful motivator, inspiring us to continuously improve as speakers and leaders”. The text was accompanied by a video showing members having a great time being applauded by their fellow members as they received Pathways certificates from the Club President. This is one of the reasons why we ask clubs to register members on Pathways and to track their progress.
If you are a new member, don’t miss this great learning opportunity. Please do log-in to the Toastmasters website (toastmasters.org) and using the profile button to register on a Pathway. Choose anyone from the 11 on offer. If you need help deciding which one to choose, then to take the online quiz which matches your interests with a path. Registering and following the guidance in Basecamp will help you become a better speaker quicker than if you create everything yourself from a “blank page”. I know when I am thinking about a design/communication problem I find it much easier to be creative when I have a brief to work to and it is the same for many other creative people. Using the training materials available in Basecamp will save a lot of time and effort, with the added benefit of making you a better speaker quicker.
Several clubs have said that they are concentrating on membership recruitment this year and not on Pathways recruitment. Unfortunately, this does not help clubs in the long term. An analysis of the last set of renewals shows that clubs with a high percentage of non-active Pathways members, are the clubs who lose most members when it comes to renewals. The help build membership clubs should have members who are fully engaged with Pathways and celibate their success in the same way City of London Toastmasters club do as its help with membership retention. If you are a new member, then please do ask your Vice President of Education or Membership to take you through the process of registering.
The District 91 contest finals will be taking place during the annual conference between 12th and 14th May. We have 32 outstanding speakers competing all marshalled by four fantastic conference chairs. If you have not already done so, please purchase a ticket and support your Divisional finalist. Several past district finalists have said how they gain a great deal of confidence when they see familiar faces in the audience. To support your divisional champion either in person or online, please purchase your ticket at the D91 Conference website at https://conference.d91toastmasters.org.uk/buy-your-tickets-here/
Program Quality Director, 2022-2023