Distinguished Clubs, Educational Awards, Contests

Nearly Distinguished, Membership Recognition and Contests

Nearly Distinguished

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.

Membership Recognition

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.

Contest Finals

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/

Diane Richardson,

Program Quality Director, 2022-2023

Distinguished Clubs, Educational Awards, Contests


Congratulations to the 47 clubs who have already renewed 20 or more members until September and have 5 or more Distinguished Club Points (DCP points) already. These 47 clubs are the first of many to gain Distinguished Club status. Another 16 clubs are close already to achieved distinguished status, they need just one or two more members to renew or one additional educational award.

Educational Awards

Unfortunately, 53 clubs have yet to record a single education award, yet I know from having visited some of these clubs that members are doing speeches and completing Pathways Levels. Please ask your Club President, VPE or Club Secretary to record your level completion after you have completed it. If you are unsure on how to complete a project, we will be continuing to run the new member drop in over the next few weeks, which will give both new and longstanding members who are unsure about how Pathways works. The next session with experienced Toastmaster Craig Moss will be at 5:00 pm on Sunday 23rd April, you can register via the link here: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItfuGsqzgiGd0GtYFZdes1czpHG3-q9KLQ

Contests – A quick reminder

A quick reminder that if you are competing in any of the contests that you need to ensure that your club has paid the membership fee to Toastmasters International, otherwise you may not be eligible to compete in the Contest as officially you are not a member of Toastmasters even if you have paid your club. Again, with the International Speech contest your level 1 & 2 Pathways certificates must be registered with Toastmasters international.

1-21-100 – Trifecta

You may have seen some of the PR around the 1-21-100 incentive. Trifecta is another name that we are giving to the aim of 100%, 21 and 1 since it is like a sporting event with three elements to it. Debbie Williams our Club Growth Director is explaining in this blog post what the 21 means, but it is worth explaining why we have 100% and 1 as our two award criteria.

Why 100%, Why 1?

The aim at Toastmasters is to offer a great experiential learning experience using Pathways. This is why aim for 100% Pathways enrolment as it will help you strengthen your communication and leadership skills as you grow toward personal and professional success—all while having fun with others in the process! I often find that working withing a loose set of boundaries helps me to be more creative when developing ideas or writing speeches, rather than having unlimited options. Which is why we want all members to enroll in pathways.

The easiest way to demonstrate to others that you “the member” is benefiting from membership of Toastmasters is for you to show your progress by showing your educational certificate award, especially in corporate clubs where it may be an individual’s KPI. One award per member also encourages members to take a full an active role in each meeting they attend, rather than be a passive spectator, as it helps create fun and energetic meetings and brings about a faster learning experience .

Diane Richardson,

Program Quality Director, 2022-2023

COTs, the May Conference, Contest Eligibility and Club Elections

COTs are Back!

We are already had 25% of the second round of Club Officer Training period done! A few Division and Area Directors have already started to plan their events in December and into January next year. In the first round 126 clubs had four or more officers trained which means they are still eligible for a DCP point to count towards Distinguished status if four or more club officers are also trained in the second round of training. Once again, the district is offering incentives if all 7 officers attend training! If a club has already won a set of club officer pins, they will receive a £60 voucher from the district, if a club achieves this for the first time, then we will reward the club with a set of club officer pins. As with the first time to encourage as many members as possible to accept leadership positions the seven roles must be filled by at least six individuals. The second COT training round ends on 28th February. If you do attend training in another district, then you need to let the organiser know that they need to contact me and confirm that their training session last for three or more hours.

The Corporate lunch time COT sessions have already started. Each session is between 12 and 1 pm, every day this week the last session is a Q&A session this coming Monday 12th December. To gain a training credit a club officer needs to attend 3 or more sessions. We are also running a Corporate Club officer Training session on the 16th December starting at 7:00 am.

Conference Date 13th & 14 May 2023

Please note that due to the coronation of King Charles iii on Saturday 6th May we have had to change the date of the D91 conference to 13th & 14th May 2023. We also have had to change the venue, but we are in final discussions with three Central London locations and should announce the venue next week.

International Speech Contest – Eligibility Rules

A quick reminder for everyone that the eligibility rules to compete in the International Speech Contest have changed this year. To enter the contest a member must have either a DTM including a “legacy” DTM or have Level 1 and 2 Certificates in pathways. The old qualification of 6 or more speeches from the Competent Communicator manual has been removed for contestants in this year’s rule book. When the PQD team did a survey in July we estimated that about two members per club would be affected.

Club Elections

A quick reminder to the few clubs in D91 who elect officers every 6 months that you must submit your new officer list by 31st December. Great to see that two have already done so but there are five clubs still to submit their list to Toastmasters International.

Area Director Visits – Thank You

A huge thank you to all Club Officers who helped their Area Director’s complete their visit reports. The trio reads each report, and it is encouraging to read that so many clubs are holding great meetings. In the first round of visits 161 reports were submitted. Please do take note of what you do well and keep doing that. Thanks, should also go to the Area Directors who took the time and trouble to write the reports.

Seasons Greetings

Finally with Christmas just around the corner I would like to wish every member season’s greeting and a relaxing time off and a happy new year. I look forward to collaborating with you all again in 2023.

Diane Richardson,

Program Quality Director, 2022-2023

Autumn Contests & 2023 D91 Conference News

District Conference 2023

Hello, it’s Diane Richardson here, your Program Quality Director,

I am delighted to say that the District 91 Conference has been booked for the weekend of 6th and 7th May in Central London. I cannot divulge where it is going to be yet, but I think you’ll be excited when you find out. As always it is going to be a smorgasbord of great talks, seminars, and of course the District Contest finals. If you attended last year, you’ll know that this is an event not to be missed!

Whether or not you have attended this conference before, you should know that a tremendous amount of work goes into organising it.

We are still looking for volunteers to help with the conference team. We are looking for a Finance Manager, a PR Manager, and a Sponsorship Manager urgently. Other vital roles such as a Registration manager and IT manager will be needed soon after.

Just a taste of the benefits members of the last conference team gained can be found in these two examples from 2022-2023 Area Director Bonnie Wong and Division Director Rose Nakibirango.

If you are inspired to join the conference team, please contact either Angelie Bharwaney on angeliebharwaney@gmail.com or myself on diane@d91toastmasters.org.uk

Bonnie Wong, D29 Area Director

Rose Nakibirango, Division K Director

Club Officer Training

After a few late entries I am pleased to say that 125 clubs in the District now have 4 or more club officers trained.

However, I would ask every Club President to check that all the correct number of officers trained are shown on the club Dashboard, before the end of October as records cannot be updated after the 31st October and despite the best efforts of everyone occasionally someone is missed.

Pathways Workshop Tips

On Sunday 16th October Massimo Guadagnino, this year’s Pathways Champion and his team will be running a webinar on how to get the most from your Pathway’s journey. The Pathways Champion team have lots of creative ideas and suggestions on how members can gain the most from their Pathways experience. They will also be explaining how you can start your Pathways’ journey within a day or two of joining a club. If you are a new member or a member who has yet to start a Path, then this is a great first step to start your pathways journey. Experienced members will also learn lots of useful tips on how to complete some of their level 4 & 5 projects. To register for the webinar please click on the link below  https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89058848593?pwd=YVRUN2laZ204RGFobkRKZ05oQTAzdz09

Diane Richardson,

Program Quality Director, 2022-2023