Training, Education and Contribution

Over the last month, training has been taking place at every level of the organization. Helena, Diane and I attended District Leader (Trio) training which connected us with our peers across the globe. Your Area and Division Directors have attended District Officer Training. And I’m so pleased to see your club leaders and in some cases and you attend Club Officer Training or Toastmasters Leadership Institutes that have been taking place every week since the start of the year. If you’ve not been to a session yet, there are a few events still available before the month is out!

Additional Training Opportunities

As an organization, we are in the business of professional development and these additional training opportunities are a way to invest in your own leadership development at no extra cost! My goal at the start of this year was to communicate some of the opportunities available that you may not be aware of.

The Pathways Mentor Program is one such item that needed a bit more airtime. And I’m pleased to say that earlier this month, the number of members that have completed it so far this year is what we finished the year on in 2020-2021. I hope that some of you will start this journey and that by the end of this year we have doubled the number of members that have completed this program and in doing so, by teaching one or two as part of the program, we are supporting others on their journey.

Contests Season

We’ve just kicked off contests season for the Evaluation and International Speech contests. Something both our Chief Judge and I are asked periodically is whether or not there is a list of judges somewhere. The answer is no. Judging, like everything else in our program, is a learned skill. There are 3 types of judge roles in a contest setting – voting judge, tiebreaker judge and Chief Judge. If you’ve not yet judged a contest at club level, as long as you meet the criteria, give it a go!

It’s imperative that you familiarize yourself with the Speech Contest Rulebook and attend a briefing. But beyond that stick to the judging criteria and act within our core values and hey presto – you are a voting judge! The District’s Chief Judge will be running another webinar on this subject on 13th February. Register here as I’m told it will include a quiz! 🙂

Now where’s that Gavel?

There’s now 3 months to go until our Annual District Conference. In line with the start of the contests season that takes up to the finale, there are some gavels going from club to club. We’ve been asked to explain the purpose of this so check out this video and others to find out more!

Finally, 22nd February is the birthday of Toastmasters International founder Dr. Ralph C Smedley. I’ll be talking a bit more about contribution and ownership next month. In honour of this and as part of the Talk Up Toastmasters campaign, think about how you can further contribute by spreading the word about Toastmasters or inviting a guest to a meeting.

Rupa Datta,
D91 Program Quality Director 2021-2022