We have a lot to celebrate and be thankful for in District 91 during these challenging times. First of all, thanks to all of your efforts, almost all of our clubs moved their meetings online and we even have guests and new members joining our clubs in the virtual world. The standard of most of our online events has been superb and I expect our upcoming District 91 Conference with its amazing line-up of speakers to be one of the best Toastmasters online conference in the world!
Would you like to end your year on a high note? Why don’t you become a Triple Crown and complete a third educational award this year?
So far nearly 100 members have won this award over the course of the Toastmasters year. Could you be next? Find out how Mel of Didcot Speakers won her Triple Crown in the video below.
Don’t forget about the Pathfinders Award too that you can win for completing a path of Pathways. Many of these awards were given at the recent Division Hall of Fame and you still have two months to finish a path and become a Pathfinder too!
I am also keen to hear more stories of success and achievement from you. During our District Conference Hall of Fame, we will be rewarding a number of clubs and individuals. I am looking for nominations for the Toastmaster of the Year and the Club of the Year.
The Toastmaster of the year will be an individual whose actions were of the highest standard in supporting our members and clubs. Perhaps he or she inspired you and did something amazing. If you would like to nominate someone, please use this link.
The Club of the year will be a club who achieved excellence throughout the year. While excellence metrics are important, we are also looking for stories and how a club and its leaders supported its members. Can you think of a club that laid out amazing events? Is your club perhaps the best club if the world? If so, use this link to tell us more.
Can I become a Club Ambassador? All Toastmasters, who are members with clubs inside District 91 can take part in this year’s Club Ambassador Programme. There is no need to register.
Simply visit a club, other than your own and fill in this form to let us know. You can start collecting POINTS today!
What are POINTS? Each time you visit a new club, you’ll earn POINTS which will count toward your POINT status. Collect just 10 POINTS to achieve Club Ambassador Bronze, 30 POINTS to achieve Club Ambassador Silver and 100 POINTS to achieve Club Ambassador Gold.
How do I earn POINTS There are different ways to collect POINTS. Simply by visiting a club you’re not a member of and letting us know, will mean you can start collecting POINTS straight away. But there are lots of ways to add to your POINT haul. Bring along a friend, take a photo with the club banner, take a role or give a speech.
Visit a Club that you’re not a member ofL
In your District = 3 POINTS
In another District = 5 POINTS
Get a photo of yourself with a club member and the banner + 1 POINT
Bring a friend along +2 POINTS
Take on a meeting role + 2 POINTS
Give a prepared speech + 4 POINTS
Collect 10 POINTS to achieve Club Ambassador Bronze
Collect 30 POINTS to achieve Club Ambassador Silver
Collect 100 POINTS to achieve Club Ambassador Gold
How can I benefit from the Club Ambassador Programme? By visiting new clubs, you’ll meet new people, learn from them, see different ways of doing things and develop skills more quickly. When we first join Toastmasters, most of us push ourselves outside of our comfort zones in order to take on speaking roles and give speeches. However, our clubs can quickly become new comfort zones and it’s only by pushing ourselves again; pushing ourselves out into new unfamiliar surroundings, that we can continue our growth and learning journey.
Find out what some of our current Toastmasters have learnt from their time on the Club Ambassador Programme:
Ready to get started? Fantastic! The 2020/2021, Club Ambassador Programme begins on July 01 2020 and runs through until April 30 2021.
Simply visit a club that you’re not a member of, let us know using this form, and start collecting POINTS today.
Can I win prizes? Yes! There will be prizes, certificates and grand titles up for grabs as the Club Ambassador Programme progresses.
When you reach, 10, 30 and 100 POINTS, you’ll be given a shout-out on the website and presented with a certificate for becoming a Bronze, Silver and Gold Club Ambassador.
Each month we’ll be recognising the member who has collected the most POINTS for that month and presenting them, plus two runners up, with Club Ambassador of the Month awards.
The programme runs from July 01 2020 to April 30 2021. The member who has collected the most POINTS over this 10-month period will then be announced as the Club Ambassador of the Year, 2020/21 – following in the footsteps of our previous two champions, Andy Blake and Roz Etwaria.
Do online meetings count? Yes, you can earn almost the same amount of POINTS for visiting online clubs as you can in the physical world. The only difference when visiting an online club is that you will not receive the extra two POINTS if they are in another District. Theoretically, it should be just as easy to visit a local club as a distant one in the online world, so we’ll reserve those additional 2 POINTS for members attending physical meetings in other Districts.
Can I collect POINTS by visiting a club I am a member of? No. You can only earn POINTS when you visit clubs you do not belong to.
Do return visits to the same club qualify for POINTS? No. You can only earn POINTS for any given club, once. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to visit the same club if you’d like to. We encourage that.
Do visits to charter clubs and demonstration meetings count? Yes! You can earn POINTS for visiting charter clubs and demonstration meetings in the same way as you would a fully chartered clubs. Do Area and Division contests or COT attendances qualify me for POINTS? No. You cannot collect POINTS at contests or Club Officer Training.
What are the dates for the 2020/21 Club Ambassador Programme? The programme begins on July 01 2020. Any visits made before this date will not qualify for POINTS.
The programme ends on April 30 2021. Any visits made after this date will not qualify for POINTS.
To qualify for monthly awards, club visits must be submitted no later than the the fifth day of the following month. For example, to be in with a chance of becoming Club Ambassador of the Month for July, you will need to ensure all qualifying club visits are submitted by August 5th. Winners will be announced on the website in the second week of August.
Whether you are an experienced committee member or a newly minted 1st-time club officer, you’ll find Division A’s Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) a rewarding experience. The organising team have prepared a fabulous programme of practical workshops to give you the core skills and knowledge you need to build your club’s best year yet. (And, by participating, you will help your club achieve it’s Distinguished Club Goals.)
When – Saturday 4th July 2020 Between 9:30am and 4pm
NB: Advance Registration is Required to Access the Meeting Link
Enjoyable, interactive workshops based on best practice within our district
No dry, dusty presentations here – you’ll be able to roll up your sleeves and work alongside fellow club officers to share, explore, and absorb a wealth of practical knowledge and skills relevant to your new leadership role.
Topics covered will include
Moments of Truth – What makes a great club great
Club Officer Roles & Responsibilities – Clearing the fog
Concurrent Role Specific Skills sessions including
Pathways for VPE’s and Basecamp Managers
Member Conversion techniques for VPM’s
Marketing and PR for VP PR’s
Finance Tips and Tools for Treasurers
Measuring Success with the Distinguished Club Programme (DCP)
Working Together as an effective Club Leadership Team
Planning your best year yet with the Club Success Plan
Time flies and it’s hard to believe that we’re already in the middle of June with the end of the 2019-20 Toastmasters year just a fortnight away. The least I can say is that this year was a very interesting year for the District and a very successful one on so many levels.
We started very strong with brand new initiatives like our District 91 boardgame and shooting the first round of incentives and #MyWhy videos with a professional camera crew. Thanks to your efforts we quickly became the best District in Europe and soared to become the best District in the world for clubs with 20+ members. Not a small achievement for a small District that only represents 1% of Toastmasters worldwide!
The 2019-20 Toastmasters year will always be remembered as the year when COVID-19 became a worldwide pandemic. I never knew that I would be District Director during a pandemic and the challenge certainly provided me with a lot of development opportunities. I have said a few times already and I’ll say it again. When national chains and brands like McDonald’s shut down their operations. Our Toastmasters clubs, your Toastmasters club continued to meet online during these challenging times. I’ll never forget the enthusiasm of club leaders during the initial heady days during which we moved online. COVID-19 was the greatest challenge that we ever faced in our history, yet we rose to it.
Thank you for going the extra mile and moving online.
Thank you for attending our largest ever Conference with 800 attendees.
Thank you for continuing to grow our organisation in exceptional circumstances.
In the final two weeks of the year let’s finish the year with a bang and continue to grow our clubs. Now is the time to reach out to past members and invite them back. Why? Because we are Toastmasters, a brilliant bunch of people that can achieve extraordinary things!
In just two weeks, the Toastmasters year will be over; now is a great time to finalise and deliver that last speech to get this elusive educational award or get that coveted Triple Crown (3+ educational award in a year).
Reach out to your VP Education to confirm all your awards have been registered on Club Central this side of the Toastmasters year.
Did you know that at the time of writing this note, 149 of you have already achieved a Triple Crown? Join this exclusive group and receive a pin recognising this achievement.
Despite the last 3 months of challenges, opportunities and new practices, we have over 100 Clubs that have already achieved the Distinguished status, with over 20 Clubs on track to become Distinguished simply by renewing 1/2 members, or register 1 Educational Award!
Together we have managed to keep meeting, deliver speeches and close out on projects, you have made a significant impact on your personal growth but also that of fellow members.
Over the coming weeks, I will be attending both my Club meetings and help celebrate the achievements of our members on their anniversaries. I encourage you all to look at ways to recognise the achievements of the year, a special meeting, an award ceremony or simply an extended recognition segment at the next Club meeting.
Let’s keep focus on achieving and recognising our achievements!
As we head towards the end of the Toastmasters year, we have one key message for our clubs. You still have time to bring your clubs back to a strong membership position.
We are currently in the middle of a membership drive called Beat The Clock for clubs to increase your membership by 5 and we are encouraging everybody to engage with these efforts. The mantra 30 is the new 20, still stands.
Ensuring your club hits the 20 member mark, will enable some clubs to achieve DCP level. For members requiring the opportunity to complete educational awards, there’s still time to organise megameetings and events to assist them to achieve their educational goals. Plus, this provides you with an opportunity to invite non-renewed members and guests to attend.
Here’s how you can help.
1. Members and renewals – during March and April, some of our members did not renew, but are now starting to come back. If you have members that decided not to renew earlier, now is the time to contact them to invite them to renew.
2. Increase your membership – clubs can host their own Open House Meetings to invite guests and non-renewed members too. To support this, there’s £100 available from the District for marketing the event, e.g. Facebook ads, Meet Up registration etc.. Keep the receipts to claim the expenses back. To benefit in this Toastmasters year, the event must take place between now and the 30 June 2020.
3. Club Finances – review the club’s budget for the year ahead. The slower than usual renewal payments have affected some clubs more than others. When we come out of the lockdown, clubs may struggle to hire the same venues, for a variety of reasons. An option is to switch to annual renewals from September (rather than 6 monthly) as this will greatly assist with budgeting. Discuss with your members now as this change impacts them.
We acknowledge that these have been challenging times over the last couple of months. Throughout this time, for members facing uncertainly, their Toastmaster meetings have been a constant. Many clubs have stood up to support their members. We are not alone. It is particularly heartening to look at the clubs in Italy, with the testing situation there, to witness their members continuing to be actively engaged, providing invaluable support for each other and in turn, have helped their clubs to grow. The measure of this success, clubs achieving distinguished and having a strong membership based. We can learn from this, if you have established and experienced members that haven’t yet renewed, it is time to bring them back into the fold. As well as welcoming guests to join meetings and continuing to attract new members. Ensuring new members are registered with Toastmasters International by the end of June.
Some clubs are excelling, they have increased their member base. If that is your club, are you sharing your good practices with other clubs? Can you help a neighbouring club that is struggling? We have pre-charter clubs that are close to chartering and looking for support, can you get involved? This is your opportunity to support all clubs to bring them back to a strong membership position. While we are at it, let’s Beat The Clock!
It has been an absolute delight and pleasure to serve as your Club Growth Director this year. I look forward to continuing to serve you, next year as, your Program Quality Director.
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