News and Events - D91 Toastmasters UK South

Reflect on your achievements

Fellow Toastmasters, as we head to the mid point of this Toastmasters year, it’s time to reflect on how we have progressed over the first half of the year.

The first major achievement, the membership renewals. The mantra on club membership numbers, 30 is the new 20, has been well received. What this autumn renewals has demonstrated, is many of our clubs love pizza in winning £50 for their clubs. The retention measure of 80%, proved achievable along with renewing 20 members. Given it’s success, this incentive will be running again in the spring.

The club growth activity has been steady. As we head into 2020, there are many new clubs on the horizon. In London, there are corporate clubs that meet during the day, members that have the opportunity to visit and support these fledgling clubs would be welcomed. With two new corporate clubs in London,  AWS and Bank Speakers joining the fold recently. Demonstration and launch meetings are pending across the District, if you are interested in being involved, contact me or Bob Bowes. More hands make light work.

Clubs considering hosting an Open House meeting as part of a membership drive is steadily gaining in interest. From the recent stock take, there are supplies which will have to be reordered from Toastmasters online shop. If you are planning an Open House in January, February and March, please contact me to ensure I can dispatch the materials to support this effort.

Raising awareness of your events. For those putting on anything from Open Houses, workshops, training, Club Officer Training, Toastmasters Leadership Institutes etc… remember to include @ToastmastersUK&I. As well as, encouraging club members to share and like the post.

In the new year…. Look out for the incentive clips which were filmed recently. A fun way to spend a Sunday with Toastmaster members. Of course, lunch was pizza. Our District PR Manager, Susan Rayner worked so hard to put the day together and at times it must have been like herding cat, thank you for your patience.

Have a wonderful festive break,

Your Club Growth Director


Lights, Camera Action

Like all good film shoots it started early with the production team getting to the venue very early to set up.

Once the lights and cameras were all set up our cast of stars began to arrive.

Our cast and crew were treated to their own VIP green room, with tea, coffee and refreshments available to keep the hydrated throughout the day.

And just before they were needed on set, they were pampered in make-up and wardrobe.

We started shooting with our District Director who like a true professional immediately took to the camera like a duck to water and filmed three videos straight away.

We then re-set the cameras and lightening for our first Toastmaster member Debbie Williams who bounded into the studio with bags of energy and shared her experience of being a Club Officer.

Guler Cortis followed up with her personal My Why story to motivate and inspire.

Next up was Division H Director Sandra Mighty who gave a very polished speech on the value of Leadership in Toastmasters.

The camera continued to roll throughout the day with over 13 members sharing their own personal stories on what they have achieved with Toastmasters and how it has helped them to become a better communicator, a better leader a better presenter.

With our members support and help we have created a wealth of content for videos to promote our incentives, the value of Toastmasters and how it has changed their lives.

We’ll be sharing the videos in the coming weeks but in the meantime a massive thankyou to all those who took part.
Debbie Williams, Jessica Circe Rogers, Abi, Guler Cortis, Ellis Byrne, Mel Cunningham, Dave Hampton, Arnaud Satre, Helena Boden Brewer, Matthew tuff, Natasha John-Baptiste, Rohan and John Cross.

And also Ruth Ruberio for helping to keep all the stars feed and watered.

Choosing extraordinary

Recently while visiting a club I was asked “What is the main thing you’ve learnt through Toastmasters as a leader?” and I replied “Turning a vision into reality is possible!” Most of you are familiar with our District vision of 1 – 70 – 100 whose ultimate goal is to support every member in becoming whoever they aspire to be. Realising this goal requires excellence and choosing excellence is choosing extraordinary.

Together as a District, we are choosing extraordinary this year! For the first time in years, we’ve renewed more members in the Autumn than in the Spring of the same calendar year. This happened thanks to you all. Through the friendly conversations you’ve had with fellow members. Through persisting in reaching out to members you hadn’t seen in a while at your club. Through laying on great club meetings that inspired people to renew their memberships.

Now more than ever is the time to plan ahead for more successes. Let’s start 2020 with a big bang that will resonate across the Toastmasters world!

Information on our District Incentives is now available in our District website here. More information will be added in the coming weeks, including a fully interactive version of our incentives board.

Some of you may have heard about our open-house initiative. The objective is very simple, spread the word, attracts loads of guests to your club and convert them into members! District will provide you support with both equipment and funds. Consider organising an open-house in early 2020 and start your year with a bang!

Stay tuned from more exciting news in December. Except to see some more new videos too following our successful filming day last week-end too!

Going beyond the club

Six years ago, I attended my first ever Toastmasters event outside the club level. This visit to the Division B Table Topics and Humorous Speech contests changed the course of my Toastmasters journey. I was in queue during the break and marvelled at the art deco splendour of Freemasons Hall in Covent Garden. I struck a conversation with the lady next to me, she wore a fancy name tag and seemed important. I don’t remember the exact details of what we discussed. However, I do remember her parting words “You’re quite enthusiastic, you should get more involved!”. That day, my mind opened up to the leadership possibilities that Toastmasters could offer me and the rest is history.

As Division Contest season is on us, please make the journey to your Division contest. You don’t know who you might meet there. You may very well learn some new knowledge and see things differently during a workshop. You may even be inspired by one of the speaker’s stories.

Going beyond your club can also involve visiting other clubs. This is especially useful if you’re looking to stretch yourself by speaking in front of a different audience. What’s more, you can earn points and prizes by taking part in our Club Ambassador Programme.

Encouraging our members to reap the opportunities available in Toastmasters beyond the club level, also helps with membership retention. As a District, we have a vision of retaining 70% of our members every year. Doing this requires looking after their needs and creating new opportunities for everybody. If you’re looking for your next challenge, ask your club President to organise a special event with a different format. Get involved in organising a joint meeting with another club. Go and deliver your next speech at another club! Your possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

Support your winners

Fellow Toastmasters

Last week end was our first Division contest of the season, held in Bracknell. All Area winners get to compete and you can be assured of a quality event as winners get to win a place in our District final to be held In London on 1-3 May 2020. It is also an opportunity to listen so a number of educational sessions and connect with members from far and wide. Visit our District calendar to find the details of the next Division event. I look forward to seeing you there.

Our Club Ambassador programme is a friendly way to visit Clubs whilst earning point for your and your Club and get a chance to become our District Club Ambassador of the year. Why not schedule a visit when you are next in a different part of the country whether on business or simply a holiday!

Our annual District conference, London 2020,  is approaching (1-3 May 2020)! Would you like to be part of history? If you want to know more and get involved, drop me a line. There are a number of roles available whether it be Finance, Marketing, Education, Sponsorship, Logistics or Registrations. Our conference Director Barry O’Connell will be sharing more information as we get closer to the event, for now save the date!