May 2017

Dealing with Difficult Members

Learn how to respond to members with disruptive attitudes
Top 5 Toastmasters Club Myths

Toastmasters clubs were intended to support all types of personalities and speaking styles. It’s natural for disagreements to occur when so many people interact with one another. However, you may occasionally need to intervene when a member’s negative attitude or disruptive behavior starts to affect club morale. Here are some leadership tips on how to deal with so-called “difficult” members:

Listen before you act
Listening to others is one of the most important skills a Toastmaster can possess, and it’s something practiced at every club meeting. Listen closely to disruptive members when they talk—whether they’re giving a speech or just making conversation. This might allow you to understand their motivation and help you offer constructive feedback that could positively impact their attitude.

Analyze your response
How we react to a person’s behavior can often tell us more about ourselves than those we are reacting to. If a member is bothering you, try analyzing why you are reacting to them in a negative way. Diffusing the conflict could be as simple as coming to a better understanding of yourself.

Speak with them privately
Instead of gossiping about a difficult or disruptive member with other Toastmasters, consider approaching the member privately to address your concerns. One subtle way to do this is to “sandwich” your criticisms in between compliments. Offering positive things to say about a member, along with your criticism, will help keep your conversation constructive and friendly.

If all else fails, try a mediator
If you’ve exhausted the above options and are still unable to reach a resolution, ask another Toastmaster to step in and mediate. Find an impartial member who can hopefully lead both of you to an agreeable solution. This is a great opportunity for everyone involved to grow their communication skills.

Above all, remember the oath you took when you first joined Toastmasters. It’s every member’s responsibility to provide a supportive environment for their fellow Toastmasters—even the difficult ones.

Related Resources:
Coping with a Disliked Member
How to Muzzle a Yakker

Early Bird Pricing is Here!

The 86th Annual Toastmasters International Convention is coming soon, featuring renowned speakers, incredible networking opportunities and more—all set against the backdrop of beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. You can book now and save $50 on registration with early bird pricing.

Magazine Subscriptions

Now that the Toastmaster magazine is online, you have instant access to timely educational content. Don’t need the print edition? You can opt out of out of it, update your address and manage other preferences by logging in to your My Toastmasters profile.

2017 International Convention Speakers

The 2017 International Convention features an amazing lineup of inspirational speakers, highlighted by Delatorro McNeal II, who will deliver the keynote address. Plus, don't miss Freedom Writers Foundation founder and this year's Golden Gavel recipient, Erin Gruwell.

Submit Club Charter Forms Early

More clubs charter in June than at any other time, so please send your new club forms early to avoid delays and ensure program year credit. If you have questions about chartering a club, view the How to Build a Toastmasters Club guide or email the New Clubs Team.

Legal and Tax Compliance Resources

Toastmasters International periodically reviews the legal and taxation requirements of the countries where clubs exist to ensure that the organization is in compliance. Any new or updated compliance requirements are regularly published on the Toastmasters website. Visit the legal and tax compliance webpage to see the requirements for your country.

International Director Candidates

The Toastmasters International Leadership Committee is pleased to announce the 2017–2018 nominees for international director. Elections for regions 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 will be held during the 2017 Annual Business Meeting this August in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Exhibitor and Sponsorship Opportunities

Have you, or someone you know, written and published a book they'd like to promote? The 86th Annual Toastmasters International Convention is a terrific opportunity to share products with Toastmasters from all over the world. See the 2017 Exhibitor and Sponsorship Prospectus to learn more.

New Welcome Ribbons

Save 10 percent on new Promotional Welcome Ribbons, now available in Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Traditional Chinese! Use promo code WRIBBON. Offer valid May 1–31, 2017. Not valid with any other offer.

New Club Leadership Handbooks Arriving Soon

This month, seven copies of the newly updated Club Leadership Handbook will be sent to the mailing address on record for your club. Please give a copy to each newly elected officer to help them better understand their role and responsibilities. If you have questions about mailings from World Headquarters, please email the Tracking department.

Club Officer Elections

Your club should hold elections at the first meeting in May for new officers taking office July 1. If you need additional election information on the nominating committee, reference the Club Leadership Handbook. Receive Distinguished Club Program credit by logging in to Club Central and submitting your revised officer list by June 30.

Did You File a 199N Form?

Please remember to file a 199N tax form for the 2016 tax year for all California-based clubs. The deadline to e-file is May 15.

Get Sponsorship Awards

Contribute to your club's long-term success by participating in the Annual Membership Program for Individuals. You can qualify for special pins or a 25-percent discount on your next purchase from the Toastmasters Online Store when you refer new members.

Beat the Clock

Make membership building fun by encouraging everyone to participate in the Beat the Clock program, from May 1–June 30. If your club adds five new, reinstated or dual memberships to your roster, you'll get a special ribbon to display on your club banner, plus a 10-percent discount on your next club order from the Toastmasters Online Store!

Early Bird Pricing is Here!

The 86th Annual Toastmasters International Convention is coming soon, featuring renowned speakers, incredible networking opportunities and more—all set against the backdrop of beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. You can book now and save $50 on registration with early bird pricing.

Magazine Subscriptions

Now that the Toastmaster magazine is online, you have instant access to timely educational content. Don’t need the print edition? You can opt out of out of it, update your address and manage other preferences by logging in to your My Toastmasters profile.

2017 International Convention Speakers

The 2017 International Convention features an amazing lineup of inspirational speakers, highlighted by Delatorro McNeal II, who will deliver the keynote address. Plus, don't miss Freedom Writers Foundation founder and this year's Golden Gavel recipient, Erin Gruwell.

Submit Club Charter Forms Early

More clubs charter in June than at any other time, so please send your new club forms early to avoid delays and ensure program year credit. If you have questions about chartering a club, view the How to Build a Toastmasters Club guide or email the New Clubs Team.

Legal and Tax Compliance Resources

Toastmasters International periodically reviews the legal and taxation requirements of the countries where clubs exist to ensure that the organization is in compliance. Any new or updated compliance requirements are regularly published on the Toastmasters website. Visit the legal and tax compliance webpage to see the requirements for your country.

International Director Candidates

The Toastmasters International Leadership Committee is pleased to announce the 2017–2018 nominees for international director. Elections for regions 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 will be held during the 2017 Annual Business Meeting this August in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Exhibitor and Sponsorship Opportunities

Have you, or someone you know, written and published a book they'd like to promote? The 86th Annual Toastmasters International Convention is a terrific opportunity to share products with Toastmasters from all over the world. See the 2017 Exhibitor and Sponsorship Prospectus to learn more.

New Welcome Ribbons

Save 10 percent on new Promotional Welcome Ribbons, now available in Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Traditional Chinese! Use promo code WRIBBON. Offer valid May 1–31, 2017. Not valid with any other offer.

Recognize Your Members

During the Annual Membership Program for Individuals, members can earn special pins or a 25-percent discount to the Toastmasters Online Store when they sponsor new members. You can also recognize members who participate with the Director's Award Ribbon. For more details, including who the sponsors are in your district, visit the program webpage.

Club Visit Reports Due May 31

Area directors: are your clubs delivering the best possible member experience? Evaluate clubs based on the standards listed in Moments of Truth, and submit your Club Visit Report online through District Central by May 31. These evaluations empower officers to help members reach their goals; plus, submitting reports is a requirement for your own Distinguished Area Program Goals. Please email World Headquarters if you have any questions.

Report Your Alignment Changes

Each year, districts must review and amend, if necessary, the alignment of clubs, areas and divisions. In June, district leaders will receive an important email with instructions on how to submit alignment changes for the 2017–2018 program year. Please report your changes to World Headquarters no later than July 15.

Planning for Success(ors)

Do you remember when you first started your current role? What do you know now that you wish you knew then? Think about what your successor needs to know as they transition into your role, and refer to the Transitions webpage for ideas on how to set them up for a successful year!

Report Your District Speech Winners

Program quality directors: please be sure to have the chief judge for your district submit the Report of District International Speech Contest Winner form the Monday following your district's speech contest. World Headquarters must receive this report before contacting the district winner with important information about competing in the semifinals.

District Leader Training

On August 21 and 22, Toastmasters International will conduct a training program for 2017–2018 district directors, program quality directors and club growth directors. District leaders will develop core leadership skills, share best practices and network with others from around the globe. This event will be held prior to the International Convention in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Plan Ahead for Year-End

June 14 is the last day for district leaders to place supply orders or access the district reserve account for the 2016–2017 program year. District accounts for 2017–2018 will be available beginning July 1.

Quick Links

2017 International Convention

You can book now and save $50 on registration options with early bird pricing.

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New Welcome Ribbons!

Save 10% off Promotional Welcome Ribbons in May. Use promo code WRIBBON.

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