August 2017

Make Your Events a Success

Plan your contests and conferences like an expert
Top 5 Toastmasters Club Myths

Beyond each Toastmasters club’s weekly meetings, there are gatherings just as essential to the success of your area, division, district and club(s). These special events, which include district conferences, speech contests and others, can be demanding to plan and coordinate. Follow these tips as you prepare for your next event to help make it a success!

Step 1: Create a plan

The first thing you should do before you begin planning is form a committee and work together to outline what you hope to accomplish. It’s also important to determine your budget and see if any fundraising will be necessary to cover the event costs. Be sure to create a project calendar highlighting the tasks and milestones you will need to accomplish before and during the event.

Step 2: Choose the right location

Book your venue as soon as the event dates are set to help guarantee site availability. Consider these factors as you narrow your list of locations: the size of your group, the length of the event, the event budget, where most attendees will be traveling from and the time of year the event will take place. For medium to large events, consider downtown or airport hotels, university lecture halls or convention centers. Smaller events can be hosted at civic auditoriums, libraries, banquet halls or apartment club houses.

Step 3: Keep it safe

Protect yourself, your attendees and the organization from any harm or liability by carefully considering safety logistics as you plan your event. Designate a safety officer to evaluate the venue before and after attendees enter and leave the premises. Examples of safety items to consider include making sure aisles and walkways are clear of obstructions and wide enough for foot traffic, electrical cords and audio/video cables are securely taped to the floor and that stairs are adequately illuminated.

Step 4: Organize accordingly

After you book your venue, work with the facility staff to arrange the meeting space in the optimal way based on the type of event you are hosting. Make sure the audio/visual capabilities are adequate for your needs; ensure the lighting, acoustics and soundproofing are appropriate for the meetings and presentations you envision. Remember to allow for enough time to setup and tear down equipment before and after your event.

As you plan for your upcoming event, rely on the help of veteran leaders who have planned or attended similar events before. Above all, always consider how your plans and decisions will affect your attendees’ experience. Good luck!

Related Resources:
Put on a Good Show: Meeting Planner Handbook
Let the World Know
District Leadership Handbook
Club Leadership Handbook

Convention Pre-registration Ends August 9!

There's still time to be a part of the excitement at the 86th Annual Toastmasters International Convention, August 23–26 in Vancouver, British Columbia! Purchase your registration package and be inspired by the dynamic speakers, rewarding education sessions, beautiful scenery and more.

Answering Pathways Questions

From time to time, misconceptions or concerns about Pathways may arise and will need to be addressed. One common misconception is that current members won't be able to continue working in the traditional education program once they start Pathways. Please let your members know this is incorrect. Current members can use both programs for two years once Pathways rolls out in the last region. You can find answers to other important questions on the FAQ section of the Pathways learning experience page.

Watch the Convention from Anywhere

Not attending the convention? Then bring the thrill of the event to your members wherever you are! Host a viewing party and watch the excitement unfold with Toastmasters Convention On Demand. You can also find convention-themed Table Topics questions, photo contest details and other fun ideas on the Convention On Demand party page to take your viewing party to the next level.

How to Make Your Club Fun

Are your meetings the same each week? Many members abandon their club and Toastmasters goals because club meetings are too predictable. A new article in the Toastmaster highlights some great ideas to inject fun into club meetings. You can also view an exclusive video and photo gallery featuring creative clubs from around the world.

Speech Contest Semifinalists Announced!

Do you know who will represent your district during the speech contest semifinals on August 24, at the International Convention? View the contest schedule to find out, and see when they will compete to advance to the World Championship of Public Speaking®!

Register for the Smedley Fund 5K Fun Run/Walk

There's still time to register for the inaugural Smedley Fund 5K Fun Run/Walk! Join your fellow Toastmasters along the world's longest uninterrupted waterfront path, and help raise funds for the Ralph C. Smedley Memorial Fund®.

The Toastmasters Podcast

Enjoy interviews with notable Toastmasters and fascinating discussions every month on the Toastmasters Podcast. Be sure to listen to upcoming episodes, and subscribe on iTunes or through your podcast app of choice.

Save on All Awards!

Recognize your members' achievements with Toastmasters-branded awards. This month, enjoy 10% off every award in the Toastmasters Online Store. Use promo code: AWARDS10. Offer valid August 1–31, 2017. Not valid with any other offer.

Add Five New Members to Receive a Smedley Award

Can your club add five new, dual or reinstated members with a join date between August 1 and September 30? If so, you'll receive a Smedley Award ribbon you can display on your club's banner!

Have You Assigned a Proxyholder?

The 2017 Annual Business Meeting is just three weeks away! This is an important opportunity to vote in the international officer and director elections as well as proposals to amend the Bylaws of Toastmasters International and the Club Constitution for Clubs of Toastmasters International. Be sure to designate a proxyholder to cast your club's votes at the meeting. All club presidents, secretaries and liaisons should have received an email from World Headquarters regarding proxy information. If you have not yet received any update on proxy information, please email proxyinfo@toastmasters.org.

New Account for Wire Transfers

World Headquarters has updated its bank account for wire transfers. As of July 1, 2017, all transactions must be sent to the new Bank of America® account. You can find the updated wire transfer instructions and account information by logging into Club Central and visiting the Submit Payments section.

Attend Club Officer Training

Don't miss club officer training between June 1–August 31, where you will receive instruction and information to help you best perform in your role, while earning Distinguished Club Program (DCP) credit in the process. Your district's program quality director must report training details for each officer on District Central by September 30 for your club to receive DCP credit.

Member Renewals Available Soon

Club officers are responsible for collecting and submitting member renewal payments twice a year, every April and October. To help make this process easier, October 2017 renewals will be accepted beginning in mid-August. Please see the FAQ for more information on renewal dues.

2018 District Conferences

The Toastmasters International Board of Directors decided, in August 2016, to discontinue September–November district conferences beginning with the 2018–2019 program year. By removing this resource-intensive event from the district calendar, resources that were previously dedicated to the conference can be refocused on leadership and education. Some district leaders have asked for specific direction on how to proceed in 2018. Your Board of Directors is in the process of developing a set of guidelines and anticipates sharing these considerations with you during the third quarter of 2017.

Convention Pre-registration Ends August 9!

There's still time to be a part of the excitement at the 86th Annual Toastmasters International Convention, August 23–26 in Vancouver, British Columbia! Purchase your registration package and be inspired by the dynamic speakers, rewarding education sessions, beautiful scenery and more.

Answering Pathways Questions

From time to time, misconceptions or concerns about Pathways may arise and will need to be addressed. One common misconception is that current members won't be able to continue working in the traditional education program once they start Pathways. Please let your members know this is incorrect. Current members can use both programs for two years once Pathways rolls out in the last region. You can find answers to other important questions on the FAQ section of the Pathways learning experience page.

Watch the Convention from Anywhere

Not attending the convention? Then bring the thrill of the event to your members wherever you are! Host a viewing party and watch the excitement unfold with Toastmasters Convention On Demand. You can also find convention-themed Table Topics questions, photo contest details and other fun ideas on the Convention On Demand party page to take your viewing party to the next level.

How to Make Your Club Fun

Are your meetings the same each week? Many members abandon their club and Toastmasters goals because club meetings are too predictable. A new article in the Toastmaster highlights some great ideas to inject fun into club meetings. You can also view an exclusive video and photo gallery featuring creative clubs from around the world.

Speech Contest Semifinalists Announced!

Do you know who will represent your district during the speech contest semifinals on August 24, at the International Convention? View the contest schedule to find out, and see when they will compete to advance to the World Championship of Public Speaking®!

Register for the Smedley Fund 5K Fun Run/Walk

There's still time to register for the inaugural Smedley Fund 5K Fun Run/Walk! Join your fellow Toastmasters along the world's longest uninterrupted waterfront path, and help raise funds for the Ralph C. Smedley Memorial Fund®.

The Toastmasters Podcast

Enjoy interviews with notable Toastmasters and fascinating discussions every month on the Toastmasters Podcast. Be sure to listen to upcoming episodes, and subscribe on iTunes or through your podcast app of choice.

Save on All Awards!

Recognize your members' achievements with Toastmasters-branded awards. This month, enjoy 10% off every award in the Toastmasters Online Store. Use promo code: AWARDS10. Offer valid August 1–31, 2017. Not valid with any other offer.

Place Your Supply Orders at the Convention

Incoming district directors: you are invited to attend an exclusive preview of the Convention Store on Tuesday, August 22 from 8:30–9:30 p.m. You may also use district funds to place supply orders throughout the event.

Region Advisor Applications Now Being Accepted

Region advisors help districts grow by guiding and mentoring district leaders, ultimately enabling them to achieve greater success. Do you know someone who should be considered for the role of region advisor? Encourage them to apply! Applications are now being accepted for the 2018–2019 program year.

Train Club Officers by August 31

One of the most important district responsibilities is club officer training. If you haven't already started organizing your training plan, please do so now. Club officers need to be trained by August 31 to qualify for Distinguished Club Program credit, and the program quality director must report training details on District Central by September 30. Corrections may be made to officer training details until November 30.

Congratulations to Distinguished Districts

During the 2016–2017 program year, 30 districts met their goals and achieved distinguished status in the District Recognition Program. There were 14 President's Distinguished districts, one Select Distinguished district and 15 Distinguished districts. Well done, everyone!

Visit Your Clubs

Area directors: it's important to cultivate a positive and supportive relationship with your clubs. Your bi-annual club visits are a critical part of developing this relationship. In order to qualify for the Distinguished Area Program, please log in to District Central and submit a club visit report for no less than 75 percent of the clubs in your area.

Have Your Clubs Assigned Their Proxies?

The 2017 Annual Business Meeting is just three weeks away! All club presidents, secretaries and liaisons should have received an email from World Headquarters containing proxy information. District directors are encouraged to follow up with club leaders to ensure that each club designates a proxyholder.

2017 Convention District Finance Meeting

If you have questions about your district finance meeting at the 86th Annual Toastmasters International Convention or would like to schedule a meeting, please contact a senior accountant at World Headquarters.

District Year-End Audit Due

Please email your district's 2016–2017 Year-end Audit, Certification and Narratives by August 31. Also, please submit the supporting documentation and signed reports to World Headquarters.