November 2023 Leader Letter

Separating Club Facts from Fiction

Learn the proper policies behind five common Toastmasters myths.

By Michael Barr

Illustration of three people with comments and questions above their heads

Do you know the truth when you hear it? As it relates to Toastmasters, there are several interpretations of what clubs are required and not required to do, and many of them are just plain false. Below are the five most common club myths and their corrected/true policies.

MYTH 1: Clubs do not have to vote in all new members.

REALITY: Toastmasters clubs are private associations that conduct membership by invitation only. All members, whether they're new, dual, reinstating, or transferring, need to be voted into the club before their membership can be added. The vote determines whether their membership will be approved, which means a new member may or may not be accepted.

MYTH 2: If the club did not vote a member in, the club cannot vote a member out.

REALITY: If a member was not voted in, they can still be removed by the club by following Protocol 3.0. This is how club officers can remove a disruptive member from the club.

MYTH 3: Club officers have the authority to change how a club operates.

REALITY: While club officers can recommend changes to their clubs, such as meeting times or locations, the changes must be passed by club members in a club meeting where a quorum is present.

MYTH 4: Clubs are required to participate in the Distinguished Club Program (DCP).

REALITY: Although every club should want to participate in the DCP as it highlights target goals that foster a quality club environment, the DCP is optional, and there is no participation requirement.

MYTH 5: Membership Applications aren't required in all instances.

REALITY: Clubs need to complete a membership application for every new, dual, reinstating or transfer member that joins and keep the signed applications on file indefinitely‚ÄĒeven if the member is no longer with the club.

Learn more by reading the Club Constitution for Clubs of Toastmasters International.