January 2021 Leader Letter

District News


Generate Publicity Through Local Awards — You know your District and club are special, so why not share that with your local community? Many local newspapers and other publications give out awards recognizing local organizations for their outstanding work. This is an excellent way for Public Relations Managers and VPPRs to raise awareness—with the ultimate goal of attracting new members. Simply search your local publications’ websites for any upcoming awards and apply for those relevant to Toastmasters. A recent success story of this type of initiative: Toastmasters was named Best Business & Career Training by the Toronto Star’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

Achieve Distinguished Club Program Goals — Review the Distinguished Performance Reports and Club Success Plans to identify the clubs that are on track for Distinguished status and clubs that may need additional assistance to reach their goals.

Mid-year Training — District Directors, Program Quality Directors, and Club Growth Directors: Are you ready for Mid-year Training? Make the most of this opportunity to build your leadership skills by completing your pre-work in advance. If you have questions, or haven’t received your individual schedule with meeting links, please email the Training Team at training@toastmasters.org.

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Free Path Deadline — Toastmasters showed special appreciation for members during these difficult times by awarding anyone who renewed their membership for the October renewal period by December 31, 2020 with a free Pathways path. For those who did this, remember to visit your Toastmasters profile, click the “Choose A Path” button, and follow the normal path selection process to redeem your free path before March 31, 2021.

Accredited Speaker Policy Change — Effective immediately, virtual presentations are eligible for Level 1 Accredited Speaker Program applications. For additional details, review the Accredited Speaker Handbook. Applications for 2021 are being accepted now through January 31.

Election Preparation — The District Leadership Committee should be seeking District leader candidates for the 2021-2022 program year. To ensure the District election is well-managed and successful, please review the Elections Toolkit and Protocol 9.0: District Campaigns and Elections in the Governing Documents. The District call for candidates is due on January 15.

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Special Event Fliers Are Here — Use these customizable fliers to promote your events: Download, personalize, and share them with friends, family, coworkers, and other members of your community!

Zoom Stop Light Timer Backgrounds — Are you looking for virtual backgrounds to use when you’re the Timer at your next club meeting? These Zoom virtual backgrounds feature a green, yellow, or red stop light. Download and switch between these backgrounds to indicate how much time the speaker has remaining. Thank you to Geetha Boyani of 3652 Ci Yuan Toastmasters Club for the original idea and allowing us to share it.

Hybrid Club Tips — Know a club that is a hybrid club or looking to become one? Discover tips on how to find success with both in-person and online attendees. Review the “Running a Successful Hybrid Club Meeting” document and share it, either with fellow club officers or with clubs in your District. Discuss how you might be able to better suit your members’ needs in a hybrid club format.

Translated Speech Contest Certificates — Speech contest certificates are now available in Arabic, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Tamil, and Traditional Chinese! Download these customizable certificates and present them to speech contest winners and participants.

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Is There a Podcast in Your Future? — You may be an avid podcast listener or ready to start your own show; either way, take in some tips from The Toastmasters Podcast co-host Greg Gazin, DTM. In this article, he breaks down the logistics of preparing for, recording, and sharing a podcast. Make sure your ear buds are in so you can listen to special podcasts throughout the article.

Ice Breakers Offer Endless Opportunities — In the Pathways learning experience, members must complete the Ice Breaker project in all paths, whether it’s their first or 11th. The beauty of this is that the topic, content, and type of speech is at the discretion of the speaker. Learn how to get the greatest benefit out of giving an Ice Breaker again and again.

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New Speechcraft® Experience Coming Soon! — The new Speechcraft digital experience will be unveiled soon; stay tuned for more exciting details! You can purchase the existing Speechcraft program through January 31, 2021, and obtain credit through June 30, 2021.