February 2017

Club Leaders District Leaders Featured Article

News to Share

Club Environment

Snackification of Communication

Like a healthy diet, social interactions in our digital age should be balanced. What are the pros and cons of bite-sized digital conversations? Do you need to disconnect to reconnect with friends and family? Watch this fun, short video and learn more in the “Snackification of Communication” article in this month’s Toastmaster magazine.

Exciting New Pathways Video!

Want to learn more about the Pathways learning experience? View this video to gain a better understanding of the program.

International Officer Candidates

The Toastmasters International Leadership Committee has nominated the 2017–2018 international officer candidates. Voting for these candidates will be enacted at the August 2017 Annual Business Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Present Like a Pro!

Save 10% on the 3-in-1 USB Laser Pen (8GB) with gift box. Use promo code USBPEN. Offer valid February 1–28, 2017. Not valid with any other offer.

Club Leaders


Add Some Spark to Your Club

If your club meetings are becoming too routine, check out the newly updated Master your Meetings (Item 1312). Find best practices for creating quality meetings as well as creative tips on club programs, themes and Table Topics! This item is available as a free download and for purchase.

Club Officer Kits are Coming

To ensure your new 2017–2018 Club Officer Kits arrive on time, log in to Club Central by March 1 to update/confirm your club’s mailing address and language preference. The kits will be sent beginning in May to the mailing address on record.

Dues Renewals Due Soon

You can start submitting payments for renewals through Club Central beginning February 27. Be on the lookout for a reminder email before the end of the month.

Get Recognition for Adding New Club Members!

Participate in the “Talk up Toastmasters” membership-building program now through March 31. Encourage your members to invite guests to special meetings where they can learn about Toastmasters’ benefits.

District Leaders


How to Prepare for District Visits

A district visit is the perfect opportunity for an international officer or director to help with club-building efforts, corporate recognition visits, and coaching and mentoring your team. Please view the District Visits page for guidelines on how to prepare for this important event.

Submit Club Officer Training Reports

The deadline for the second round of Club Officer training is February 28. It is recommended that your reports be submitted by March 31 for your clubs to receive credit in the Distinguished Club Program. Please check your district reports regularly for accuracy.

District Elections

To ensure that your district election is successful, the district director must appoint a district leadership committee. Their responsibility is to find the best qualified candidates who will help ensure long-term district success. Your District Leadership Committee report must be posted four weeks prior to the district’s Annual Business Meeting.

Alignment Tips

Club, area and division alignment will be reviewed at your upcoming district council meeting. If you have any questions, please email us.

Review Your District’s Procedures

Many districts establish specific operating procedures to guide them and provide consistency from year to year. Review your district’s procedures regularly to ensure that they are relevant and current. If your district changes its procedures, follow the guidelines in the District Leadership Handbook. Please email us a copy of the changes, and post them on your district’s website.

Find the Right Speakers

One of the most important aspects of planning your conference is selecting inspirational and motivational speakers. Here are a few guidelines to help you get started.

Mid-year Audit Due February 15

Please email your Mid-year Audit, certification and monthly narratives by February 15 along with the supporting documentation and signed report originals. Before completing the report, ensure that your district accounts are reconciled through December 2016 and closed by World Headquarters. Please remember to obtain the signatures of the district director, finance manager and each audit committee member for the Monthly Narratives and Certification Spreadsheets.

Thank You, Mid-year Training Participants

The training in January built on foundational sessions conducted last year at the Toastmasters International Convention. Your discussions, sharing of best practices and collaboration made the training valuable and tremendously successful.

Featured Article

Table Topics® Tips for Speakers and Topicsmasters

What does it take to master Table Topics?

One of the most exciting events at club meetings is Table Topics – yet it can also be one of the most feared. This is when members and guests can shine by tapping into their impromptu speaking skills. As a speaker, here are a few tips to help you speak comfortably, no matter what the question.

Speaker Tips:

Take a look at the following examples of how you could structure your response to the question, “What’s your favorite season and why?”

  1. Give your opinion on a subject and justify it with two to three specific reasons.
    “Summer is the best of the month of the year. First, it’s warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities and the days are longer…”
  2. State a problem and show its causes.
    “Summer is a very difficult time of year because heat waves can cause interruptions to power. Power outages result when…”
  3. Describe a process.
    “How do you plan for a summer picnic with your family? First, make sure you have a big enough cooler…”

TopicsMaster Tips:

As a Topicsmaster, this is your opportunity to plan a program that will be interesting and engaging for members and guests. Be sure to prepare several days before the meeting and be creative! These tips will help you develop a lively session.

  1. Bring a prop to help spark topics. For example, take fortune cookies to your next meeting and have each participant select one, open it, read the fortune aloud, then discuss it.
  2. Ask members to react to imaginary situations. For example:
    • “Describe a job, entirely different from your own, that you would like to have. Why does this job appeal to you?”
    • “If you only had one year to live, what would you do?”
    • “If poverty were suddenly eliminated from the world, what would happen?”
  3. Build a narrative that stops abruptly, and then ask each participant to continue the story.
    “The door of a flying saucer opened, and out of it stepped the strangest creature I’ve ever seen…”

Now you can conquer your next Table Topics rather than fear it. For more tips, refer to Master Your Meetings.