February 2021 Leader Letter
The New Speechcraft Digital Experience is Here! — The best membership-building tool to help your club grow has been updated and redesigned as an online journey. It even gives Pathways credit for Toastmasters who join as participants/Speechcrafters, and gives DTM credit to Toastmasters who sign up as coordinators. Learn more by registering for an informational webinar on February 17 or 18.
Submit Club Officer Training Reports — The deadline to administer the second round of Club Officer Training is February 28. It is recommended that club officer training reports are submitted by March 31 for clubs to receive credit in the Distinguished Club Program. Please check your District reports regularly for accuracy.
Magazine Photo Contest: What Does Toastmasters Mean to You? — If a picture’s worth a thousand words, what would your photo say? Read the contest guidelines, and then send us your best shot between now and February 28, 2021. The winning photo will be published in a future issue of the Toastmaster magazine, and remaining entries will be considered for additional categories. Did we mention that amateur photographer and International President Richard E. Peck will be a guest judge? He will also virtually visit the winner’s club to personally congratulate them!
Review District Operating Procedures — Many Districts establish operating procedures to guide them and provide consistency from year to year. Review your District’s operating procedures regularly to ensure that they are relevant and current. If the District changes its procedures, follow the guidelines in the District Leadership Handbook. Please email the proposed changes to email@example.com for review. Once approved by the District Executive Committee or District Council, be sure to post any approved changes on the District website.
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.
Are You a Dynamic Presenter? — Apply to be a speaker at the 2021 International Convention taking place August 24-28, 2021. If you have experience addressing international audiences of 1,000 or more, submit your video and application by March 3, 2021.
International President World Tour — International President Richard E. Peck has already visited 65 countries during his world tour! Follow his journey as he visits every country with a club by viewing this interactive map.
Leadership Self Evaluations — New resources are available to help you in your leadership journey. District leader self-evaluation forms are now available! Use these evaluations in your District to help track leadership growth and close previously missed gaps.
360-Degree Evaluations — Another exciting leadership development tool, 360-degree evaluations, are now available for District leaders! These evaluations allow for peers to evaluate leaders and aid in their leadership development. Download these evaluation resources and learn how you can implement them in your District!
The Formula for Funny — If you’re looking to incorporate humor into your next speech, this article is for you! Meet a few Toastmaster comedians who share their best tips and techniques, and learn different humor tactics to win grins, giggles, and guffaws from your audience.
The Timer’s Toolkit — An important lesson that Toastmasters teaches is how to convey a clear message within an allocated time frame. When you serve as timer of the meeting, you play a fundamental role in helping fellow club members master this skill. Share this article with new members or those who are looking to take on a meaningful meeting role.
Online Meeting Etiquette — Do you ever come across disruptive members or overzealous hosts in your online club meetings? There has to be a happy balance between allowing for a clean, professional meeting, and understanding that this online experience is still new to many people. In this exclusive online article, club officers can learn how to set expectations and lay the groundwork for maintaining online meeting decorum.
Organizing a Successful Online Event — A month before District 91’s 2020 conference, organizers were forced to cancel its in-person event, registrations were refunded, and online planning began. Learn how this District came together to turn its event around and glean advice from the organizers in this exclusive online article.
Announcing the 2021 Online Convention Experience !— Last year marked an exciting time in Toastmasters convention history—the first-ever online convention was born. That experience will continue with the recent Board of Directors’ decision to conduct an online convention August 23-28, 2021; as a result, the previously announced in-person convention in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. will not be taking place. Stay tuned for exciting convention details to come!
Rotary Course Update — All eight Toastmasters-developed courses for Rotarians and Rotaractors are now available on Rotary International’s Learning Center, which can be accessed by their members in several different languages. There are already over 6,000 Rotary members enrolled in the courses! You may hear from some of their members about a club visit or evaluation. Welcoming Rotary’s members to your club meetings can spark opportunities for collaboration, put your skills as communication leaders to use, and demonstrate the value of Toastmasters membership to members in your community. Learn more about the Rotary/Toastmasters alliance at www.toastmasters.org/Rotary.
Thank You Mid-year Training Attendees! — The training in January built on foundational sessions conducted last year at August District Leader Training. Your discussions, sharing of best practices, and collaboration made the training valuable and tremendously successful. We wish you the best of luck in achieving your year-end goals.
Celebrate Achievements — Award competitors in your speech competition with customizable medals! Visit www.toastmasters.org/Medals and use promo code MEDAL to save 10% on Toastmasters medals! Offer valid February 1-28, 2021. Not valid with any other offer.
International Speech Contest –Are you ready for your second online District-level International Speech Contest? Review the Region Quarterfinals Checklist and the Video Recording Guidelines for Online Speech Contests to make sure you’re prepared to conduct and record a successful online contest.
Successful District Elections Start Here — The District Leadership Committee (DLC) is responsible for finding the best candidates who will help to ensure long-term District success. The DLC notifies the District Director of the nominated candidates six weeks prior to the election date, and the DLC report must be posted four weeks prior to the annual District Council meeting. Encourage all District leader candidates to view this video from International President Richard E. Peck regarding candidate campaigns. Candidates may also review Protocol 9.0 for additional campaign rules.
Consider Club Growth When Creating the District Alignment — There are several factors to consider when aligning clubs in the District, such as geographic proximity to other clubs, the ability of the Area Director to effectively provide service, club size and strength, the likelihood of eligibility for the Distinguished program, and a consideration for prospective clubs and expected growth. As Areas and Divisions are aligned, be sure to consider new clubs being added throughout the program year. If you have any questions, please email the District Growth and Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find the Right Speakers — One of the most important aspects of planning your conference is selecting educational speakers. Please review some guidelines to help you get started.