February 2023 Leader Letter

District News


Corporate Recognition Award Nominations Now Open — If your District is scheduled for an official International Officer or International Director District Visit this spring, consider nominating up to two corporate sponsors for this distinguished award. Nominations are due 6-8 weeks prior to your event, so visit the Corporate Recognition Award program webpage today for information on nomination requirements and criteria, for marketing materials, and to submit your nomination form.

International Speech Contest Eligibility — If you're helping with a speech contest, remember to ensure thorough eligibility checks are completed for every contestant. As a reminder, the education requirement for the International Speech Contest recently changed. Members competing in this contest must have completed Levels 1 and 2 of any path or earned a Distinguished Toastmaster Award. Additional details and full eligibility requirements are outlined in the Speech Contest Rulebook.

Help Recruit Helping Hands at Convention — While it's exciting to experience the International Convention as an attendee, it can be even more rewarding as a volunteer. Spread the word about the 2023 Helping Hands program in Nassau, Bahamas, August 16–19. Let interested members know to complete the interest form in the link above to be considered and kept informed on registration details.

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Submit Club Officer Training Reports — The due date to complete the second round of club officer training is February 28. Club officer training credit should be entered through District Central by March 31 for accurate reporting in the Distinguished Club Program. Districts will have until May 31 to make final adjustments to the second round of club officer training. Please review the Distinguished Performance Reports regularly for accuracy.

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 reports. Additionally obtain the signatures of the District Director, Finance Manager, and each audit committee member for the Monthly Narratives and Certification Spreadsheets.

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Successful District Elections Start Here — The District Leadership Committee (DLC) is responsible to seek, identify, evaluate, and nominate the best candidate for each role to ensure long-term District success. The DLC notifies the District Director of the nominated candidates six (6) weeks prior to the election date, and the DLC report must be posted four (4) weeks prior to the Annual Meeting of the District Council. Encourage all District leader candidates to view this video from International President Matt Kinsey regarding candidate campaigns. Candidates should review Protocol 9.0 for campaign guidance.

Review District Operating Procedures — Many Districts establish operating procedures to guide them and provide consistency from year to year. Review the District operating procedures regularly to ensure they are relevant and current. If the District changes the operating procedures, follow the guidelines in the District Leadership Handbook. Email the proposed changes to districts@toastmasters.org for review. Once approved by the District Executive Committee or District Council, be sure to post any approved changes on the District website.

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.

Leadership Self Evaluations — District leader self-evaluation forms are an important part of leadership development. Use the evaluations in the District to help track leadership growth and close previously missed leadership gaps. The self-evaluations are intended to be completed once every three months.

District Leader 360-Degree Evaluation — Another exciting leadership development tool is the 360-degree evaluation available for District leaders. The evaluation allows peers to evaluate leaders and aid in their leadership development. Review the District Leader 360-degree Evaluation to gain feedback and learn about your leadership opportunities.

International Officer Candidates Nominated — The Toastmasters International Leadership Committee has nominated International Officer candidates. Voting will take place as part of the 2023 Annual Business Meeting in August. Find out more about the nominated candidates by visiting the International Officer and Director Candidates website.

International Speech Contest Region Quarterfinals — Are you ready for your District-level International Speech Contest? Regardless of the contest format selected by your District, the Online and Hybrid Speech Contest Best Practices and Video Recording Guidelines documents provide helpful resources and reminders to prepare you for a successful contest and recording.

Új fordítás! — Töltsd le MAGYARUL: a Pathways 1. és 2. Szintjét
Newly Translated! —You can now download and use Pathways Level 1 and Level 2 in Hungarian! Visit the Resource Library for guides on how to access Hungarian projects.

新近翻译! — 下载简体中文版:新俱乐部指导必读
Newly Translated! —You can now download and use New Club Mentoring Matters in Simplified Chinese.

Προσφατα μεταφρασμενο! — ΚΑΤΕΒΑΣΕ ΤΟ ΣΤΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ: Χαρακτηριστικά, Οφέλη και Αξία
Newly Translated! —You can now download and use the Features, Benefits, and Value Chart in Greek.

Ny översättning! — Ladda ned på svenska: Ledarskapsprogram för ungdomar Arbetsbok
Newly Translated! —You can now download and use the Youth Leadership Workbook in Swedish.

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Toastmasters Means Business — Discover how the organization offers training to meet the needs of employers and employees around the world; then read about members' personal experiences at their own company-based clubs.

How to Dial Down Defensive Conversations — Everyone gets upset with someone or something sooner or later. But defensiveness can decimate morale, hinder teamwork, and stall projects. Read these tips for turning conflicts into constructive discussions.

The Power of Empathy — Relating to others is key in successful leadership. Have you tried putting yourself in someone else's shoes? Learn how to connect with others and begin to build empathy—maybe that little step will start the world off in a better direction.

Tune In! Podcast on Proper Name Pronunciation — Toastmaster Fiona Swee-Lin Price, Ph.D., is a cross-cultural communication specialist, keynote speaker, and name expert who has worked in the intercultural field for over 20 years. In this Toastmasters Podcast episode, Price offers tips to help you get better at pronouncing names derived from languages you do not speak.

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Instant Speech Analysis is Here! — Thanks to the Toastmasters Yoodli partnership, Toastmasters can now receive immediate analytical speech feedback by logging into www.toastmasters.org/MyHome and clicking on the Yoodli card to record a speech on the platform. Yoodli's artificial intelligence (AI) will then break down insights, such as how many filler words were used, the pace, eye contact, if any non-inclusive language was used, and more. Encourage members to check it out today!

Thank You Mid-year Training Attendees! — The training in January built on foundational sessions conducted last year at District Leader Training in August. 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.

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Consider Club Growth in 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, and the likelihood of eligibility for Distinguished programs. As Areas and Divisions are aligned, be sure to consider new clubs being added throughout the program year. If you have questions, email the District Growth and Support team at districts@toastmasters.org.