Share the message! Word of Mouth is one of the most effective marketing tools. Don’t let Toastmasters be our best kept secret.

Our Club Growth Director (CGD), Robert, has some interesting district sponsored projects in progress to help all clubs grow. Recently a Speechcraft workshop was held for members interested in running a Speechcraft course.

District is also offering grants to support creative marketing activities which attract new members. Full details of these projects can be obtained from CGD, Robert.

Round 2 of Online Club Officer Training (COT) has been deferred to late January and early February. This leaves us a very small window to achieve all club officers trained by the end of February. This training is important to make sure we have a strong start to the second half of our Toastmaster’s year. One of the most effective ways of achieving club excellence is to have club officers who know and understand the importance of their leadership roles. Please watch out for the registration emails and encourage all your club officers to register. COT is also a great way to network with other members and to share ideas.

There are also opportunities for members to develop their skills as online trainers. Please contact Program Quality Director (PQD), Mark Snow as soon as possible if you are interested in developing your training skills.

Save the Date: Planning has started for our Online District 69 Conference due on the Saturday 1 May and Sunday 2 May 2021. This will be an opportunity for us all to listen to and watch the best of the best speakers from our district. Speech contests are a valuable part of our Toastmasters experience. As per Toastmasters International (TI) directions, these must be online.

The conference will also be an opportunity to experience great educational sessions, key note speakers and fun networking activities. We anticipate our special guest will be International President, Richard Peck. The conference will be free, but registrations will still be required. Watch out in the new year for registration details.

There are many ways to interact with members around the district. D69 has a web site, open Facebook page and closed members Facebook group. These are facilities for all of us to share news, ideas and celebrations. Our Public Relations Manager, Andrew Pearson, needs news items to keep our web page active and current. If you have a great news story, please share it with photos so Andrew can consider it for the web page.

Are you missing out on contacting potential new members? TI web site has a ‘Find a Club’ tab where potential members can search for clubs in their local area. If someone posts an enquiry, the message goes to the club email address. The onus is then on the club to contact that person. TI monitors these contacts regularly and sends the district a report. Unfortunately, it seems many of these potential members are never contacted. Please make sure your club details are up to date on the TI web site and that the club email contact address is checked regularly. There may be potential members out there just waiting for someone to invite them to a meeting!

Pathways Education Programme: Pathways has been our only education program since 1 July 2020. Therefore no one should be using Competent Communicator manuals. Please ensure all members in your club are registered and working through Pathways education program.  Your club New Member orientation process should include an introduction to Pathways.

It is important that all completed levels are approved by your basecamp manager as soon as possible after you complete each level and that the Distinguished Club Program (DCP) credit is claimed in Club Central by your VPE or other executive member. To assist, please notify your VPE when you complete a level and if you are in multiple clubs, let your VPEs know which club you want to earn the DCP credit.

Some clubs are missing out on DCP points because Club Central has not been updated. This is a separate process to approving the Pathways level completion. If you need help to know what to do, please ask for help. This should be discussed at COT in the VPE session.

Please make sure that awards are approved as soon as possible after the levels have been completed. It is not appropriate to delay approvals or to ’carry over’ awards to the next Toastmasters year. It is important that we manage our Pathways projects efficiently.

On behalf of the district leadership team, we wish every member a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. If Christmas is not part of your culture, please enjoy the summer  holiday break. Thank you to every member in District 69 who has contributed to the sustainability of membership and clubs. Your dedication and hard work is reflected in the district achievements. Members Matter Most. I look forward to the new year with optimism that things will continue to improve.

Barbara Nielsen DTM
District 69 Director