September 2018

Public Relations 2018-19 Incentives Announced

Public Relations Incentives

Daniel Sandars, Public Relations Manager

[Always check the The Latest Information on District Incentives]

Public Relations makes a difference. Our Goal as a District is to return to the International Hall of Fame at the next convention in Denver. To do that we need more members and more clubs and it all begins with attracting more guests.

The budget is structured to mirror and support the three remaining membership contests, Fall into Winter (November-December), Talk Up Toastmasters (February-March), and Beat the Clock (May-June). Claims can be backdated to 1st September

Below is a summary of this year PR incentives with links to full details at bottom


The flag ship incentive is the Open House/Open Night

This is designed to be incrementally progressive. Holding an open night is not the challenge, doing the public relations that makes it successful is. Points are awarded for the Public Relations effort in terms of the number of channels used e.g. event stall, radio interview, press release, Facebook event, email shot, flyer distribution campaign, etc. Additional points are awarded for the number of guests attending and the number of those guests converted to members. Clubs that started out the year with less than 20 members get more generous points. Official prospect clubs can apply. There is a limit, but two strong claims or three weaker claims per club are possible

Points mean prizes and in this case Pathways ribbons and pins or by arrangement a contribution to branded club promotional materials.

Additional synergistic Incentives

Club PR Firsts

Is your club planning to start, for the first time, a website, get a press release published, produce a club newsletter, or any other novel public relations endeavour? Yes, then claim a club ribbon pack

Club Promotional Videos

Have you noticed how powerful YouTube is become with its addictively appealing visual media? The first twenty new club promotional videos will earn the club two pathways pins and feature on the District PR channels.

External Event Grants

Have you got the opportunity to set up a stall at a public event? There are grants of 125 euro towards promotional materials and or venue costs. The grants are competitive and will be based on the likely foot fall, how well you know your target audience and your plans to attract them as guests to your club

Distinguished Club Website

Your website is often your first impression you give potential customers. Does you Club Website look good? Club ribbon pack for the best.

Write an article for Chantal

Chantal Cooke is a Public Relations agent who helps members publish educational articles to the national press. Last year we gained the editorial value of over half a million euro. This year authors will go into a prize draw for a £240 conference ticket

Travelling Toastie

It is great fun to visit other clubs to strengthen fellowship and gain ideas. Do three things 1) capture photo or testimonial video that includes the brand and your hosts, 2) distribute that out to social media where it can be seen, and 3) bring it to the District’s attention by hash tagging and or tagging us. Prize for each District’s best Travelling Toastie

 Full details on the website

  1. Open Nights
  2. Club PR Firsts (email me to claim)
  3. Club Promotion Video
  4. External Event Grants
  5. Distinguished Club Websites
  6. Write an Article for Chantal
  7. Travelling Toasties

Program Quality 2018-19 Incentives Announced

Education, Education, Education

By John Cox, District 71 Program Quality Director

Program Quality Incentives

What Will Your Club and Your Members Achieve in 2018-19?

I don’t know about you, but I have often been confused by the variety of terms we use – training, education, development, learning, coaching, mentoring, knowledge, skills, etc.

It is also recognised that a lot of education and training is wasted and doesn’t necessarily get applied in the workplace or in life.

I still wonder what the value of algebra is and why at school they didn’t teach me how to hang wallpaper!

For several years I was a National Training Awards Judge (and my business was a National Training Award winner). Organisations were recognised not for the training they carried out but how that training had been applied and the results achieved. We looked at soft results – greater confidence, teamwork, communications, innovation etc. but importantly, hard results – customer and employee satisfaction, more sales, better product/service quality, greater profitability, etc.

So, what has this got to do with Toastmasters?

Can we see the impact of member achievement reflected in the growth, performance and quality of our clubs?

We run education and training programmes, leading to various awards which are recognised by certificates, ribbons, pins/badges. Less than 10% of our members achieve their CC (Competent Communicator) award but I’m sure that many, many more of our members have gained other benefits – greater confidence and learning – that has impacted on our clubs and their lives in many ways.

We don’t easily recognise or record how that confidence and learning has been applied.

So, I’m keen this year to find ways to encourage and support clubs to put some of that learning into practice and to help recognise some of the other 90% of our members.

You will see that my job title embraces Club Quality, so I’d like to add a final reminder about utilising Moments of Truth to take a snapshot of how your club is performing and to also take a long hard look at member retention. Dues renewal time is another of those moments of truth when we are reminded of members we have not seen for a while and those who are at risk of not renewing their membership. Give them a call and invite them back. Remember that 69% of non-renewing members said that something could have been done to convince them to renew.

Below you will find details of the Program Quality incentives on offer. I wish you a wonderful year.

[Always check the The Latest Information on District Incentives]

Program Quality Incentives Program Quality Incentives

Outreach Programmes

Youth Leadership and Speechcraft programmes are a wonderful way to put all that Toastmasters experience into practice, helping youngsters and other members of our communities to gain the benefits of our Toastmasters programmes. It will also help to raise the profile of Toastmasters and gain new members and clubs. District can support clubs running brand new outreach programmes through the provision of advice and guidance, marketing and promotional materials, and Programme Kits worth over $30. Contact me for more information.

Pathways and Competent Communicator (CC) Growth

We want to encourage more members to achieve their CC and Pathways Levels so for the first 30 clubs that achieve all four CC’s or four Pathways Level 1’s and two Level 2’s we’ll present them with $20 worth of TI shop items.

First Clubs to Achieve President’s Distinguished

We want to encourage more clubs to achieve President’s Distinguished status in the Distinguished Club Program (DCP). So, the first 20 clubs to achieve Presidents Distinguished status, that were not President’s Distinguished last year, will receive $30 value of TI (Toastmasters International) shop items.

First Clubs to Achieve Distinguished

We want to encourage more clubs to achieve Distinguished status in the DCP. So, the first 20 clubs to achieve Distinguished status, that were not Distinguished last year, will receive $30 value of TI shop items.

Corporate Clubs Incentive

We want to encourage more of our Corporate clubs to participate in our officer training programme and club contests. We will award a $30 gift voucher to the corporate clubs that get 5 or more of their officers to the next (2019) club officer training and 2 or more contestants in the 2019 Area contests.

Program Quality News

By Daniel Sandars

We have completed the first quarter of the year so how are we doing?

New Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM)

Program QualityProgram Quality

Distinguished Club Goals 30th September

Program Quality

Clubs with 4 or more Officers Trained

Program Quality

District Officers Trained


Program Quality

Congratulations to all involved.

Club Growth 2018-19 Incentives Announced

Club Growth Incentive


By Gerard Mannix DTM, District 71 Club Growth Director

Incentives: District 71    2018/19

[Always check the The Latest Information on District Incentives]

Clubs that charter: Free club banner
Room hire for [prospective club] demo meetings €50 per occasion
Club coaching €100 assistance
Club coach Award for success

Incentives: Fall into Winter

1st November-31st December

Add 4 new, dual or reinstated members prior to December 31st

Club Growth Pizza


Club Growth News

Club Growth MapThe thrilling news is that on the 10th of September Walsall Speakers club received its charter, becoming the District’s 203rd club and our first new club this Toastmaster’s year. Walsall is located just North of Birmingham (see map) in Division E in Area 39. It has taken nearly two years to reach charter status from the initial demonstration meeting. That journey has been navigated by the Club’s Sponsors Tanya and Michele (Mish) Barad. They are now assisted by Club Mentor Asma Riaz to help develop strong foundations for the Club.

At a recent club meeting of Fexco, Killorglin, County Kerry (see Map), Club Growth Director Gerard Mannix presented the club banner to Siobhan Colborne, President of Fexco Payments Toastmasters Club.


Sincere congratulations to Siobhan as she has been the brainchild and founder of this club. She was assisted by Toastmasters Debby Looney and Rachel Pinckheard. The club is thriving with regular very proactive and well attended meetings

District 71 Conference Early Bird deals

Join us at the Conference Norwich 10th – 12th May 2019 #Norwich2019

For the first time ever, we will have a District Conference that will feature 8 Semi-Finals and all 4 Speech Competitions: Humorous, International, Evaluation and Table Topics finals. It’s going to be quite an event!

WE’RE going BACK in time to the 1940’s!

It’s called the ‘Conference’ for good reason! So the theme this year is the fabulous 40’s! There will be a grand celebration on the Friday night, with a big band suited to the occasion. So pick your perfect period costume and join in on all of the fun!

Dancing to The Joe Ringer Band

Saturday: Keynote Speakers

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez

Marcus Hemsley


Friday – Sunday Early Bird Rate Only
Friday Only
Saturday & Sunday
Saturday Only
Sunday Only
Partner Saturday Only
Gala Dinner Night Only

Accommodation details and costs are on the conference website

Stage Payments Available on Full Package Friday – Sunday Only

Special Guests the D-Day Darlings


#WeAreToastmasters 1

Where has the District’s #WeAreToastmasters hashtag shown up this month? Here are a few examples.




#WeAreToastmasters 2

Find more on twitter


Guest Division E

Welcome to Division E

Andy Nichols, Division E Director

A wise man once told me “knowledge is like an inverse pyramid – the more you learn the more you realise how much you don’t know”.

To me Toastmasters can be a bit like that.

Every time I attend a meeting I learn something new – from the content of a prepared speech or in the way an evaluation is delivered; and from the way someone runs the meeting to how guests control their nerves with their first table topic.

That’s part of the reason I put myself forward to be Division Director this year (OK, that and I’d like to achieve DTM…).

You might be familiar with Division E in its previous guise – stretching the width of England, from Leamington Spa in Warwickshire to Morpeth in Northumberland. That changed at the start of this Toastmasters year as we said farewell to our friends “Up North” and the old Division E split into Division E and Division N.

As a former member of what’s now Division N (my previous club was White Rose Speakers in Leeds), I’ve learnt so much from the Toastmasters I’ve met in the Midlands but have realised that there is so much more I can learn from their experience and areas of expertise.

At the time of writing we have the fewest chartered clubs (10, although Walsall have just submitted their paperwork!) of any of the Divisions in District 71. We’re planning to change all of that though, and Tanya can give you an insight into how we are a growing Division.

Growth isn’t just about creating more clubs; it’s about how we each develop in our time at Toastmasters, so it’s a pleasure to be able to share Ivan’s Journey so far.

That personal growth is helped by the support and Fellowship of members of our clubs, as Jill testifies.

It’s so important that we support our fellow members, and Mish wraps up Division E’s section of this newsletter by asking our members to Be a linchpin!

A growing Division

Tanya Barad, Assistant Division E Director

Club Growth is a fascinating area of Toastmasters. The excitement of starting a new club, seeing a small concept grow into a living thing, new people developing…and then the pride you get when that club charters is something special and rare. However, there is a massive misconception that you can only start a new club if you are an experienced toastmaster. Yes, you need people with experience on your team, but even if you have done just 1 speech you can be a real asset to a new pre-charter club and you will develop extremely quickly!

Another big mistake people make is in only asking a handful of experienced people about where new clubs should be. New clubs help all Toastmasters and the ideas for new clubs often come from the most unexpected places and members.

In Division E I decided to branch out and go to the members. We created a survey and sent it out to ALL members across Division E and we got fantastic results, with requests for 8 new clubs to be started. And most importantly, we found groups of people who said they would be happy to get involved in starting a new club!

For Division E, these potential new clubs are: Redditch/Bromsgrove, Stoke, Warwick, Warwick JLR, Chesterfield, SSP Solihull, Leicester and Nottingham. Now that we know where to focus, we are bringing people together to form small committees, find venues etc. with the aim to start these clubs off, because the members have said they want it. We are proud to be able to showcase the demo meeting for the first of these clubs!

Redditch, Division E

Red Lion, Division E


Whilst the club name is still being decided, the rest of the challenging work has been done by Deb and Tony Hawken. After finding an amazing venue at the Red Lion (Red Lion Street, Alvechurch, B48 7LG) the demo meeting for this club will be on the 27th September 7:30pm. Future meetings will be held on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. Come join them for their first meeting or tell everyone you know in the Redditch/Bromsgrove area about their new club!

Journey so far

Ivan Kocan, Leicester Leaders, Area 6

Ten months ago, I joined Leicester Leaders Toastmasters club with one goal: overcome my lifetime fear of public speaking and make an unforgettable speech at my brother’s wedding. After wasting time and money with some overpriced 4-day public speaking courses, I was referred to Toastmasters. It took me 5 minutes to Google my nearest club and send a message to the President. I was warmly welcomed and invited to my first meeting.

It was November 2017 when I visited my first meeting and I realised that Toastmasters had everything I needed for success plus a great community. Since then I’ve delivered many speeches, participated in almost every role within the club and have gained many friends. Recently, I was elected onto the committee as Sergeant at arms.

Now, ten months later, wedding bells rang and my first speech outside of Toastmasters happened. I stood up in front of my family and another 140 people to deliver a speech that had caused me many sleepless nights! But when push came to shove, all the experience I gained with Toastmasters gave me the confidence and skills to deliver a speech that will be difficult to forget. What made it extra special for me was that I delivered the wedding speech in my native language: Slovak.

Even though I achieved my goal I’m not looking to leave Toastmasters any time soon. There is always plenty of room for improvement and I know that Toastmasters is the right place to be to hone my skills to perfection.

Journey, Division E

Journey, Division E


Jill Ming, Area 39 Director

Two months into the Area Director role and I’ve already learnt a huge amount. I joined Toastmasters almost six years ago because I thought it would help me communicate more effectively with my clients and feel more confident when speaking to groups. I could say ‘mission accomplished’ but of course it doesn’t stop there. Taking on committee roles, competing in speech and evaluation contests, participating and now leading club officer training, attending conferences and the Vancouver 2017 International Convention have all contributed to what I can only describe as the best value education in building communication skills that money can buy.

The one aspect of Toastmasters that really stands out for me is the fellowship. I remember attending my first club meeting feeling rather apprehensive and being greeted with a warm smile and made to feel very welcome. I’ve never forgotten what that felt like and I am constantly impressed with the kindness, support, and help on show at meetings and events. I have started visiting the clubs in my Area, each with its own distinct identity, and love listening to guests doing their first table topic then signing up to join and seeing the enthusiasm and energy that go into running successful meetings.

Fellowship, Division E

Fellowship, Division E

Some clubs meet in pubs and clubs where it is easy to socialise and build on that fellowship, for others travelling

distance means a rapid departure when the meeting ends. My home club, Shropshire Speakers in Telford, organises regular social evenings at a local restaurant to give members a chance to chat and get to know each other better. Now the contest season is upon us and the Area and Division events will be another fantastic opportunity to meet Toastmasters from other clubs, listen and learn, and celebrate the winners. Bring it on.

Shropshire Speakers’ 5th anniversary celebrations

Be a linchpin!

Mish Barad, Area 42 Director

Lynch Pin, Division E

Lynch Pin, Division E

“What is a linchpin?” you may ask. It is a pin that goes through the axle of a cart etc. to stop the wheel from falling off. Without it the cart would not be a cart.

In modern times it is used to refer to the person or persons without whom a group wouldn’t function or would fall apart – a small, but integral part that holds everything together.

Toastmasters actively encourages members to become linchpins and they are all around us, sometimes in sight and sometimes not.

Have you ever looked at a club and thought?

“Without that person/people the club would not have…

  • Chartered
  • Earned DCP points
  • Survived
  • Remained so successful”

They have the best interests of Toastmasters, the Club and, most importantly, the Member at heart. Their aim is to do what is necessary to achieve the goal.

They meet problems head to head and do their best to overcome them often delegating to other members.
So, can you be a linchpin? Of course, not everyone has the time, energy or resources and it would be a very busy world if we all did. What you CAN do is try to recognise these people around you both in Toastmasters and the outside world. You may be able to help or support them in some way or it may just be that you recognise them and the job they are doing.

Never underestimate that little pin that keeps everything together

September/October Prize Quiz

September/ October 2018: Prize Quiz

Guest edited by Alex Knibbs of Saffron Walden Speakers


Win Mini Notebook and Pen Set

Item 6850K



  • All correct answers will be entered in a prize draw. Winners and Answers will be published in the November Edition
September Crossword grid

September Crossword grid


2 club officer who holds the ‘purse strings’ (9)

4 club officer who typically maintains all club records and takes minutes at club meetings (9)

6 vocal quality or method of visual dissemination (10)

7 Toastmasters workshop for under 18s? (5,10,7)

9 a lovely little lavender is an example of this rhetorical device (12)


1 Current Executive Director of Toastmasters international (6,3)

3 title of Ramona J Smith’s winning world championship speech (5.8)

5 one type of Toastmaster Club (9)

8 instrument used by an auctioneer – or a Toastmaster! (5)

Prize Quiz Results August/ September

Congratulations to winner Andy Nichols, Division E Director

Across Answers

1) xxxxx Toastmaster. Highest accolade. DISTINGUISHED

2) First speech delivered at Toastmasters ICEBREAKER

2) TMI community program for adults SPEECHCRAFT

4) Extemporaneous speaking TABLE TOPICS

5) TM promise to xxxx club meetings REGULARLY

Down Answers

6) One of Toastmasters values INTEGRITY

7) Specific projects in Pathways ELECTIVES

8) Number of Competent Communication speeches TEN

9) xxxx Mastery, one of 10 Pathways path. PRESENTATION

10) Provides word of the day at club meetings GRAMMARIAN

11) We learn best in moments of xxxxx ENJOYMENT

Special Educational Section: Club Coaching

Educational Section: Club Coaching

The Club Coaching program doesn’t often receive a lot of publicity, yet it is important. Therefore we have invited experienced Club coaches to contribute to this section. Gerard Mannix opens the section with his experience and a description of how Club Coaching works followed by Daniel Sandars who describes District 71’s Club Coaching program over the last year. We than have three Club Coaches, Brenda Lannon, Joey O’Leary, and Phillip O’Brien, describe their hands on experiences. Finally Patricia Loughnane provides an excellent summary with her tips on successful Club Coaching



MY EXPERIENCE: As the saying goes, the only way to feel the water temperature is to get the toes wet-I had a Club Coach experience two years ago. I undertook this without any training just an intuitive sense of what was required. The result was successful, and the club was distinguished. Initially, I was ‘solo’ meeting with the club officers. I felt it was a ‘them and me’ situation resulting in a mediocre communication. I requested the Club Growth Director to appoint a second coach. This accomplished, it made an incredible difference. We were thereafter working as a cohesive group. Whether it was my own inadequacies, a gender balance with the second coach on board or the unique environment of the club, the rest is history, but I do feel the presence of two coaches has a definite benefit.

Club Coach Programme Regulations:

  • A club coach may only be assigned by the district director or the club growth director.
  • A club must have at least one but not more than 12 members when a coach is appointed, and the coach cannot be a member of that club until their appointment request has been processed.
  • Up to two coaches may be appointed to a club. The appointment lasts to June 30 of the current programme year if the club becomes Distinguished or better.

A Club Coach’s task:

  1. Build a rapport with club leaders and members
  2. Observe and analyse the club environment, facilitate discussion keeping it positive, honest and objective, then assist the club in generating solutions
  3. Help the club develop a plan with goals for improvement
  4. Enable the club to achieve goals
  5. Instil enthusiasm, fidelity, and a sense of responsibility for the club’s future
  6. Actively participate in the club and set a good example
  7. Emphasize that only through teamwork will the club be restored
  8. Review day, time and location of meeting
  9. Keep the area director, club growth director and district director informed of the progress
  10. Encourage the club to conduct ‘Moments of Truth’
  11. Recognise achievements
  12. Benefits for a Club Coach:
  13. Develop team-building skills
  14. Expand leadership skills
  15. Develop diplomacy skills
  16. Share expertise

Club Coach Recognition:

  • Each club coach receives a pin upon assignment
  • After successfully completing the assignment, each club coach receives a certificate and credit towards the Advanced Leader Silver Award
  • District publicly acknowledges appointments and successes


Club coach FAQ

Club coach troubleshooting guide

[Region 10 Advisor Elizabeth Nostedt has published slides from her recent webinar “How to get clubs over 20 members – Club Coaches”]


Some people wonder why we would bother saving a club. Why not just let it close? Saving clubs is necessary for the health of the district. We need clubs for the district to be in good standing, just as clubs also need members to be in good standing. Without clubs, the TM organisation, an International organisation, would fade away. We need to remember that members are the backbone of the Toastmasters experience and we need to retain clubs to retain members. We cannot have one without the other. And finally, we lose a part of history with each club we lose and as it is my role, I take it seriously.


The Club Coaching Program in District 71 – An Overview

Daniel Sandars DTM, Public Relations Manager

Last year 13 Toastmasters helped eight clubs return to Distinguished status and were awarded their club coach leadership achievements at the end of the recent Toastmaster’s year.

Thus, attaining one of three requirements for an Advanced Leaders Silver award. Their length of a

ppointments has ranged from 89 days to 601 days with an average of 421 days. Some of the length of service is down to Coaches choosing to extend their terms as an insurance measure for the Club

What is Distinguished status for a club? All clubs are set ten management goals within the Distinguished Clubs Program (DCP). The first six goals relate to the educational awards earned by the club’s members, the next two goals relate to the number of new members during the year, the ninth goal is based on officers attending training twice a year and the final goal is for administration by submitting the club officer list and at least one set of renewals on time. A club earning five or more goals is said to be Distinguished with the higher accolade of Select Distinguished for seven or eight goals and President’s Distinguished for nine or ten goals. However, to qualify a club needs to have 20 or more members or a net growth of five members at the end of the year of 30th of June.

It is possible to have a closer look at the DCP performance of the Clubs that have been coached thanks to Toastmaster Mike Raffety who has published various statistical tools and reports. For DCP history see . I’ve run the report for the eight clubs that were coached last year (see below). It is worth noting that paid membership counts are for the 30th of June (American syntax ‘6/30’) and may hide horror stories for the September and March renewals which are when the appointment of a Club Coach was triggered.

DCP History: 772301 – Bantry (D71 area A11)

DCP History: 3525 – Mid-Ulster (D71 area F4)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018

DCP History: 2730842 – IFSC (D71 area J57)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018

DCP History: 3941402 – Kiltegan (D71 area D40)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018

DCP History: 4044008 – Voicematters – Vodafone (D71 area M54)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018

DCP History: 2333 – Cork East (D71 area A3)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018

DCP History: 827840 – West Limerick (D71 area B36)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018

DCP History: 866008 – Athy (D71 area D28)

Data as of Tue Sep 25 10:10:16 2018

In four of the clubs, Bantry, Mid-Ulster, IFSC, and Kiltegan it is clear they have been struggling for a protracted period, which in the case of Bantry stretches back eight years. The impact of the Club Coaching is equally clear with a net growth of five new members between 16-17 and 17-18, but also a decisive increase in the number of DCP goals obtained -almost double what was previously obtained

The picture is less clear for the final four clubs because the detail is hidden by annual summaries. Fortunately, another Toastmaster statistician George Marshall publishes tools that allow a Club’s DCP history to be followed month by month – see TMTools In the case of West Limerick in October 2016 membership slumped from 21 to 8, spending five months below 12 members. October 2016 also saw Athy drop from 20 to 11 members for three months, Cork East from 20 members to 9 then remaining below 12 for four months. For Voicematters – Vodafone it was October 17 when membership fell from 24 to 9 and remained below 12 for six months.

Currently, the district has nine clubs being helped by ten Toastmasters. Two of whom are helping two clubs! Currently, prior to September 2018 renewals there are 12 eligible clubs without a Coach with memberships ranging from 2-12 with an average of 8 members. Including the clubs that do have Coaches they account one in ten (10.1%) of the District’s clubs

In summary, Club Coaching can help mount a big turn around and many Club coaches go on to give back more than just the minimum. Where we have opportunity for improvement is in the timeliness of brokerage and matchmaking that might see clubs reaching out sooner for help to be paired up with Coaches coming forward more numerously.

Coaching Corporate to Community Club IFSC Toastmasters

By Brenda Lannon ACB ALS, District 71 Administration Manager

My name is Brenda Lannon and I’m a member of Toastmasters since September 2010. I have achieved my ACB and ALS. I have also served on many club committees as well as serving at District level as Area and Division Director. I am currently the Administration Manager for the District.

I was asked to be a club coach for Citibank Toastmasters in June 2017. This club was a corporate club that had ceased to be a corporate club. A decision was made to reform the club as a community club. I saw the role of club coach as an opportunity to develop and build on my leadership skills, my team working skills and to help grow the club into a strong, vibrant club. I wanted to pass on some of the skills and experiences I had gained in my 7 years as a Toastmaster.

There was a strong committee who were enthusiastic Toastmasters, all were current or past District leaders and were very willing to work together as a team to grow the club.

A plan was put in place at the start of the year to:

  • Rename the club IFSC toastmasters – this better reflected the locality in which the meetings took place.
  • Regularise club meetings (plan dates and venue for meetings.)
  • Ensure quality meetings were held.
  • Ensure that new members to the club were given speaking opportunities and were encouraged to commence the educational programs and take on meeting roles.
  • Encourage experienced toastmasters to come to the meetings to take on roles during the meetings.

The club was renamed IFSC Toastmasters and we used social media (Facebook page and meetup) to promote meetings.

The club was previously a Corporate Club and was therefore without a venue when the club ceased as a corporate club. Initially, meetings were held between two venues – a room on a college campus which was free from a cost point of view, but the college was unable to guarantee the same room for each meeting. The second possible venue was a meeting room in a nearby hotel with the associated costs. This created instability and uncertainty and made it more difficult to attract new members.

No definite meeting day – the club initially had no definite meeting day. The meetings varied from being held every two weeks to every three weeks. There was no certainty. The venue and dates were fixed for a room in a nearby hotel and definite dates were set for meetings. As the year progressed, there was an increase in guests coming to the meetings which brought an increase in membership. Excellent quality meetings were held. Experienced toastmasters were asked to come to the meetings to assist with taking on roles at meetings. Guests were invited along and were warmly welcomed to the meetings, given opportunities to take on speaking roles and were given positive constructive evaluations.

In June 2018, the club membership had a net growth of 5 members and the club was awarded the Distinguished Club award. This was a very proud moment for me as club coach but also the hard-working members of the committee who never gave up and persisted in their efforts to re-establish and re-energize the club.

The club is still facing challenges but the commitment of the committee members and other toastmasters within the club will see the club progressing, building on its strong points and working towards minimising its weaknesses.

Being a club coach last year was a very rewarding experience and I would encourage any member to take on the role of club coach. It is an opportunity to give something back while developing leadership and communication skills at the same time.

Coaching Community Club Bantry (D71 area A11)

By Joey O’Leary, ACS, ALS

Joey was appointed Coach at Bantry in May 2017. As shown in the previous section Bantry finished outside of the Distinguished club programme for the previous eight years. Last year after a net growth of five new members Bantry returned as a distinguished club with five goals.

She describes her Coaching experience…

“Becoming a coach for a club can and has been rewarding. Being a coach has been an excellent way to give back to Toastmasters.

Ideally, Bantry should not have had to struggle on for so long alone. However, you may need to make changes to the club as Coach and club members may not be open to them. It was tough trying to get an open meeting as some members were quite happy to continue the way they were.

Some welcome you whilst others question you. Honestly you need to be either deaf or thick skinned. It is just as well that I am both. The most important thing as coach is to put the needs of the club first. The key was working with the members that wanted to see their club improve.

Whilst a coach I saw many of the skills we learnt in Toastmasters being used. Would I coach again? Yes!”

Coaching Community Club Kinsale & District (D71 area A11)

By Phillip O’Brien

My name is Phillip O’Brien and I joined Toastmasters in 2014. I attended a few meetings of the Bandon Club in west Cork as a guest and joined up. I’ve progressed relatively quickly to ACG, ALB. I had worked closely with the president of my home club last year as Vice President Education through identifying where members were at regarding educational goals and working with the Vice Presidents Public Relations and Membership to advertise and promote the club. Working together the club achieved 10 DCP points from not being distinguished at all the year before.

During my year as Area Director I learned more about the bigger picture of Toastmasters and because of all the many, varied and wonderful experiences I’d had as a Toastmaster I felt that I would like to try and give back on a level outside of my own club. Kinsale Toastmasters, next door to Bandon, in 2017/2018, was a ‘struggling club’. As Area Director I wrote to the Club Growth Director for the District, John Cox and was appointed as Club Coach for Kinsale in April 2018. The biggest challenge is to use public relations tools effectively to attract new members.

DCP History: 1223085 – Kinsale & District (D71 area A11)

Data as of Fri Sep 28 10:10:17 2018

I think initially the reception I had was one of cautious curiosity. The members in the club are warm and welcoming but anything outside of the club or contest level wasn’t really seen as that relevant. However, I was welcomed in as the coach.

Some of the main issue to look at and work on from initial assessment were (a) to have the club in good standing for Area/Division contests (b) to encourage earlier payment of dues (c) to “get the easy things done” and (d) to explore how to attract new members.

My plan was to join the club and stand for election as Vice President of Education, so I could assist with the educational side of things and specially to support and promote Pathways as the club had very little introduction to Pathways. I also planned to work with the Committee to explore options for the meeting location which is somewhat out of the way in the town and not easy to find.

So far, the club has registered its officers, had 90%+ pay dues on time so is in good standing and has had five officers attend the first round of Club Officer Training. One education award has been registered so far. Several members have given speeches from Pathways.

The club will celebrate its tenth anniversary in May 2019 and we aim to be a Distinguished club by then. We should also have a member achieving her DTM.

So far, the journey has been exciting, challenging, it has allowed me to develop motivational skills and it has helped the club and members to engage more in what Toastmasters has to offer and has raised the profile of the club a little in the Division.

I look forward to continuing the journey while my term as coach lasts.

My tips for Coaching

By Patricia Loughnane DTM, Pathways Ambassador and Guide, Thurles Toastmasters President 2018-2019.

  • Contact the club beforehand to establish a rapport. Often Club Officers miss out on Training, so some procedures may need to be explained.
  • Meet with the Committee ASAP to discuss what they think is missing. Is it lack of organisation? Administration difficulties etc?
  • PR strategy-publicise club meetings. Look at Social Media presence-update.
  • Open Night or event that members of the public/target audience would be interested in.
  • Speech Craft in a local business or incorporated before a meeting with the participants given the option of staying to meet Club members and maybe even joining.

It may take the full 2 years to get the Club to acquire the DCP points, but it is worth it and the Club will have taken charge, revitalised itself with your help which is to your mutual advantage: Vibrant club and you get a goal on your Pathway to DTM.