Archives for Success

Feb ’19 Distinguished Clubs and Pathways incentives

February Update on Distinguished Club and Pathways Incentives

John Cox District 71 Program Quality Director

Distinguished Club Incentives

We are doing well.

As at the middle of February 56 of our clubs had achieved 5 DCP goals or better.

The following Clubs – that were not Distinguished last year – have already potentially achieved Distinguished or better status this year, providing they end the year with 20 + members or a net growth of 5 members.  $30 worth of TI shop items are up for grabs.  Many more clubs could join them. The results are changing daily so if you think your club should be on the list please let me know.

  • Div C16     IBM Blue Toastmasters
  • Div E39     Walsall Speakers
  • Div E42     Godiva Speakers
  • Div F12     Loughrea Toastmasters Club
  • Div N31     Chester Corporate Speakers
  • Div N48     Salford Speakers Toastmasters (President’s Distinguished)
  • Div N31     Castle Communicators (Select Distinguished)

Pathways Incentives

Pathways is also progressing well.

Several clubs below are well on their way to achieving four Pathways Level 1s and two Level 2s, or 4 CCs.  The first 30 clubs to achieve these goals will win $20 worth of Pathways ribbons.

Congratulations to Chester Corporate Speakers, Salford Speakers and Capital Communicators (CCs) who have already achieved 4 CC awards – their ribbons have been posted to them.

  • Div A3        Blarney Club                        4 Level 1s
  • Div A11      West Cork                              3 CCs
  • Div A23      Republic of Works TM Club   6 Level 1s
  • Div A49      VMWARE Toastmasters        3 CCs
  • Div D8        Clonmel Toastmasters           4 Level 1s
  • Div E39      Shropshire Speakers              3 CCs
  • Div E42      Godiva Speakers                    3 CCs
  • Div H32      West Herts Speakers             4 Level 1s
  • Div H44      North Bucks Speakers           3 CCs
  • Div J2         Dublin Club                            3 CCs
  • Div J2         Accentuators                          3 CCs
  • Div N31      Chester Corporate Speakers 4 CCs
  • Div N48     Manchester Orators TM Club 3 CCs
  • Div N48     Salford Speakers TM             4 CCs
  • Div N51      A1 Speakers                             4 Level 1s
  • Div S30      Capital Communicators          4 CCs

Please keep pursuing those education awards and getting the recognition you deserve.

Well done to all.  Keep up the great work.

Gordon Adams #ChantalCookePR

Gordon tackled the subject of great speech openings to leave your audience well and truly hooked.

What do a great novel and a great speech have in common?  They both grab people’s attention at the very beginning. From the moment you first open your mouth to speak, you need to hook your audience’s attention

Gordan Adams of North Bucks Speakers (Milton Keynes)

Chantal Cooke (#ChantalCookePR) of Panpathic Communications is a Public Relations agent retained by Districts 71 and 91 to help us obtain national press coverage. See here to read the article writing brief and you might win tickets to the next district conference.

23rd August 2019

Business Quarter has national and regional focused coverage. “A unique and refreshing mix of business news, features and commentary from the UK’s most inspirational entrepreneurs and business leaders”

Readership: 52,827 pm

19th July 2019 is a website which aims to provide a hub of news, guidance and feature material for people interested in how business works and how they can become successful at it. The target audience is UK-based, aspirational entrepreneurs who want to learn how to do business better, as well as start-ups and small businesses.

Readership: tbc. It has 30.7k followers on Twitter – this article has been shared:

Summer 2019

Gordon’s article has been published in PM.  This is the magazine for PM Forum which is “the world’s largest and fastest growing community for professional services marketers.” You can view a pdf of the article here;

Readership:  12k

Apr-Jun 2019

Gordon’s article is in Holistic Therapist Magazine Issue 30. Apr/May/Jun 2019 pages 3, 8, 24 & 25 You can view a copy of the magazine here:

Holistic Therapist Magazine is the first and only UK publication that offers a balance of business and industry features, with content for the therapists themselves.

Readership: 30k

27th June 2019

Entrepreneur & Investor is aimed at super HNWs and Ultras [
UltraHigh Net-Worth Individual], plus successful entrepreneurs living the life of their dreams on their own terms, and also those who may just be embarking on their entrepreneurial journey, but still aim high and have a strong desire for the finer things in life.
Readership: 40k per month

1st April 2019

Seven ways to give your speech a flying start

Business Leader Readership: 120,520 visits per month

29th March 2019

How to grab immediate attention when you start your presentation

Business Computing World Readership: 150k

28th March 2019

Business insider: Readership: 36,683,285 (monthly unique views)

28th February 2019

Richard Foster Fletcher lends a hand to Gordon Adams with this radio interview on Speech Openings.

ShareRadio Listeners: 35k
It is already on Twitter (where they have 11k followers)
We have been told that the interview will be broadcast on Share Radio on Monday 4th March at 12.30.

27th February 2019

Lidradio Readership: 26k

22nd February 2019

Indezine Readership: 10k

21st February 2019

Small Business Insider Readership: 1000

Your Coffee Break Readership:17k The editor has but it on Twitter @urcoffeebreak

A Christmas message from District 71 Director – Patricia O’Reilly, DTM

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Jack Frost nipping at your nose

Yuletide carols being sung by a choir

And folk dressed up like Eskimos…
(The Christmas Song)

Season’s Greetings to all members of District 71. 

I would like to thank all of you for giving selflessly of your time to your fellow club members and your clubs.

Just as you do in your Toastmasters clubs, at this Christmas season please give selflessly of your time to your family, relatives, friends, neighbours, the elderly and the vulnerable in your community. Remember that “Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person.” Anonymous

On behalf of the District Leadership Team, I wish you all a happy and joyous Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

And so, I’m offering this simple phrase

To kids from one to ninety-two

Although it’s been said many times, many ways

“Merry Christmas to you”.
(The Christmas Song)


Guest Division N

By Division Director John McFadzean

Traveling Toastmaster September 2018, John McFadzean, CL, of Southport, Merseyside, England, balances on a paddleboard at Southport Marine Lake in Southport, England.

I can’t get to my Club; but I need my TM fix…

By Nik Lakhani CC, ALB, President of Warrington Toastmasters, Area 31, Division N, District 71

I faced a crisis a few weeks ago. The wife’s away visiting her elderly parents abroad, and I’m the dutiful husband who “volunteered” to give up all my evening activities for 3 weeks to ensure our teenage kids can roll their eyes at me when I ask them nicely to do their homework!

This meant no volleyball, golf, or a quiet pint with friends at the local. In addition, I couldn’t go to my club, Warrington Toastmasters, for 3 straight meetings. We are an energetic and lively bunch who meet every Monday night at the Village Hotel in Warrington. I was VPE at the time and desperate not to miss my TM fix.

What do I do?

I can do most of my VPE role offline: schedule speeches, assign roles, etc. What about my fix? You know, the feeling you get from showing up, learning something new and having fun?

Crisis led to doubt and then onto despair. I can’t do cold turkey. It’s just not fair!

A chance conversation with a sympathetic member ignited a spark in me. “Have you tried online attendance?”, asked Anne. I then understood something clearly at last: I can attend a meeting online. Not just that, a meeting whilst sitting, in my boxers, sipping a tall glass of ice cold cider – whilst sporting psychedelic gaming headphones belonging to Teenager Number One.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think of this as an alternative to my local club. I love walking through the door every Monday night and contribute to a unique event of fun and learning with laughter.

This was complementary to my TM fix. A blue pill for my speaking journey, an enhancer, an extension if you will. I was blown away with the world I found through my newly requisitioned headphones and hitherto unused webcam.

I found 3 clubs within 150 miles of me that had online attendance: White Rose Speakers, Leeds; Luton Speakers Club, Luton; and, Cornerstone Communicators Advanced Toastmasters, St. Albans. All 3 are in District 71 – check them out.

Due to my work schedule at the time (and homework duties), I found some other online attendance clubs more suited to my requirements. These are: Competitive Communicators; Online Presenters and Global Trainers Online. Always visit a club twice, see what it’s like. If you feel good about it, just join as a dual member.

So, what was it like?

Well, amazing: I joined 3 more clubs and now I have a bigger family in Toastmasters. I have given them the benefit of my experience e.g. helping one club specifically to set up a robust Mentoring programme. Also, I have learned many things that I have brought back to Warrington Toastmasters, for example, being creative with Table Topics and special events to help attract visitors, member retention, and just have more fun. One such event is going to be like “Snow White Kills Sneezy – The Murder Trial“.

Ultimately, being a member of more clubs helps you accelerate your learning, gives you different challenges and pushes you out of your comfort zone. I have already picked up the knack of looking at the camera directly often.

The biggest point I would say is that the members you see and meet online are more tech savvy, more motivated and more qualified than the ones I’ve met at our traditional “bricks and mortar” clubs. The result of this is means I have hundreds of years’ worth of experience to call up in terms of Toastmasters and, particularly, Pathways. Most of the people online seem to be multiple DTMs with 18 months’ experience of Pathways.

There must be many members who will benefit from this. We have some who have difficulty in attending due to being a carer for a loved one, being ill or incapacitated. Let them speak and lead too.

In summary, online attendance helps you show up, learn something new and have fun.

From Babbling to Brilliant to Public Speaking: The tale of a public speaker

By Clésia Mendes, Warrington Toastmasters Vice President Public Relations

We all have our own reasons to joining Toastmasters, whether is to become more confident when speaking in public, having a safe secure space to practice public speaking and leadership skills, or expand our social circle. Recently I have discovered, that we all have our own reasons to keep coming back.

My reason to join was to have a safe secure space to practice public speaking, my reason to stay engaged was the friends I’ve made in my club, my reason to keep returning was that as time went by, my leadership skills started to emerge and started to get invited to attend other Toastmasters clubs, first to give Evaluations, then Educational sessions, then Workshops from Toastmasters International “The Successful Club Series” such as “Evaluate to Motivate”. And recently have been invited to deliver a 3-hour workshop for the Storyhouse Theatre in Chester, at 2pm of Saturday, 26th January 2019. And by the way, I was given the main stage, which is an 800-person venue.

How is this relevant to you? How is this relevant to your club? While members have their own reasons to join Toastmasters, they will have their own reasons to stay engaged, and their own reasons to keep coming back. And these evolve over time. Gaining clarity may take time but is a worthwhile pursuit. And experience show, we gain clarity by going through the process of being engaged, delivering speeches, taking leadership roles, officer roles, etc.

Why is this important? It is important because when we know this, then we can take the time to create the best conditions for our own skills and abilities to emerge and flourish. We can be more patient with ourselves, our development, our members growth and consequently Toastmasters growth.

Imagine how would it be like, if everyone knew that becoming a Toastmaster is like embarking on a journey of transformation and there’s plenty of time, opportunities, and support, for them to become who they really want to become.

In conclusion, everyone has reasons to join Toastmasters, something they want to achieve, do, or become. As time goes by, everyone develops reasons to keep coming back, which may be different from the original reasons. As they keep returning, they will gain clarity regarding what to do next, and the relevant opportunities will start to reveal themselves at the right time for the right person.

Area Fabulous Fifteen is on Fire as it continues its quest to be the best.

By Jane Craggs

Our Area Director has been pulling out the stops and by the end of 2018 will have visited all the clubs three times: once to get to know them and the clubs to get to know her, once for “the visit” and another time for fun. She always takes on a role and is supportive and helpful. Lynn Gregory is the power3 par excellence (i.e. cubed; ؞ better than X3). Well done to Lynn who has thrown herself wholeheartedly into the role, not being afraid to ask for advice and assistance; takes in her stride that some Toastmasters are not always as responsive and polite as she might expect; when to go the extra mile; when to say “no” and to speak her mind. All the clubs love her and look forward to her visits.

The four Chartered clubs: (in alphabetical order) Leeds City Toastmasters, Strictly Speaking Harrogate, White Rose Speakers and York EbOrators are all going from strength to strength, attracting visitors and signing up new members. Area Fabulous 15 is now small enough in area to make it easy to visit other clubs which is encouraged so members get that extra stimulation of seeing different speakers in a different environment but within the familiar safe confines of the Toastmasters structure. We hope this initiative will encourage members to visit clubs when they are away on business or on holiday. I never tire of telling the story of when I went to a meeting in Jaipur, India which, (sad Toastmaster that I am you may say) was one of the main highlights of our holiday. What a way to spend your 60th birthday …

The other clubs are all special: Asselby Advanced is a wonderful forum open to anyone with CC or above to experience hard-core meetings without the frills. We meet once a month and as an advanced club, we do not use up meeting-time describing the organisation or the roles as we assume these are known values. We can try out innovative ideas and the time is spent on in-depth evaluations. Bradford Speaks continues to grow and is situated in an ideal area for business and education. It is a pity they do not use easySPEAK, which I feel is a great tool that makes life easy for organisers, members, and District Officers to interact. Headingley Speakers, the latest pre-charter club is run, (for now), and supported by The Area Fabulous Fifteen Female Famous Five (also in alphabetical order) Jane Craggs, Clare Crowther (was 15, now 21), Lynn Gregory, Tina Norbury and Jean Stewart (was 15, now 21); no border issues for us! The valiant crew launching this new club put in the hours, the knowledge, the experience, and the love and are trying to create an exemplary Toastmasters club, meeting in a lovely historic venue. We hope to charter soon, very soon.

Happy Christmas to all and Happy toastmastering for 2019.

Area 21’s Newsletter contribution

By Becky Pennington

Many thanks to Murali, Andy and Matt for their respective sections and photos

Andrew Hodge has been running educational sessions with a twist at Hull Speakers. His interactive and energising sessions take place at the beginning of meetings and get members up on their feet and applying new techniques throughout the evening. Andrew’s sessions have focussed on different areas of being an effective speaker including stage anchoring, gesture archetypes, emotional states, and vocal variety. Andrew says, “We’ve all sat through ‘educational sessions’ from ‘experts’ that were a very delivery of content that could have been read off a website – I wanted to offer something that everyone, especially new people, with various learning styles would benefit from.”

Doncaster Speakers organised a special Toastmasters meeting for the graduates at Unipart Rail (President Andy Howell’s workplace). Six members of Doncaster Speakers performed roles, three graduates delivered icebreakers and eight took on Table Topics. The November meeting was a massive success, with Unipart Rail already requesting a follow-up session and is offering to pay for Toastmaster membership for all who attended. Unipart Rail’s Human Resources director Lucy Weaver and first-time ah counter summed up the meeting as “You nailed it! All was fantastic. Thank you.”

The Lord Mayor of Sheffield Councillor Anne Murphy visited Sheffield Speakers in January, delivering a speech on her life and role as Lord Mayor, which one member had the (daunting) task of evaluating. The Lord Mayor’s Consort Mr Gavin Holliday won in an innovative Table Topics session, where speakers had to sell new and ridiculous inventions revealed to them from behind closed doors!

In November, Sheffield hosted an action-packed Toastmasters event to celebrate the formation of the new Division N. Toastmasters enjoyed participating in a Murder Mystery icebreaker, watching the Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests, attending interactive workshops, and celebrating together with a meal and games. We hope that Area 21 set the bar high and look forward to future Division N events.

Vinette Hoffman-Jackson #ChantalCookePR

Chantal Cooke (#ChantalCookePR) of Panpathic Communications is a Public Relations agent retained by Districts 71 and 91 to help us obtain national press coverage. See here to read the article writing brief and you might win tickets to the next district conference.

#ChatalCookePR Vinette Hoffman Jackson

Vinette Hoffman Jackson (Bedford Speakers)


8th January 2019

10 of the best, unusual, most effective props to use when giving a speech

NetworkShe Readership 18k

11th December 2018

How to add impact to your presentation by using unusual props

How to add impact to your presentation by using unusual props

Lidradio Readership: 26k

28th November 2018

How do I… use creative and unusual props in my presentation?

Readership: BQLive says they have audience of 153k entrepreneurs, MDs and CEOs across the UK

19th November 2018

Nine of the Best Props to Add Impact to Your Presentation
Indezine: Make better presentations, fast!; Readership: 10k

Discover how mosquitoes were used as props in a speech as Bedford speaker shares her top tips
Bedford Today, Readership 88k

14th November 2018

Ten of the best, unusual and most effective props, for better business advice; Readership: 42k



District 71 is pleased to announce that


Chief Executive Officer, Toastmasters International

will be visiting Dublin

on Saturday 17th November 2018.

He will be presenting a workshop on



If you would like to attend, please email by Wednesday 14th November 2018

(Nominal charge for Tea/Coffee)

(Parking free)

Sudha Mani #ChantalCookePR

Sudha Mani is from Toastmasters International a not-for-profit organisation that has provided communication and leadership skills since 1924 through a worldwide network of clubs. There are more than 400 clubs and 10,000 members in the UK and Ireland. Members follow a structured educational programme to gain skills and confidence in public and impromptu speaking, chairing meetings and time management.

Sudha ManiAuthor Sudha Mani (Dunfermline Toastmasters)

Chantal Cooke (#ChantalCookePR) of Panpathic Communications is a Public Relations agent retained by Districts 71 and 91 to help us obtain national press coverage. See here to read the article writing brief and you might win tickets to the next district conference.

April 2019

Business 365 (Isle of Man). April 2019 edition page 23

Business 365 (Isle of Man Readership: 18k

12th January 2019

What to do when things go wrong with your presentation

What to do when things go wrong with your presentation

Precious Online Readership: 72k

January 2019

Presentations wrapped up: Giving a talk can be a nerve-wracking experience, but there are some simple tips for handling any unexpected challenges, as Sudha Mani explains

Sudha’s article is in the January 2019 edition of Accounting & Business – Ireland edition:

It has also been published on the ACCA website:

Readership: 150k

9th November 2018

How to Turn Around Your Presentation When Something Has Gone Wrong

Bytestart: The Small Business portal Readership: 71.5k

4th November 2018

When your presentation seems to be going wrong what should you do?

Family Friendly Working: News Advice and Ideas for working parents. Readership 10k

23rd October

Readership: 26k

12th October 2018

Readership: 427,000 daily Irish readers (print/online) and 44.5m page impressions on the website per month

9th October 2018

Practical Steps to take if you feel your presentation is going horribly wrong

Readership: 18k

8th October 2018

Readership: 142.5k

3rd October 2018

Readership: 33k

Club Banner presented at DELL EMC Limerick

Gemma Hickey accepts the club banner from Gerard Mannix Club Growth Director

Gemma Hickey accepts the club banner from Gerard Mannix Club Growth Director

Dell EMC Limerick Toastmasters
Club Number: 06786940, District 71, Area B36
Charter Date: Jun. 21, 2018

A great warm welcome to the new club at Dell EMC Toastmasters Limerick. The club currently meets for one hour every Friday at 11am. They had a very lively meeting on Friday 5th October 2018. Excellent speeches from Elaine Tynan and Lorraine Brennan plus superb Topics from Tom Moriarty. Present at the meeting were Michael Collins Past District Director, Bridget Elliott Past Division B Director and Gerard Mannix Cub Growth Director 2018/19.

Gerard presented Gemma Hickey on behalf of Dell Toastmasters with the club banner. Gemma has been the leader in the company to spearhead the foundation of the club.Her energy with the excellent support of Bridget Elliott had the club achieve charter in June.

Wishing all at Dell many years of  Toastmasters’  benefits, enjoyment and comradeship


Dell Toastmasters proudly sporting their new banner

Dell Toastmasters proudly sporting their new banner

Kindest regards.


Gerard Mannix
Club Growth Director,
Toastmasters International District 71


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

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.