Toastmasters UK North & Ireland

District Club Officer Training – July 2022

Date(s) - 23/07/2022
10:00 am - 1:00 pm

The Program Quality Team hosted a Club Officer Training event that was relevant, engaging and fun.

Here is a brief summary of what was covered, along with some useful links.

Welcome by District Leaders
Brenda Lannon, District Director, welcomed us and set out the theme of growing community together. With over 300 participants in the event, this was a great demonstration of our members’ and officers’ dedication to helping our members.

Elizabeth Jordan, Program Quality Director, explained the format of the event and highlighted that it was an opportunity for everyone to learn together. She shared a quote, “I am still learning”.  This was attributed to Michaelangelo, who said it at the age of 87 while painting the Sistine Chapel.

Parliamentary Procedures and Effective Meetings
Larry Lyons, District Parliamentarian, described the benefits of “Parliamentary Procedure” within meetings. This approach allows important items to be be discussed, for everyone to be able to contribute and for decisions to be made effectively.  He recommended Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised, In Brief, 3rd edition as an extremely helpful resource, to be used alongside the Toastmasters International Governing Documents.

The Distinguished Club Program and Documented Changes in People
Ted Corcoran, DTM and Past International President, explained the value of the Distinguished Club Program in creating “Documented Changes in People”.  He shared ten reasons why being a Distinguished club is important:

  • Shows how well clubs deliver the Club Mission
  • Measures personal growth of members
  • Focuses clubs on service to members
  • Affords club officers and members practice in setting and achieving goals
  • Reflects positively on the leadership and management qualities of club officers
  • Gives members a sense of pride in the club’s success
  • Develops a club culture of success
  • Maintains the Toastmasters brand

Ted celebrated the achievements of clubs in the 2021-22 Toastmasters year in which 100 clubs achieved Distinguished status or better.  He then set us all the challenge of working together as a team to achieve at least 150 Distinguished clubs in the 2022-23 year, our District’s 50th anniversary year.

July Poem – At the Start of the Toastmasters Year
Philip Khan-Panni, District Poet-in-Residence, read his poem for July:

How we sighed for the sight of a room full of folks
Who would look in your eye, even laugh at your jokes;
There is nothing quite like it when people are near
At the start of a Toastmasters year.

All throughout the pandemic we managed with Zoom;
It was not quite the same as being live in the room.
Trying to cope with it all raised a new set of fears
During two techie Toastmaster years.

We had visitors coming from faraway lands
And the things that they told us we could quite understand,
For they carried the cadence of shared interests
And being willing to give of their best.

Let us see the next year as if breaking new ground,
We should strengthen the bonds with the new friends we found,
And together move on as new targets appear
At the start of this Toastmasters year.

Club Officer Roles Breakout Rooms
Club officers were trained in their roles within role-specific breakout rooms.  Our thanks to the facilitators:
President: Liz Welch & Maria Orlovic
VP, Education: Sue Burnett & Gerard Mannix
VP, Membership: Danny Banks
VP, Public Relations:  Ernold Van Bueren
Treasurer: Steve Campion
Secretary: Brenda Lannon
Sergeant-at-Arms: Elizabeth Jordan

Creating a Quality Club
Steve Campion, DTM, Past Administration Manager, facilitated a discussion on how to create a high quality club.  Steve introduced the Moments of Truth process, in which club members and officers are asked to evaluate their club based on:

  • First impressions
  • Membership orientation
  • Fellowship, variety and communication
  • Program planning and meeting organisation
  • Membership strength
  • Achievement recognition

It was recommended that every club conducts a Moments of Truth session as soon as possible, so that the club can celebrate their successes and decide on priorities for the future.

Steve then described the Club Success Plan, an important document that helps club executive committees and their members to plan for the year ahead. It helps with setting expectations about how committee members will communicate and support each other, how decisions will be made and how achievements will be recognised.  It supports more detailed planning for educational activities and the building of membership strength. All clubs are encouraged to work on a Club Success Plan as soon as possible, and share with with their members and Area Director.

Closing Remarks
Brenda Lannon, District Director, thanked the Program Quality team for the excellent training session and for the enthusiasm and engagement of all club officers in attendance.  Elizabeth Jordan, Program Quality Director, thanked presenters and attendees and asked that we give special recognition to the technical team that supported the event (Cameron Mcconnachie, Gearoid Murphy, Liz Welch, Matty Behan, Moira O’Brien and Sarinca Janga).


Useful resources


Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.