It was Wednesday 15th December 2021, when our Lovely Area 39 Director and Delightful Division E Director came to visit the club. At the end of the meeting, they presented us with the President’s Distinguished Club ribbon for 2020-2021.
Like many organisations that reward staff for reaching targets, so Toastmasters International rewards clubs that follow the Distinguished Club Programme (DCP) with recognition ribbons.
Over the last Toastmaster year which ended on 30th June, we ran the club with the DCP points in mind. You might be thinking it’s yet another tick box exercise, but it isn’t. (Although, there are boxes to tick on the form we must fill in).
Achieving the 9 out of 10 points to get this award means:
- we are paying our club membership fees on time. (The treasurer and members all doing their bit).
- our club officers are attending training twice a year to keep up to date and share good practice. (The committee want the best for the club).
- we are regularly attracting new members who want to conquer their fear in public speaking for a plethora of reasons including work presentations, wedding speeches, sales pitches and entrepreneurial challenges. (Vice President Public Relations, Vice President Membership working together to attract new members and make them feel welcome when they contact us, or turn up to a meeting).
- by following the pathways educational programme members get the opportunity to pick one of the 11 pathways that best meet their needs. This could be anything from Leadership Development, Visionary Communication to Engaging Humour or Presentation Mastery, enabling them to learn, practice and develop skills and confidence in public speaking. Members are guided along their chosen pathway with the on-line resources and one of the club members as a mentor. The new member preparing and delivering their ice breaker is where the journey starts and using the same metaphor the mentor will help keep them on the track, road or path to help them achieve their goals and stretch themselves. (Vice President Education offering available speech slots on the agenda and allocating mentors to encourage speakers).
Over the last two years like many clubs and organisations our club also moved to online meetings using Zoom. So, to achieve this award in this challenging climate is a credit to the previous President, Committee and Club members for their support and tenacity.
The ribbon demonstrates club resilience, growth and motivation as well as working together, achieving, and having fun.
During the beginning of my tenancy in the role of President we have had the challenges of moving from Zoom to in person, this involved finding a new venue and getting set up to run in a hybrid format. We are now meeting as a hybrid club with some members joining in the zoom room and others in the real room. It’s not without its challenges but we are getting there and have had some good feedback.
I’m keeping my eye on the targets, because my aim is to hand the club over to the next incumbent with 9 or 10 points so they will receive the ribbon for Presidents Distinguished Club 2021-2022. (No pressure!)
Hopefully the President in 2022 won’t need to wear a mask, we are all smiling…. honest!