Find an archive of the District’s posts below:
Congratulations District 21 Clubs!
Today is the last day of the 2016-2017 Toastmasters year and we continue to have more District 21 clubs moving to the Distinguished level!
Here are the results up to yesterday, June 29:
- 72 of our 152 clubs are distinguished
- That’s 47.37% of our clubs—the highest level since the district split in 2014
- This is an increase of 6% over 2014-2015 and an increase of 10% over 2016-2017 – a new standard for our district!!
- Currently, we are ranked in 49th place in the world in Distinguished Clubs (out of 103 districts).
This is a remarkable achievement and we should all be very proud of our efforts.
Congratulations to ALL our distinguished clubs for your outstanding efforts this year!!
District 21 Director 2016-2017
Another successful year for this Division K Club!
What stands out for Nelson Fresh Tracks Toastmasters this year has been the commitment from all members to quality meetings. The past VPE recommended a method from a Toastmaster magazine: list the Toastmaster role three meetings ahead, members sign up at the club free host toast website, if no response in the last week the Toastmaster assigns roles. This improved the accountability of members and made the Toastmaster role more enjoyable.
Another significant change to our club was our location. Nelsonites pride themselves in walking and biking as ecological alternatives to driving. We wanted to be downtown for the convenience of guests and members. The previous meetings were in an educational setting in an area of city up the mountain that deterred some who didn’t like the slippery hills in the winter. Our new location (photo to the left) is central and modern with suspended lighting illuminating featured local artwork on the walls—it has transformed our club atmosphere.
We never cancelled at meeting, once we had to temporarily move to a hotel a block away. We decided to make this a dinner meeting to offer the opportunity to speak in a different setting. There was a heavy snow fall, one of our members snowshoed to the meeting. An extra bonus was the fireplace which enhanced our ambience. (Photo to the right shows a member looking down at her slippers–we are not allowed to wear outside shoes on the wood floor in the winter and we have fun with that.)
Other successes include our Facebook ads that broadened our reach. Our VPR added regular Facebook posts with quotes, photos of Table topics winners and links. Our VPM was diligent responding to guest inquiries at our website and personally inviting them to our meetings and answering questions. The majority of the meetings this year had two to three manual speakers. Progress charts were in full view at break with tasty snacks and time to visit with members was another important ingredient. Member surveys, Toastmaster of the Year award are traditions specific to Nelson Fresh Tracks.
In summary, ease of access, visual appeal, online presence, friendships and food have shaped our growth this year.
Submitted by Heather Love ACS ALS
Past President, Nelson Fresh Tracks Toastmasters
District 21 can be very proud that we have won the Toastmasters International Education and Training Award for 2016-2017!
This award is provided to districts that surpass 40% of their clubs being distinguished. We went past this mark earlier this week and now have 43.42% of our clubs distinguished – a total of 66 clubs!
There are still 3 days left and we anticipate more of our clubs reaching distinguished before June 30th.
This is a very important award and one that is the cornerstone of a successful district.
Congratulations to all our distinguished clubs for their outstanding efforts this year!
Alan Warburton, District 21 Director 2016-2017
It has been an honour to serve you this year. Thank you so much members of District 21 for your hard work in your clubs and greater community this past year. Together we have accomplished mountains towards our goals and had a lot of fun along the way. As we move into a new fiscal year let’s not forget the importance of continuous improvement and finding ways to grow as communicators and leaders.
Summer’s here, and it can be one of the best times to grow. Take advantage of the sun and ability to use it for the benefit of your club.
It is always a challenge to keep members engaged as the outdoor heat is attracting people to activities in the sun. So, how can we keep the energy and growth up in our clubs over the summer? Here are a few ideas…
- Organize a Barbecue at a members home and run a Toastmasters meeting with food and drinks. Encourage members to bring friends and family.
- Picnic in a park with speeches. Take your club banner to gain some free Public Relations for your club by other park attendees.
- Do an evening movie screening of Speak (2011), a documentary on the World Championship of Public Speaking. This can be run as the sun sets and the whole community invited.
- Camping trip! What a great way to combine the importance of fellowship with a Toastmasters meeting around the campfire.
- Discuss with club members the option of changing meeting time or frequency for the summer months to allow learning and outdoor time balance.
- Attend a summer Farmers’ Market to promote your club and do some speeches for attendees.
Yours in Service,
Michael Bown, DTM
Club Growth Director, District 21 2016-2017
Traveling through District 21 with a Past International President (PIP Ted Corcoran) was a part of the year that was so fantastic. It allowed us to take to a message of unity to our members. The strength of that visit is now showing up in our stats as a district. Today, June 27, we have 61 Distinguished clubs or better, and more are on track. Thank you for helping us find the moment to do this, Ted!!! This man is a shining light with anything he does and he lives and breathes the message he puts forward.
Last year Alan and Michael were instrumental in outlining how our future club trainings for officers would go. Our four-hour, FREE sessions were a huge success. We also ran a contest to rename our Club Officer Training (COT) sessions and now they are called Accredited Club Training (ACT). We put the focus on training and asked our club executive officers to be the best they could be: we had 24 Clubs with ‘Seven of Seven Ribbons’ for officers trained, and 649 trained. This is a success that is directly affecting the members experience in their club. Thank you, club officers for your efforts.
We put together two outstanding conferences – “Beaches, Speeches & Spas!” in the Fall, co-chaired by Phyllis Nielsen and Kristin Nickells; and “Spring into our Future…Take the Leap and Lead” in the Spring, co-chaired by Annie and Jenny Peng. Both teams gave the members an experience they will remember for a long time.
Being part of unfolding the Pathways Program with David Hobson was amazing. He worked hard to keep members engaged, and to look for those guides that will be a big part of our future. We teamed with District 96, offering education sessions to ensure we learned from each other. The respect we have for each other helped us to learn and offer our members the best possible outcomes. I thank Lydia Burchell District 96 PQD and Eleanor Kroeger (MacPherson) for the time they shared with David and I.
Working with Michael and Alan has been something I will always remember. Learning from them about how to work on the necessary paperwork, meetings, DOT’s has been invaluable. We worked as a team that kept our efforts moving towards how to serve the membership well. We “always” kept in mind our TM values, Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence.
Then there was Remote Club Officer Training (RCOT) – thirteen clubs got the best of what Marg Hope, Maureen McBeath and their team at Toastmentors (a D21 club) had to offer. This is a spectacular and important piece of training with members from the Yukon interacting with people in other remote areas in BC sharing and caring the Toastmaster way.
I would always say members are incredibly important, but I would suggest to you that your Area Directors, Division Directors, and the Trio of the district are there to move the organization forward at different levels. Please remember to introduce them and always treat them respectfully whenever they attend your club. They all work hard for you.
We had two successful District Officer Training (DOT) sessions — they were fun events with great food (thanks Ros, Letty, Jenny and Annie). The sessions provided the ability to bring the province together and share the same message. We also had the opportunity to bring in experienced members, whose strength lies in their ability to see the big picture, to share with our officers. Pat Johnson, Past International President (PIP), Margaret Page, International Director (ID) and others gave us a chance to ask the questions that were on our minds and also infused us with the energy to go back home and confidently take their messages to our members. There was a 100% rate of attendance in the first round, and 98% in the second session; officers were given the tools to do the best for the members.
The Distinguished Club Program (DCP) according to Margaret Page is “Documented Changes in People”. Margaret is an amazing woman who gives so much. Have you ever received one of her personalized cards? She knows exactly what to say and is always there for support.
Do you remember me saying, “Every Toastmaster and guest deserves to walk into a Distinguished Club and experience the Toastmaster Program”? I did not create the saying, but I know if the clubs work towards this goal, every member will be successful at achieving their goals.
If I were evaluating the year, this would be the time I’d put in what could have been more effective. There are always challenges to be addressed, but since there are so many positives to rave about this year, instead I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate District 21 for coming together and taking advantage of lots of opportunities that were offered to members:
Finally, it will be a joy to go back to my club. I did not attend a lot of meetings as District duties have to be fulfilled, but I was in a meeting last night with fifteen members and three guests, and the energy was powerful. We have been President’s Distinguished for twenty years in a row–something to be very proud of. “We work the program, because the program works”!
Toastmasters has a message that anyone can find value from and it has been my privilege to work for D21 as the PQD.
I wish you all well on your Toastmasters journey and always remember,
“It is the journey, not the destination”.
All the best,
District 21 Program Quality Director, 2016-2017
As I write this on June 25th there are just five days to go before the Toastmaster year ends on Friday, June 30th and … District 21 is finishing strong!
Here are some of the highlights:
Only ONE North American district is distinguished as of today! There are around 70 districts in North America and to have only ONE of them distinguished at this time is VERY unusual. The probable reason is that there was a dues increase last September and, historically, this has always caused a challenge in membership payments and chartering new clubs. We chose a very challenging year to set a goal of being distinguished!
Despite these challenges we are just 26 membership payments short of our base this year of 5,512. We know that we will easily pass this number for reasons outlined below. At the present time we are ranked 38th in the world (out of 103 districts) as far as membership payments are concerned – kudos to all our clubs for your membership building efforts! READ MORE
We will have FIVE new clubs chartered in the month of June – RAD Speakers in Division E and Real Talks Toastmasters in Division F have already been chartered. Original Cakerie (Div. F), Funny Bone (Div. G), and YVR World Duty Free (Div. E) are in the process of chartering and our full expectation is that all three clubs will be chartered by the end of the month! The bonus of these new clubs being chartered is that we will have at least 60 additional new membership payments (as each new club has to have a minimum of 20 members). This will give another boost to our membership payments.
Our new clubs will take us to 149 paid clubs. We hope to have one more club in “good standing” by June 30th which will mean we will have 150 paid clubs. Our base this year was 152 clubs. We chartered eight new clubs this year but … unfortunately, we have lost 10 clubs. This is the ongoing challenge of keeping our clubs as strong as we can but … despite our very best efforts sometimes it is inevitable for certain clubs to fold. At present we are ranked 68th in the world in this category – it could certainly improve with our 3 new clubs ready to charter this week.
We are doing exceptionally well with our Distinguished Clubs!! As of today we have 60 clubs distinguished … just one short of the Distinguished District level of 61. To attain the Distinguished level you need 40% of your clubs attaining the Distinguished level. As of today, District 21 is sitting at 60 Distinguished Clubs which is 39.47%. In the last two years at the END of the year D21 was as follows: 2014-2015 = 41.45%; and 2015-2016 = 37.04%. We fully expect that we may get another eight to ten distinguished clubs this week which will take us to a level of 45% or higher. We are setting a new standard for District 21 which is an outstanding compliment to all the hard work that our clubs and Division and Area Directors have put in. At present, we are ranked 52nd in the world in this category – pretty amazing!
As you can see, our district is definitely finishing strong!
Thank you to everyone for helping to make this a memorable year in so many ways.
Alan Warburton DTM
District 21 Director, 2016-2017
- Allan Corbett
- Letty Louie
- May Soo-Tveita
- Barb Westlake
- Jeffrey Denissen
Winner – Helping Hands Convention Registration:
- Leah Cheyne
Winners – World Championship of Public Speaking Registration:
- Dorothy Miller
- Jan Ireland
- Nils Erzinger
- Mary Lummerding
Coming to our doorstep this August: The most awesome Toastmaster International event of the year!
Over 2000 members from around the globe will be convening in Vancouver for the world’s biggest speech contest, along with international elections, inspiring speakers and some seriously fun global networking.
Will you be there? Pat Johnson, Past International President, most certainly will be. She’s been attending this annual event since 1987 in Chicago, Illinois and is a huge supporter of its benefits.
This year, Pat is the Host District Convention Chair, as District 21 and District 96 welcome the world to Vancouver as co-hosting districts. One of Pat’s projects is overseeing the search for a large team of energetic volunteers who will be congenial ambassadors and facilitators throughout the convention.
Q. Is the Helping Hands program still looking for volunteers? YES!
In return, they must commit to a minimum of 10 hours of volunteer service during the convention. They also receive a custom-ordered volunteer’s vest.
“That order has to be sent in VERY SOON so we’re being proactive in confirming our volunteers,” reminds Pat. “Do check the convention highlights and Helping Hands link—right now! We expect all 200 spaces will be filled soon.”
Q. How will volunteers be assigned their roles?
Come early July, you’ll be canvassed via email about actual tasks. Make sure you respond quickly. “People get to pick, first-come first serve – so you snooze, you lose! We’re not looking for emcees here,” Pat adds. “It’s really all those supportive, non-flashy roles…but you can’t run a great convention without committed volunteers.”
Here’s Pat’s basic list of those vital volunteer roles:
- Security at the doors, checking tickets and ushering people into certain sections of the contest. You’ve got 2300 people storming the doors, vying for best seats for the world championship, and while it’s open seating, there are people with disabilities and VIPs who need special attention.
- Jacks and Jills of all trades, to help out as needed during contests or sessions, including handing out programs, attending the stages to support entrances and exits, or helping with props.
- Registration for 2000+ attendees, many of whom will be visiting Canada for the first time.
- Staffing the stores that sell TM merchandise.
- Welcoming people at the airport, in the main hotels and on site with west coast hospitality. Where can I find a vegan restaurant? I’m looking for halal food. How to I get to the skytrain? What is a seabus?
Q. Why are volunteers important to the convention?
“I’ve been treated curtly by volunteers and I’ve been treated royally by volunteers, so they truly alter our experience.” And Pat should know—she’s attended an amazing range of conventions, from Kuala Lumpur to Las Vegas to New Orleans.
Q. Any parting thoughts to might-be volunteers?
“Just make it a priority,” says Pat. “Come September, you’ll have no regrets….and you’ll have played a part in this ultimate opportunity that happened on our doorstep in 2017.”
Check out the Helping Hands Program here and be a vital part of the 2017 International 2017, August 23 to 26 in Vancouver.
Meet your 2017-2018 Club Growth Director: Joe Guenette
As your clubs work to end this Toastmasters year on a high note, our incoming district team is working behind the scenes to start the new Toastmasters year in tune and with a full orchestra!
Please join me in welcoming our District 21 Club Growth Director-Elect for 2017-2018, Joe Guenette DTM (x2)!
Joe is a dispatcher for his family’s towing company. He has seen many people struggle in the world and has set his sights on helping as many individuals as possible achieve their goals. This is why he finally joined Toastmasters (not to mention the fact he was being nagged every week from his Mother-in-law).
Joe joined Cowichan Toastmasters Club 950 in Duncan B.C. on October 1, 2009. Always a strong supporter of the Distinguished Club Program, he has a big heart around helping low member clubs grow, and helping individual members discover what’s possible for themselves.
Joe has been busy this past year working for all the Clubs in District 21 as the Club Coach Coordinator. He has learned much from this position, as well as his work with his own clubs, area and division. Joe brings that great education forward into his new position as Club Growth Director 2017-18.
Joe’s Communication Track
- 6 Competent Communicators, 3 Advanced Communicator Bronze, 3 Advanced Communicator Silver
- 2 Advanced Communicator Gold (1 speech left for #3)
Joe’s Leadership Track
- 13 Competent Leader, 6 Advanced Leader Bronze, 2 Advanced Leader Silver,
- 2 Distinguished Toastmaster, 3 Leadership Excellence
Service to his Clubs and District
- VP Education x 9, President’s Distinguished Club 9 years, President x2, President Distinguished
- VP Membership x 2
- Past Area Governor / Director X 2, Distinguished and Select Distinguished
- Past President Distinguished Division Governor
- Immediate Past Area Director of the Year
We are still looking for a few “note”able team members:
Administration Manager (receives the District credit toward ALS)
- Will get to know more about the inner workings of Toastmasters International! Must love “Administrivia” and be willing to put aside any other major roles in their clubs. This is a great opportunity to grow in many ways and can lead to future leadership opportunities in the District Trio.
Club Extension Chair (reports to Joe Guenette, CGD)
- Must be technologically savvy, detail oriented, and be interested in helping people over the phone, as well as learning what it takes to lead and support a team. Will get to know amazing “go getters” throughout the District!
Club Retention Chair (reports to Joe Guenette, CGD)
- Must be a great listener with solid communication skills and be interested in helping people over the phone, as well as in learning what it takes to lead and support a team. Will get to know, help and equip members throughout the District. Will make many new friends!
Club New Source Research Chair (reports to Joe Guenette, CGD)
- Must enjoy research, collaborating, strategizing and connecting. This is a great position for anyone wanting to improve their sales skills, which is all about helping people make the right decisions for their future. This position will grow your ability to see possibilities others may miss.
A full list of these incoming Officers and Assistants will be made available on July 1st, at the beginning of our new Toastmasters year.
your Toastmasters District 21 Director-Elect,
Richard Kunz is a jazz musician and leader of a five-piece combo. He and the combo jazzed up our evening dances at a recent Toastmasters Conference in Vancouver. The workshop he and his combo led on leadership was beyond jazz.
Leadership Lessons from Richard Kuhn’s workshop:
It is important for a leader to lead AND follow.
First, the leader lays down eight bars of music. Then he throws it to another member of the combo who then improvises within that structure.
Lesson: A leader provides the initial idea, but then lets someone else in the team come up with his idea(s). In fact, everyone in the combo (team) gets to “riff” off the initial idea and subsequent ideas.
Outcome: The sum becomes more than its parts. Everyone has a say and the overall piece of music is much more than one musician (leader) could do by himself.
It is important for a leader to listen.
When a player contributes their 8 bars of improvisation, the leader and other combo members (team members) actively listening. When the leader again contributes, it is with a new, refreshed and invigorated spirit. Same for other combo (team) members.
Lesson: Only by active listening and hearing the others’ contributions can the leader fashion a new, as yet unheard 8 bars of music.
Outcome: The music takes on a life of its own. There are twists and turns that did not exist in the universe until a few moments ago.
Living in the Eternal “Now.”
Only by being open to what is happening at this moment, as scary as it may seem, can the leader hope to have his team create something new and valuable. The music is never the same as in any previous performance. Nor will it be the same in future performances. All that has happened in the past few moments (days, months, years) influences the present moment. But all magic happens in the “now.”
Lesson: Only by being in the now can the leader and other combo (team) members allow that magic.
Outcome: Combo (team) members feel validated by having their contributions listened to, encouraged and added to.
Stepping out of Ego.
No place in jazz for ego. It only creates discord. A leader allows combo (team) members to lead them for a while.
Lesson: By recognizing that he doesn’t have all the answers and stepping out of the way, the leader shows humility.
Outcome: This stance encourages and supports other combo (team) members to reach down inside and share their most intimate selves…allows them to create a joyful sound. The team to feel they belong in the team and that, together, they can and do achieve above and beyond.
It Takes Courage.
An insecure leader may try to have things all his own way. Team members may follow, but they may also not “buy in” fully. The leader may not get solutions other than their own.
The leader’s ideas may be completely changed by the end of the process. There may be very little left of their original idea. Yet the outcome may be far greater.
Only if a leader has courage to let go of their idea(s) can a greater idea or outcome emerge.
This can take great courage. There is a saying that might apply here: you can get a lot done if you don’t care who gets the credit. A leader is willing to have others shine in the spotlight.
Every Toastmasters Conference is different. Richard Kunz and his combo certainly sparked and “jazzed” up the last one.
His site: <https://www.jazzmind.net/blog/category/leadership> What lessons can we glean from Jazz into our daily lives? <http://joyenergyandhealth.com/2017/05/24/jazz-leadership-mastery-newsletter-may-24-2017/>
Submitted by Matti Anttila CC, CL, VPM Oak Bay Toastmasters