Tick, tick, tick. Only 75 days are left in this Toastmasters year. Excitement is building as our members, clubs, areas and divisions work to beat the clock and achieve goals. Here are some suggestions to help:
Track progress. It’s wise to measure and monitor progress toward educational awards (and club DCP goals). You should already be doing this, but if not, start now. You can use a spreadsheet or even the surface of a napkin. Just do it. What gets measured is more readily achieved or advanced.
Conduct Speech-a-Thons. Districts cannot organize speech-a-thons, but clubs can conduct these special events that give members extra chances to speak. Rules are simple. Speakers should give only manual speeches, focus on the project’s objectives, and not rush preparations. Members are limited to one speech at any meeting for credit, and each speech must get a written and verbal evaluation. Clubs can make any regular meeting a speech-a-thon or choose to add meetings to their schedules for speech-a-thons. These events are especially useful at this time of year, but some clubs have them regularly.
Focus on CL awards. Since virtually every role a member takes in a meeting will earn them credit towards a Competent Leader (CL) award, progress in finishing most CL projects can be rapid. The VP Education can assist members with earning credit for the non-meeting role projects. A nice tracking tool (Excel file) is accessible on our website.
Be a guest speaker and invite guests. Not all clubs fill up their speaking slots at each meeting, so members interested in getting in an extra speech should look for opportunities to serve as a guest speaker. And, if it’s feasible for your club, consider inviting or accommodating guest speakers. It’s mutually beneficial!
Get a mentor or be one. Even highly experienced members can benefit from the insights and motivation available from mentors. Don’t hesitate to ask for one. If a member could use help, please volunteer to be a mentor or help secure one. This will yield more education awards and ease member retention.
Post awards promptly. If you’ve achieved an educational award, ask your club’s VP Education to immediately post it on the Toastmasters International website. Entering it online is the fastest, most reliable way to get credit. Both you and your club will be happy to see that occur.
It’s time to beat the clock. Good luck!
Lt. Governor Education and Training