Archive for the ‘Information’ Category


Nostalgia – Farewell Western Division

Western Division will soon be no more

There are several groups working on planning for the new District 17 which will come into being on July 1 this year.

The Alignment Committee

This committee has prepared a report on the setup of Divisions and Areas in our West Australian District.  I am a member of the committee, so I am supporting its recommendations.  But I have a nostalgic pang that the new District 17 will have no Western Division.  When I joined Toastmasters in 1995 I was in Western Division because that was the only one.  Over the years Western has divided twice – first to set up Perth Division and then Innercity Division.

But now the recommendation is for three Divisions – Central, Northern and Southern.  So, farewell Western Division.

Look at the Committee’s recommended setup

You can find the recommendations at

Club Alignments 2011/12

There are some explanatory notes there, and there will be more supplied by the Committee Chair, Ross Wilkinson DTM.

I hope to get a comment from the very first Western Division Governor, Murray Jorgensen DTM, still very active in Toastmasters.  And another one from the soon to be the very last Western Division Governor, Robyn Richards DTM.

How do you feel about the disappearance of Western Division?

You can add a reminiscence or discuss the alignment proposal in comments box below.

David Nicholas DTM
WA Webmaster
and former Western Division Governor


District 17 in July 2011

WA will be District 17

Toastmasters International has decided – we will be District 17 when we become a full District in our own right.

17? why not 88 or 89?

The most recent new District was 87, so with two new Districts coming onstream, we thought it would be either 88 or 89.  Not so.  We have been given 17 because District 17 in Montana, USA has been folded into District 78 which covers Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and northwest Minnesota.

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Apparently, since we are in the “West” it was decided to give the previous number of the North Western State in the USA to us.

Who cares about the reason?

Mark Richards
Mark Richards DTM
Lt Governor
Education & Training

We have our number. From July 1, 2010 we will be functioning independently, the fourth Australia District, part of Region 12 of Toastmasters International. In the meantime, we will be preparing for the changeover, led by our current Lt Governor Education & Training (West) Mark Richards and Lt Governor Marketing (West) Ross Wilkinson. Elections for District 17 will be held in May, 2011 at the District 73 Convention being held in Perth.

A long journey coming to its destination

Quite a few people have been working very hard for the District WA project. At the last District Convention held in Perth in May 2007 then District Governor Geoff Morrissey moved and I seconded the resolution which set the process in motion.. The end of that project is in sight.

July 1, 2011 will be the beginning of a bigger project

It’s rather like a human birth. The child born from its mother was conceived well before the birth. We are coming out of District 73 and will need to grow and mature. Unlike human babies, we will need to be fully independent from the first day, with no parents to provide for us. We have just over six months to prepare for that full independence.

David Nicholas

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Posted by David Nicholas DTM
WA Webmaster


CL Problems

Project 8 is a problem

The Competent Leader Manual has 10 projects.  Project 8 deals with Motivating People.  Members are required to do three of five roles, at least one of which has to be from the first two roles named.  These two roles both require the member to conduct campaigns or chair a contest.

Problem 1

Chairing a speech contest is not an eligible activity.  This is the text of the relevant role

Membership campaign or contest chairman.  Your club conducts several membership-building campaigns or contests each year.  With the approval of your club’s vice president membership, organise and conduct a membership building contest, motivating members to participate and helping the club grow.”

This makes no reference to speech contests.  It is quite different.  Unfortunately the wording of the first role is ambiguous until the explanatory paragraph is read.  Either members and club officers don’t bother to read the explanatory material or they know of the problem and ignore it.  This role is very badly worded.  It should be presented as two separate roles

Membership campaign
Membership contest chairman

Problem 2

Members and club officials in most clubs are wrongly claiming credit for successfully completing Project 8.  They are using the chairing of club, area and division speech contests as fulfilling the requirement.  It doesn’t, as is perfectly obvious from Project 6 which lists chairing a club speech contest as a separate role from the two chairing roles in Project 8.  Have a look at at the 6 possible roles in Project 6 and see what I mean.  A club membership campaign or contest and a public relations campaign are there too, separate from a club speech contest.

Problem 3

This problem applies particularly to strong, successful clubs.  They have very great difficulty in providing opportunities for more than two or three members genuinely to complete either of the first two roles.  How many membership contests or public relations campaigns can reasonably be run in a given year?  This is particularly a problem for clubs with effective websites which attract the bulk of their new members.  I know of several such clubs in WA which have this problem.  It might sound incredible, but such clubs don’t run traditional member recruitment campaigns because they already have more than enough new members being recruited from the website.

Project 8 is a bottleneck for strong, successful clubs with many members working on the CL award and needing it to progress to the ALB award and finally to DTM.  .

What can be done about this problem?

I don’t know.  A new version of the CL Manual has recently been published.  It contains the same role requirements as the original Manual.  World Headquarters are not going to publish a revised edition for quite a while which recognises the problem I identify above, even if they agree with me.

Members and clubs which wish to promote the successful completion of the CL award will either have to turn a blind eye to the problem and use speech contests as an acceptable substitute or to find creative ways to conduct membership contests or public relations campaigns.  But read the manual.  Taking part in such campaigns or contests is not adequate – organising them and motivating other members to take part is the requirement.  This is an ethical problem for Vice Presidents Education who sign off the completion of Project 8.

What do you think about this problem?

Do you agree with my analysis?  Have you any creative suggestions for getting around the bottleneck?

Add your comment.

David Nicholas DTM
Member 318284

David Nicholas
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Twenty at last!

WA has an average membership of 20.0!

At week end September 24 we had 1,100 members in our 55 clubs.  That is an average of 20.0!

What’s the big deal?

I have been keeping detailed records of our WA Clubs for over 10 years.  This is the first time in that time we have reached this significant average.  It’s significant because Toastmasters International makes this the goal for clubs and Districts – 20 members is needed for effective club maintenance.

District WA

In the early days of our campaign for our own District in WA we were given two targets to reach – at least 60 clubs and an average membership of 20.  That was when we had 35 clubs and an average membership of 16.7!   Well, we have reached an average of 20 members per club (but not for long – see below), but we have only 55 clubs.  Yet, World Headquarters has promised we will be a full District on July 1, 2011 – only 9 months away.  What is going on?

Two things have tipped the scales in our favour

The first is our energetic pursuit of growth in new clubs.  In the 4 years since Mike Helm became the first West Australian District Governor of District 73 and I launched the District WA brand, we have been averaging a net growth of 5 clubs a year.  That average growth has given credibility to our push.  It has been significant overall and steady from year to year.

The second is pure luck! Toastmasters International has re-organised their structure to make it reflect the reality that growth is occurring outside North America.  A Region structure has been adopted with a minimum of 5 Districts per Region.  Geographically Australia and New Zealand have been grouped together in Region 12.  Currently there are 3 Australian Districts – District 69 Queensland and the Northern Territory, District 70 New South Wales and Canberra and ou District 73 Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and WA – and 1 New Zealand District – District 72.  Region 12 needs another District to bring up its quota.  Enter District WA.  They need us and we have established credibility – they know we will get there soon, so they have relaxed the entry criteria.  In November this year we will be allocated our District number, along with a new District in China.  That is very appropriate given the close association between our WA mining industry and China.

Twenty now!  16 next month?

That’s my gloomy prediction, again based on monitoring our figures over many years.  Members must renew their membership for the next six months by September 30 – next Thursday.  In practice the real date in the past has been October 9 and the final figures wont be available until about October 23.  When they come through most clubs will have suffered a member loss of about 20%, which will bring our WA totals down to around 900 members and an average of less than 17.  That’s my prediction.    And then we start the climb up again – more clubs and more new members.

Let’s start the action now.

David Nicholas DTM
WA New Clubs Coordinator

David Nicholas
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Logging in to Toastmasters International – the new proceedure

The new procedure

From this week on members and officers have a new login procedure.  District Governor Bruce Hill DTM has kindly supplied this outline.

Step 1: Go to the Members website at the link: http://www.toastmasters.org/Members.aspx

Step 2: Click on the orange “login” symbol. This will bring up the login dialog box.

Step 3 If you know your Userid (your Membership number) and your individual login Password, enter these inside the dialog box and click on “Log in” then go to Step 6 otherwise proceed to Step 4.

Step 4: If you have not previously logged on to the Members site proceed to Step 5. If you have forgotten either your Userid or Password, click on “Forgot your user name / password?” Toastmasters International will then send you your Userid and Password (which can later be changed). Enter the Userid and Password provided and then go to Step 6.

Step 5: Because you have never previously logged on to the Members site, click on “retrieve your information” which is under the login dialog box. Enter your e-mail address then click on “Retrieve Info”. Toastmasters International will then send you your Userid and Password (which can later be changed). Enter the Userid and Password provided and then go to Step 6.

Step 6: You are now logged on as an individual, and if you are registered as a Club Officer, you now have access rights to enable you to conduct club business. To conduct club business, look just under the “Logout” button and click on “Club Central”.

Step 7: From the Club Central screen, all clubs of which you are a club officer will be listed in orange text at the bottom of the screen. Click on your club name and you will be at the list of all the club officer transactions that you need to perform.

Step 8: If you are a District Officer, you can access those facilities by clicking on the District Central tab.

Bruce Hill
Bruce Hill
District Governor
District 73
Toastmasters: Achieving Greatness Together


Getting your Contact Details right everywhere!

It was brought home to me today just how important it is to get yout details correct everywhere that your club has left them. My own club received a query on behalf of another club where a member of the public wished to join. How good was that? The fellow didn’t want to just attend a meeting he wanted to join. The problem was he couldn’t find any contact details that worked!

The details at TMI were out of date as were those on the Contact Us page of the web site. It was fortunate that I knew members of the club and eventually we were able to pass on details.

It was a salutory lesson in how important it is to keep those details bang up to date. Remember where you have lodged all your contatact details too. It’s not just the obvious places like your web site but also maybe in Libraries, with Councils and Community Newspapers.

I just can’t emphasise enough how important it is to keep those details up to date.


Area Governor? What a year!

One year out, what was it like being an Area Governor?

 At first it was bewildering. Despite District Officer Training (DOT) and an exhaustive manual there just seemed to be so much to do.

First up after you have been trained there are two sessions of Club Officer Training (COT) you really should attend both sessions. You need to be there to support the clubs in your Area and to support the District Executive. You will probably find yourself volunteered to help somewhere. Remember also that each Club needs to have 4 of its Officers in attendance at both sessions of COT to achieve one of its Distinguished Club Programme (DCP) goals.

I was very fortunate in having a supportive ex-Governor in Sue Voloczi and Division Governor in David Nicholas. The Club and Area Humorous and Table Topics contests seem to be on you almost immediately. It’s important to remember, as it is with most things as an Area Governor, that this is not your personal responsibility. It is important to delegate. You have to be sure that people will actually do what they have volunteered to do (and be prepared to be let down too, have some reserves if possible).

You will also probably be asked to supply Judges and to be a Judge in other Areas. This is of a reciprocal nature so the more you put in the more you get back. It’s also very good experience. You should also be encouraging more experienced club members in your Area to act as Judges.

Once these are over there is the Divisional contest and you may very well have a role to play on the day.

You should also try to get in an Area Executive meeting with the Presidents. VPM, VPE’s and VPPR’s of each of the clubs. It gives them a chance to get together and to share experiences and ideas.

Then it is time for your Club visits. You should already have been in contact with your clubs about their DCP. What are they doing to achieve all 10 goals? Some of the goals are easy, just administrative issues but important nonetheless. They will have been through all this at  COT but you need to ensure this is where they are focussed.

You might choose to deliver the ‘Moments of Truth” Eductional as part of your visit. If you don’t ‘know’ this Educational it is a great one, almost like a health check for clubs and there is a survey form for members to fill in. I collated mine for the club where I delivered it and whilst generally they scored highly there were two areas which were well below the rest. The club knew where to direct their efforts.

The Club visits are important and you should try to get on the Agenda to speak. Club members should know who you are and why you are there. It also allows you to gauge how well the clubs are run and do not be afraid of making adverse comments on your report if you feel they are justified. You should have discussed the issues with the Club President before you do so of course.

Once Christmas is over there is virtually a repeat of the first half of the TMI year. Club Officer Training, Club, Area and Divisional contests (International Speech and Evaluation this time) and another round of Area visits. The second round of Area visits will be much more focussed on the DCP, you are getting towards the pointy end of the TMI year. Are the Clubs going to achieve all their goals? What can you do to help?

Throughout all this you should also be looking at possibilities for forming a new club in your Area. I won’t go into details here that’s a subject for a blog on its own.

If you go through all this and keep your focus you will have had an exhausting but very enjoyable Toastmasters year. I know because I am just about to complete one!  Of course it is also one of your requirements if you are heading for a DTM. It can’t be that bad, I’m about to do it all over again. .


WA Toastmasters Changeover Dinner

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Hi to all club executives,

This Toastmasters year is coming to an end very soon, and we want all of you and your club members to help celebrate the achievments of your fellow members and clubs in WA.

On this night we will be awarding the President of the year, Toastmaster of the year, Area Gov of the year & Club of the year to all 3 Divisions in WA. Plus many other high achieving awards.

We will also thank the outgoing District Executive for their contribution this year, then welcome in the new District Executive for next year.

At last year’s “WA Change Over Dinner & Awards Night” we had 100 attendees and this year will be even bigger.
The details are;

Date: Friday June 25th, 2010
Venue: Esplanade River Suites Ballroom (same as last year)
Time: 6.30pm till late
Cost: $60.00 per person
Meal: Esplanade Buffet including a wide variety of Hot & Cold Selections and Desserts

Come along for a great night out and help celebrate this year with your fellow WA Toastmasters.
For payment details, please see the flyer attachment WACOFlyer_ 1010

Please promote this event to all your club members.

Kind regards,

Robyn & Mark Richards
WACO 2010 Co-ordinators


TEEM Demonstration Report

The TEEM Team met on March 11, 2010

TEEM is Toastmasters Enhanced Entertainment Membership

21 potential members were entertained, trained and challenged by Cliff Boer at the Demonstration Meeting held at the Fremantle Bowling Club.

TEEM Group 3
Cliff Boer warming up the group

Why TEEM?

Cliff’s vision is that by enhancing entertainment for members and clubs we will reduce dropout rates and strengthen our new DistrictWA. It will boost membership generally across the State and in particular in clubs where TEEM members have a vital function.

A Different Kind of Club

Of course we will conform to Toastmasters International technical requirements for a club. However, we will interpret those requirements creatively. Here is an example of meetings this month.

Saturday afternoon, March 20

A select group will meet at Cliff’s house to be trained in special techniques to be used at the meeting on March 31.

Wednesday evening, March 31

The club has been invited by Victoria Quay to demonstrate exciting ways to liven up the club meeting. The TEEM VP Education will handle the program for the night, taking over from the Club’s VP Education. There will be demonstrations from TEEM members and Victoria Quay members will be challenged to have a go at the same entertaining and challenging techniques. There will be space for a club member to deliver a speech and be evaluated. Table Topics – with a twist – will be a major feature. Edit will certainly take members out of their comfort zone.

Where and when will we meet?

Our Demonstration meeting and the two meetings detailed above give the answer. We will meet sometimes at a suitable venue like the Fremantle Bowling Club – but not exclusively the Bowling Club in Fremantle. We will meet sometimes at members’ homes. We will meet sometimes at Toastmasters Clubs. There may be other locations which emerge over time.

Already in March we have scheduled a meeting on a Thursday evening, a Saturday afternoon and a Wednesday evening. Our membership is drawn from many clubs. Almost every possible time slot will clash with one of those club meetings. So it will be rare for all our members to be able to attend the same meeting. But that isn’t very different from all our Toastmaster Clubs with a 20+ membership. Have you ever attended a meeting when every member was present? I haven’t – though I have attended a full member rollup – but that was a club which was being revived and had only 6 members at the time.

What did we do at the Demo?

I will give you a few descriptive names and describe one in a little detail. If you aren’t a TEEM member and you want to know more about the fun we have, get your VP Education to contact me and arrange for us to visit.

These were three of Cliff’s exercises

There were two Table Topics exercises – Edit and One Word. Wow!

Then there was Mirror. It was in two parts. In the first we formed into pairs – A & B. A would do a set of body language movements, including facial expressions. B would have to mirror them. Then we swapped and B would do the movements and A would mirror them. With careful attention everybody got quite good at this. That first section was in the early part of the evening. Then, later, Cliff came back to it. We formed into pairs again – different pairs this time. We went through the mirror exercises again, but now the originator was instructed to move very quickly and with exaggerated movements. It was a hoot. The two photos illustrate the early practice and the later no holds barred time.

TEEM Mirror A

TEEM Mirror B

Who is joining?

After the meeting eighteen of those present filled in the application form. Cliff wan’t one of them. He explained that he sees his role as an inspirational one. He will provide his services free to the members, because he has a passion for it, not because it is his role as a member. We know of several more who couldn’t make it on the night because of other commitments. We will charter next month.

If you weren’t able to attend the Demonstration Meeting, but you would like to join, there is an opportunity up to March 28.

There is a joining fee

It will cost $90 for a year’s subscription. Download the Charter Member Application Form. Print the two pages and fill in your Last Name, First Name or Given Name, your address, your contact phone number and your email. Sign at the top of the second page. Don’t fill in the club detail information at the top of the first page. Scan the 2 pages and email them to me. I will send instructions for paying the $90 joining fee.

If you are interested and have any queries, ring me on 9457 6468 or email me at davidnic@iinet.net.au

David Nicholas
David Nicholas DTM
Western Division Governor


Murdoch Open Day

Toastmasters at Murdoch University Orientation Day

What a fantastic day we had at Murdoch University Orientation day today. This is part of Robyn Lloyds High Performance Leadership programme and wow what a hit it was.

As we were setting up we realised it was a good job we had several great props and I would urge anyone else setting up like this to pay attention.

MurdochBannerCrop
Ross Wilkinson’s Banner

MurdochStall
The Stall

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· The TM Banner. Bright and looks good BUT it blew over once too often and it kept swinging around.·

. Ross Wilkinson’s ‘pull up’ banner. At about 2 meteres this caught attention.   We would have looked dreadful without it because about half the other displays had them.  Every Division should have one to share.·

. Club Lights. This caught attention from heaps of people just out of curiosity.

· Promotional Video. We used the Cannington Communicators Promo Video on a laptop. This really made us stand out. Proably only 5 or 6 of the other 60/70 displays had these.

Robyn and I really worked the students. You don’t always get a response, but hey we were not shy in coming forward. We’ve both had experience in retail.

We ended up with 3 pages of an exercise book full of e-mail addresses full of leads. We PROMISED NO SPAM and will ensure we hit them once only unless they request a follow up. We actually signed up one person for Cannington Communicators and there are other options but that’s a tale for Robyn to tell!

We certainly exceeded expectations today.

Gerry Prewett
Gerry Prewett
W28 Area Governor

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Thanks to Gerry Prewett for the story and to Robyn Lloyd for the project.


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