Club Officer Training Debacle

COT Registrations have been posted

You can see all the registrations on the Distinguished Club Page

DCP 2010/11

Western Division has done well

With 21 Clubs Western Division has 87 Registrations – an average of 4.1 Officers per club.

However Innercity has only 45 Registrations from 18 Clubs with an average of 2.5 Officers per club.

Perth has 49 Registrations from 17 Clubs with an average of 2.9 Officers per club.  5 of those Registrations were from a club with only 6 members.

This is a wake-up call for District 17

On July 1, 2011 Toastmasters in WA move into our own District 17.  During July there will be Club Officer Training.  Our incoming leadership group will be elected at the final District 73 Council Meeting on May 21.  The likely officeholders need to analyse very carefully this latest debacle and work on plans to lift the level of club awareness so that there is a much higher standard of leadership next year.  The Distinguished Club Program results so far show that the Officer Training situation is reflected in club success.  We have a problem to resolve.

David Nicholas
Posted by David Nicholas
TMWA Webmaster

10 Responses to “Club Officer Training Debacle”

  1. Avatar for Gerry Prewett Gerry Prewett says:

    Having been a Western Area Governor last year and an Inner City Governor this year I acklowledge the disparity between clubs in the different Divisions. It is at Club level where an attitude change is necessary. Many of the Inner City Clubs just don’t seem to ‘get’ the DCP. It’s not difficult to understand and I thought Kristin MacIntosh did it really well in previous COT sessions. To my mind they are KPI’s for clubs. Why would you want to go to a club which is not ‘kicking goals’? The attitude to COT is an amazing disinterest, if you were going to join a club wouldn’t you like to know your Club Officers were trained?

  2. Avatar for Paul Hemmings Paul Hemmings says:

    Yes this is an important matter. All Toastmasters need to undertake training on an ongoing basis to remain current. Our talents are perishable skills that need reinforcement and updating as often as possible.

    Club Officer Training occurs only twice a year and is the bread and butter for all Office Bearers in every Club. It provides a tremendous understanding of the role an individual has been elected to carry out and emphasies the team approach to managing the Club. I urge all Club Committees to do everything reasonably possible to ensure at least the minimum four Office Bearers of the seven elected attend each session. The recognition for DCP is a great payoff, but the reward to individuals and the Club as a whole is priceless.

  3. Avatar for Peter Law Peter Law says:

    COT is important to a club and the District in more than one way. It provides valuable training, is an easy “get” for the DCP but most importantly it shows a committment by the club leadership group that are serious about the leadership role they represent. Without this committment a club will wither on the vine which will eventually manifest itself into the District Leadership ranks which will threaten the very existence of the about to be formed district 17. Club Leadership requires committment, follow up and reinforcement. This is where the importance of the Area and District Leadership groups come to the fore. Successful districts require successful clubs who require succesful leaders. Thanks David this is a wake up call for District 17.

  4. Avatar for Gawain Simpson Gawain Simpson says:

    Having been to the Saturday afternoon COT session last month, it’s clear that there is a definite problem with COT.
    Looking around the room I saw the same faces that I have seen every COT session. All the established members who have been in Toastmasters for several years? Many of them dual members of multiple clubs.
    Where were all the new members who are in the club officer role for the first time?
    Either they are not taking on the club officer roles, or they just won’t attend COT.
    And, honestly, I can’t blame them.

    I have been attending COT for 5 years and have held (through multiple club memberships) the following club officer roles:
    President 3 times, VPE twice, VPM, Secretary, SAA.
    And in 5 years of COT I haven’t heard anything useful in the last 4 years that I didn’t hear in the 1st year.
    I understand the need to give the same information to members new to Toastmasters, but they aren’t attending and I don’t want to hear it again.
    The above may be controversial but, until COT is made interesting and useful, I don’t want to go to COT again.

  5. Avatar for Mike Helm Mike Helm says:

    Of the comments so far, Gawain toushed on the critical issue. Our club leaders will probably go to COT if they see sometning in it for them – the “What’s in it for me” test. Presumably COT and its marketing are not grabbibg the interest of our club leaders. Western Division was the best performer in COT because COT is a community based model, reflecting clubs in that Division. I am speculating but maybe Inner City members are busy professionals who will respond to the business needs of their clubs when delivered efficiently in a business language and methods which they relate to. Two years ago, I proposed without success a streamlined COT held in a lunch hour during the working week. Or maybe immediately after work. We ceratinly need to think about the product if we want our club leaders to respond. They certainly won’t respond to scolding or divisive comparisons with other Divisions.

    • Avatar for Charles Fisher Charles Fisher says:

      I’ve been in Toastmasters for a while and I’ve been to many sessions of COT in that time. The main motivator for attending the first time is to learn about the roles and after that it seems that the only motivator is to achieve the point for the club towards its DCP. This is unfortunate. In my opinion the most useful part of COT is the sharing of ideas in the group sessions, especially at the February COT. The COT sessions gain great benefit from experienced Toastmasters attending because if they are in these groups then they can pick up on anything that was missed during the discussion and add to it. These more experienced Toastmasters may not have a formal role at COT but can still be a source of useful information because they have been in the roles before. This is especially useful for the newer club officers some of which have taken on the role not long after joining Toastmasters and have done this mid way through the year to replace a club officer who has dropped out of the club or no longer wants to take on the role due to other commitments. [some of these club officers were in the sessions I attended at the Thursday evening COT at Victoria Park]. Maybe there needs to be some other recognition for experienced Toastmasters attending subsequent COT sessions. Maybe there could be an additional assignment added to the CL manual under “Project 9 – Mentoring” – this could be mentoring a new club officer?

  6. Avatar for Andrew Bolotin Andrew Bolotin says:

    Gawain and Mike are right. COT has always been observed by most clubs more in the breach than in the event. There’s no point in claiming over and over that it’s terrific and sooner or later incoming club officers will come around to our way of thinking. The incoming officers are saying loudly and clearly they either don’t see its relevance OR the delivery systems are at fault. I certainly like Mike’s suggestion about lunch hours; I have long advocated holding COT just prior to major speech contests as that is when attendance and interest in Toastmasters is at it’s peak. Because Gerry is also correct: COT are KPIs for clubs!

  7. Avatar for Robyn Richards Robyn Richards says:

    I have read with great interest the replies to this article and wonder why the people who enjoy going to COT aren’t responding. It always seems to be the loud minority who voice their opinion.
    This year the 3 Division Governors jointly put together two wonderful and unique COT sessions and I received many emails congratulating us on these sessions. I expect the other 2 Division Governors did as well. Many new members holding club officer roles were among these.
    Unfortunately the duties of Club Officers don’t change no matter how many times you hold the role. The training does need to be rather repetitive for this reason. This year we tried to include other items that were current and lively. I think we achieved this and so did many others.
    If the leaders of the clubs are not proactive in learning their duties and sharing their valuable experience, I am afraid the club and ultimately the Area, Division & District suffers.
    Western Division has an attitude of promoting this event as exciting and a must attend event which has always given the club officers a wonderful opportunity to not only fulfill a DCP goal but to network with other members. This is the important added benefit of COT. How is promoted in your club???
    I would like to see some club officers who enjoyed COT to respond to this article & tell us why you came, what benefits you gained and why you will be back. We know there are many because the feedback forms that were filled in after each session confirmed our thoughts.

    Robyn Richards,
    Western Division Governor 2010-2011

    • Avatar for Gawain Simpson Gawain Simpson says:

      Robyn, I think you are missing the point.

      You can dismiss my comments as ‘the loud majority’ if you wish, but they are my opinions and the opinions of many others who have been to COT one too many times.
      You can get the feedback of as many people who love going to COT as you like,
      BUT that doesn’t address the point of this article.

      The fact is that people are not attending COT and that is the issue that needs to be addressed.
      Either people don’t know about it, don’t care about it or are actively avoiding going.
      Until you find out which of these it is and address it, the problem will remain.

  8. Avatar for Martin Lindsay Martin Lindsay says:

    When I first saw David’s initial posting, I felt affronted. As the main organiser of the recent round of mid-year COT, I took it personally.I decided not to respond on principle, public stoushes rarely achieve satisfactory constructive outcomes, however, I accept that all comments are relevant. It is also much better to get these issues out in the open and discuss them rationally to resolve them.

    For those club officers who have held several roles over the years who question why they need to attend COT, my answer is this: You are the mentors who have the experience, skills and answers for the newcomers. Your attendance is essential to pass on the sage advice and knowledge you have learnt to the newbies. To paraphrase JFK “Ask not what Toastmasters can do for you, ask what you can do for Toastmasters”

    Cold hard fact: not all clubs have a DCP focus. This is reflected, not only in the COT training attendance stats, but also in the DCP awards. Some Clubs, and some Areas have, to date, very few educational awards. Why? Presumably their members are attending and participating in speeches and other activities, and probably enjoying their Toastmasters experience immensely. If they are doing their speeches, filling roles, why are they not achieving educational awards for their members? Some are long standing established clubs. What message does this send to new members?

    I think there is a broader problem with instilling the value of the Distinguished Club Program as the measure of club success. Those clubs that “get it” do well because it gives them concrete goals to achieve. Those clubs that, for whatever reason do not “get it” are the ones who should revisit the value of the DCP. This is a challenge for the Area Governors to instill the value of the Distinguished club program. It is the best measure of how your club members are achieving their individual goals.
    This goes deeper than attendance at COT. It goes to the very heart of recognition of club members’ achievements, that is fundamental to the success of Toastmasters clubs.

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