Focus-Club Presidents

One of the most common regrets I have heard from leaders in Toastmasters year after year is “I wish I had started executing sooner.” I remember in August of my year as President, I felt I was lagging behind on some of the focus areas I shared in my first letter to you. I made the dreadful decision of getting my team to catch up on this before starting the execution which made it very difficult to catch up with all that needed to be done. As Past Division Director Francois Roux always say, “You never have to recover from a great start”. I would like to encourage you to focus on the following this month to ensure that your club has a great start:

  1. Consolidate your learning at Club Officer Training and come up with an execution plan. It is not uncommon that you leave Club Officer Training feeling equipped for your role but unable to answer the question, where to from here? I would therefore like to appeal to you as Club President to have time dedicated at your next Executive Committee Meeting to discuss what you all learnt at Club Officer Training and coming up with an Execution/Implementation Plan. If for any reason, one of your team members couldn’t attend training for any reason, please contact your Area Director so that they can organise training for them as soon as possible.
  2. To help with you with implementation, I encourage you to ensure that all your club officers are receiving this newsletter, reading it and using it to ensure they are focused on the right thing. As President, you can also use the pointers shared in each of the roles to support your team. If they are not receiving this newsletter, please contact our Administration Manager Njabulo Thela on email; or contact the newsletter editor Edwina Mazunda on
  3. Start collecting semi-annual dues – Your Vice President of Membership and Education should already be informing your Treasurer which member is planning to continue their membership and which ones are not from their interviews with members. Please coach your Club Treasurer to start following up on dues via as many media platforms as you use in your club. Also, during your President’s Address please remind members to renew their membership. Strive to collect and remit to Toastmasters International a minimum of 20 payments by the 20th of September. This will qualify your club for the Treasurer’s Excellence Club Fitness Reward of a R250 Voucher which can be used towards purchasing stock from our Stock Custodian or the May Conference.

Tip: I suggest you coach your VPM and Treasurers to download a list of all members in your club on Club Central and account for each current member. That way you maximise member retention.

If your club is going to be losing any members during the next renewal period and/or has a membership of less than 20, then please ensure you have a Guest/Open House Meeting this August. You can refer to this article on how you can host a successful open house. Strive to add at-least 5 new/dual/reinstated members with a join date in August and September to cater for lost members now and in the near future.

This will also qualify your club for the Smedley Award and you will receive sentimental recognition from Toastmasters International and Club Fitness Rewards as follows:
(a) R250 voucher which can be used towards purchasing stock from our Stock Custodian or the May Conference (plus a ribbon for your banner from Toastmasters International)

(b) An additional R250 voucher provided your club achieves Smedley Award having submitted a PR and Membership Conversion Plan by August 15.

(c) Clubs with a base of less than 13 members will receive a R150 voucher if the add 3 new members, up to R200 worth of PR material and/or Facebook Advertising subsidy provided your club submits a PR and Membership Conversion Plan on time.

One more thing, if you are yet to assign your proxy for the business meeting at the International Convention, I would like to appeal to you to take 3 minutes of your time to ensure you attend to this very important business. Check instructions from Toastmasters International on how to do this. If this isn’t working, ask your Area Director to help you with the process.

I am not in any way asking you to stop thinking and planning but, I am appealing to you to think and plan as you go. So keep working on your plans but, start growing and retaining your club because you will never have to recover from a great start.

Kind regards

Frank Tsuro, DTM
District Director 2018 – 2019