District 123 FAQ

If you’re not finding the answer you needed here, there are many more questions answered at Toastmasters International’s FAQ page.

General Questions

Why should I join Toastmasters?

There are so many reasons!  Confidence, speaking skills, leadership skills, resume-building items, new friends, and more. 

Toastmasters offers a cost-effective way to build the essential skills of communication and leadership which apply to every aspect of life.  Whether you’re using these in your job, your business, your community, your family, your volunteer commitments or elsewhere, you’re sure to benefit from this friendly and supportive environment to develop and practice these skills while building your own confidence. 

The Pathways learning experience allows individuals to focus on those areas which most benefit them at their own pace.  With eleven paths to choose from – and more to come – learning opportunities in communication, leadership, and more abound.

Club Questions

Where are my/my club’s incentives? Why does it take so long to get them?

There are a few reasons for this!  First and foremost is fiscal responsibility – managing funds well – for the district.  When we budget for the year, we project (aka guess) how many clubs or members will earn an incentive, but there’s no way to be sure of this. 

With that in mind, we have two choices:

  • Order incentives based on our projection.
    • This could potentially leave the district with extra incentives if clubs earn less than what we expect. This leaves excess inventory where we need to a) store it, and b) pay for things we didn’t need.
    • Alternately, we might be short by some items – two or three, or perhaps a hundred. This leaves the awkward question of “who gets their incentives first”.  Understandably, most don’t volunteer to be the ones to get their incentives a couple of months later than everyone else.
  • Order incentives based on actual results. This is the norm for most districts, and allows us to be responsible with district funds, and to ensure that we’re able to distribute these in a fair and equitable manner.

There’s one big plus for this year, though.  International ordering is typically time-consuming and with this in mind, we have already gained approval to use a local supplier for many of the coming year’s incentives.  This means that while incentives will be ordered after they are earned, less time will elapse between order and delivery.  It is the district’s objective to deliver incentives such as Club Officer Training about 30 days after the end of the incentive period.

Member-specific incentives such as Level 5 and Triple Crown pins will be ordered at several points through the year, so you may see a delay of a few months in receiving these.

How do I find a club?

The Find-a-Club feature at toastmasters.org is a great starting point!  You can also find a list of clubs in a given area by clicking on About 123 on the bar at the top of this page.  Just click on the map area of interest, and you’ll see a link taking you to the various clubs in that area.  You can also visit the Division Director’s page where clubs within the divisions are shown.

Can I join more than one club?

Definitely!  There are many benefits as a member of multiple clubs.  In addition to added speaking and leadership opportunities, you’ll get to know more Toastmasters, experience different feedback, and see how different clubs do things in new ways.  It’s a great way to actively develop your skills as a Toastmaster!

Why can’t a President serve for more than one year in a row?

First and foremost, the Club Leadership Handbook specifies that “Club Presidents elected for a term of one year may not be re-elected for a successive term.”  As the club’s chief executive, the President sets the tone for the club and has the opportunity to lead a team.  This is a great way to build skills!  By varying leadership, this experience and knowledge can be spread among many individuals, creating a strong club and a great support team who can mentor new leaders.

What’s outside my club?

Plenty!  Your club is one of nearly 16,000 in the world – over 300,000 Toastmasters in 149 countries.  To support your club, there’s a worldwide structure:

  • Your club belongs to an area of 4-6 clubs, supported by an Area Director.
  • Your area belongs to a division of 4-6 areas, supported by a Division Director.
  • Your division belongs to a district of (typically) 6-9 divisions supported by the District Trio and a whole team!
  • Your district (District 123) belongs to a Region supported by a Region Advisor
  • There are 14 Regions worldwide (ours is Region 6)
  • The entire organization – every member, club, area, division, district and region – is supported by Toastmasters International headquartered in Englewood, CO.

As a Toastmaster, you are welcome to visit any club anywhere in the world.  You’re welcome to join as many clubs as you wish, to participate in leadership opportunities in your club, your district and beyond, to compete in speech contests, and so much more!

How can I start a club at my workplace, in my community, or somewhere else?

Congratulations!  A great place to start is the Start a New Club page at toastmasters.org.  This will give you plenty of information to take first steps.  Next, contact Club Growth Director Leslie Benfield, DTM at [email protected] for support and a team to help you with the new club.  

Can I talk about controversial topics in my club?

This is a common misconception.  While it’s courteous and considerate to discuss ANY potentially sensitive topic in a way that’s unlikely to offend, there are no strictly “forbidden” topics.  A club, however, could choose to limit these with the consensus of its members.  See what Toastmasters International has to say on this here:   Invocations, Pledges and Controversial Topics

Leadership Questions

What are the District roles, and what do they do?

Some of the key district roles are as follows:

  • Area Director
  • Division Director
  • Administration Manager
  • Finance Manager
  • Public Relations Manager
  • District Trio (Club Growth Director, Program Quality Director, District Director)

Your best source for information on the various roles, responsibilities and requirements is the District Leadership Handbook, which outlines these and some of the other roles you might see in district leadership.

How do I get to have one of those district leadership roles?

I’m so glad you asked!  District leadership is an important component in achieving your DTM – your Distinguished Toastmaster award.  It’s also a terrific way to connect with other leaders, build new skills and step beyond your club to build on our tagline “Where Leaders are Made”.

There are many district roles available – some elected (District Trio, Division Directors) and some appointed (all others):

These roles offer a district leader credit towards your DTM:

  • Area Director
  • Division Director
  • Administration Manager
  • Finance Manager
  • Public Relations Manager
  • District Trio (Club Growth Director, Program Quality Director, District Director)

Many other roles are also available at district which could be used as a High-Performance Leadership or other Pathways project:

More information:

Want to apply for any role?  Email DLC Chair Jean McAllister, DTM at [email protected] to apply.

I serve a Club Officer role in 2 clubs. Does my training count for both?

If you serve the SAME Club Officer role in both clubs, your training would count for both clubs.  (Please be sure to note both of these when you attend training so credit can be properly awarded!) 

For example, if you serve as the Secretary for two clubs, you don’t need to attend Secretary training twice for the same role.  If you serve as Secretary in one club, and President at another, you do need to attend training for EACH role in order to receive credit.  After all, the Secretary and President roles are different.

Can I serve as a Club Officer and in a District role?

Time management is a key factor here – and the person who best knows your time is you.  If your schedule allows enough time to complete a Club Officer role (or roles) well while also fulfilling your district role, that’s great!  If you feel that you’ll do your best work focusing on one role, you might choose to serve as a Club Officer one year, while planning for a district role such as Area Director the following year.

Which District roles count for credit to my DTM?

These roles offer a district leader credit towards your DTM:

  • Area Director
  • Division Director
  • Administration Manager
  • Finance Manager
  • Public Relations Manager
  • District Trio (Club Growth Director, Program Quality Director, District Director)

It’s important to note that criteria apply to many of these – for example, an Area Director must complete at least 75% of their club visits and reports in order to receive credit for their role, and must be appointed by August 31st, serving through June 30th

Pathways & Education Questions

How can I get help with Pathways?

District 123’s Pathways Chair, Tony Nelson DTM, is an experienced Toastmasters with a passion for Pathways.  Tony and his team of trainers would love to provide you with support – whether it’s a workshop for a club, or a question-and-answer session for one or a few individuals, they’ve got your back when it comes to Pathways.  Contact Tony [email protected]

 

How can I find information on getting a DTM?

The Distinguished Toastmaster award is the highest educational accreditation a member can receive in Toastmasters.  For details on what’s involved, and to set your own next steps, check out the Distinguished Toastmaster page at toastmasters.org, or the DTM application form.

 

District Questions

What is the DEC and what does it do?

The DEC, or District Executive Committee, is made up of the Area Directors, Division Directors, Administration Manager, Finance Manager, Public Relations Manager, Club Growth Director, Program Quality director, and District Director, who chairs the DEC meetings.

DEC duties include:

  • Review and approve the District Success Plan.
  • Present District budget to the District Council for approval.
  • Oversee the District’s financial operation.
  • Recommend the assignment of clubs to Areas and Divisions
  • Review recommendations and reports of District Committees.
  • Assume tasks assigned by the District Council.
  • Review ethics and conduct issues as needed.

For more information, see the District Leadership Handbook.

What is the District Council and what does it do?

The District Council is made up of the Club Presidents and Vice Presidents Education, Area Directors, Division Directors, Administration Manager, Finance Manager, Public Relations Manager, Club Growth Director, Program Quality director, and District Director, who chairs the District Council meetings.

District Council serves as the administrative governing body of the District, operating with powers delegated to the District Council by the Board of Directors of Toastmasters International. The District Council conducts all business of the District, assumes responsibility for the payment of all debts incurred in the presentation of District Council meetings and other District functions, and does not assess or impose any financial obligation on any club or member of a club.

For more information, see the District Leadership Handbook.

Toastmasters Contest Questions

When do the contests run?

District 123 will be running two contests this year: the Humorous Speech Contest and the International Speech Contest.  Contests need to occur within the following times:

Humorous Speech Contest:

  • Clubs: September 2021
  • Areas: October 2021
  • Divisions: November 2021
  • District: May 13-15, 2022 (at District Conference, mandated by Toastmasters International)

International Speech Contest:

  • Clubs: January 15 – February 14, 2022
  • Areas: February 15 – March 14, 2022
  • Divisions: March 15 – April 14, 2022
  • District: May 13-15, 2022 (at District Conference, mandated by Toastmasters International)
Which contests is District 123 doing?

District 123 will be running two contests this year: the Humorous Speech Contest and the International Speech Contest.  Refer to question above “When do the contests run?”

How do I know if my club can send 2 contestants to the Area contest?

The 2021-2022 Speech Contest Rulebook Item 3.B (page 8) provides the following direction:

  • Eight (8) weeks prior to the Area contest, if an Area has four (4) assigned clubs or fewer in good standing, Districts have the option to allow two (2) contestants from each club to compete in the Area contest. Should additional clubs charter prior to the Area contest, two (2) contestants from each club are permitted to compete.
  • In those Divisions with four (4) assigned Areas or fewer, Districts have the option to allow the two (2) highest-placed available contestants from each Area to compete.

District 123 has elected to allow to allow this for the Area- and Division-level contests.

If there is only one competitor for the speech contest, is a contest still needed?

The short answer here is “it depends”.

  • IF a club has only one competitor for a speech contest, the club may choose to appoint a delegate to represent the club at the Area speech contest. For areas where there are four or less clubs in good standing, a club could appoint both representatives.
  • IF an area or division has only one competitor for a speech contest, the contest must still be held. The contestant may be disqualified as to time or originality, even if there is only one contestant.
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