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District 55 October 2023 Newsletter


Our Plan for Growth Happy Fall Y’All. This time of year is where we think of the harvest. The harvest is a time to reflect on what we have planted and reap the benefits of the time we spent cultivating our crops. For Toastmasters our cycle is not the same as the Spring planting, Summer growing, and Fall harvest. Our efforts in growing our clubs and membership are ongoing throughout the year. This year is a year of rebuilding from the losses we have experienced due to the pandemic. Most clubs have lost a significant number of members and some clubs are closing due to lack of members. How do we go about building back the strength we had before? First, we have to each assess why we are in Toastmasters in the first place. What was our motivation to join in the first place and what do we hope to continue to get from Toastmasters? Second, we have to reach out to our members and find out their Whys. We are all interested in What’s In It For Me? If we lose sight of that it is easy to skip meetings, not work on our Toastmasters journey, and eventually leave the program. Third, in the coming months we will have a renewed focus on helping individual members and clubs to get back to the basics of why we are here. We can help each other to improve our club experiences and bring new members into the organization. Being a mentor to a struggling member, or club is a rewarding experience that I have experienced firsthand. Take a look at the article in this newsletter about the promotions and incentives we have for the coming months. Take advantage of them. Please know that your District Leadership is here to help you and your club in anyway we can. Best regards, KFC Kevin F. Clark,, (512) 771-5845 District 55 Club Growth Director (CGD)


Incentives and Promotions We have some promotions that we want to make sure you are aware of (details here). 1. OPEN HOUSE, SPEECHCRAFT, SPEAKER’S SERIES, OR “INVITE A FRIEND.” All existing clubs that hold one of the events above by Dec. 31, can receive a reimbursement for pre-approved expenses up to $25. Make those Open House plans as soon as possible and send your plan to the CGD. Proof of the event in the form of promotional materials, photos, etc. may be required. This is retroactive for any events held since Sep. 1. 2. Mini-Mentor or part of a Buddy Club, Anyone who helps a struggling club as a 4-week trouble-shooter earns a Toastmasters Pen and Pencil Set and a Star Marketing Pin. This will be on-going until the end of February 2024. Contact Kevin Clark, CGD for more details. 3. In January and February 2024, we will hold the following incentive: existing Clubs can earn $5.00 in gift certificates to the Toastmasters International Store per brand new member up to five who join in January or February. 4. In January and February 2024, we will re-run promotion one above, same rules, deadline February 29, 2024. 5. Early Bird Renewals – Clubs that renew 80% of their July 1, 2023, base membership (minimum of 8 members paid) by March 15, 2024, will receive $25.00 in gift certificates to the Toastmasters International Store. –CGD


Pathways Changes Coming in 2024 In the first half of 2024, Toastmasters will launch a new learning management system (LMS), the online portal where members access and engage with Pathways content. The new LMS platform will improve your experience and include enhancements. The new LMS will launch with six paths: 1. Dynamic Leadership 2. Engaging Humor 3. Motivational Strategies 4. Presentation Mastery 5. Persuasive Influence 6. Visionary Communication More information can be found here on the TMI Website. –CGD


Can Speaking Skills Boost Your Career? Content matters, but how you communicate that content is key. Can speaking skills boost your career? We all know that the answer we are supposed to give is “yes.” But do we always act that way? Too often I have heard speakers whose presentation style suggests they think that only content matters. Their speaking sounds more like blahblah- blah. And their speech organization has more twists than a steep mountain road. Are they right? Does only content matter? Can speaking skills boost your career? You bet they can. By all means, make the most of them. Click here to read the entire article by Bill Brown, DTM.


Resource Corner It is never too early to prepare for the Speech Contest. Download the 2023-2024 Speech Contest Rulebook here. District 55 Toastmasters Contests information here. Resources on Hybrid Toastmasters Meetings here. Recipe for a Hybrid Toastmasters Demo Meeting VIDEO


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