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The Golden Quarter – A Toastmaster Area Director’s Diary

Everything we do in the first three months of the year is amplified when it comes to our overall performance in the year.  Every new member of an existing or newly chartered club multiplies into three member payments for the year.  Every struggling club we support adds up to a club saved from suspension or being deactivated.  Every club visit that inspires a club to be distinguished and to articulate a real, credible, plan for achieving that goal is one step closer to a world where all our clubs are always distinguished.” 

The Golden Quarter was the title of a message from our newly appointed D91 Leader, Jean Gamester, two months ago.  


I have visited all Dorset clubs at least twice now, the first to get to know you, the second to effect the first official visit.  Whilst I have until November to do this – November would be a very long time before I understood your success plan.  Moreover, I was able to offer any support.

One or two club presidents have been surprised not to have received the physical Area Director Visit Report.  That is because the official visit captures of only one moment in time.  The Area Director’s report looks at the six aspects of the Moments of Truth. 

  1. First Impressions – how do we attract new members (the life blood) to the club?
  2. Membership Orientation – how do we induct new members to the club experience?
  3. Fellowship, Variety, and Communication – how dynamic and social are the meetings; how involved is the club in area events?
  4. Program Planning and Meeting Organization – how well are the meetings planned with opportunities for members to reach their personal leadership and communication goals?
  5. Membership Strength – how well does the club communicate with and retain members?
  6. Achievement Recognition – how does the club motivate its members to stay active and recognise achievements?

I don’t believe that I can capture all that in just one visit – so most of you have had some kind of email follow up or a telephone conversation and i will send the report when I have the information I need to complete it.

In the meantime, I have identified some ‘across area’ opportunities that would be perfect for a High Performance Leader to step into.  If a challenge is just what you need right now then let me know.  A willing volunteer is worth 20 pressed men, after all!!

There is such a good feeling about Toastmasters in Dorset and its learning and support ethos.   I’d like us to harness that energy with a system or a process that enhances the programme and helps us achieve those ‘all important’ 5 points for Distinguished Club Recognition.

We have one more month before the end of the Golden Quarter.  We are already set on raising the bar for club and area contests with training on ‘How to Judge’ taking place prior to each club’s Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests.

Can we squeeze anything else in – do you think?

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