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It’s All About the Numbers – a Toastmasters Successful Club Speech

How to be a distinguished club

Take your felt tip pen and change the Goals Met in the top right-hand corner from four to five!  As of 6 pm tonight we are a distinguished club!  Yay!  Let’s Celebrate – Party Poppers!  Whoop!  Whoop!

Ok Ok – bet you’re thinking this Area Director is stark raving bonkers; four toes short of a foot; a one-handed clapper?  I do admit that I am a raving fan of Toastmasters.  I’m also a fan of numbers – every number tells a story.

Numbers give us a frame for celebrating. It feels good doesn’t it, when we celebrate success?   Blanchard and Johnson said in the One Minute Manager that we need to catch people doing things right.  When we celebrate people doing things right, it creates energy. Energy is essential for momentum.  When we have the momentum we all move forward.  After all, that is why each of us has joined the Toastmaster Journey.  To move forward.


The numbers are important for Toastmasters International too.  The 10 distinguished club goals are the basis for club success.  Each club committee, every six-months, sets out their action plan for club success based on these ten goals.

Hands up who hasn’t taken a short cut in their lives thinking it will save time or that it will make life easier?  Every time we instigate a short cut, everyone around us thinks that this is now the norm.  New leaders will add their own short cuts and before long the standards no longer produce the results that make Toastmasters so effective. That is why we have this framework that illustrates club success.



So let’s have a quick and dirty look at these figures.  From the top Hallmark Speakers is club number 742.  It chartered in July 2001.  Top left is where Hallmark sits in the Toastmaster family: Area 42 (Dorset) Division J (Mid SW) District 91 (South UK) Region 11.  Just one of 15,400 Toastmaster clubs.  Top middle, Hallmark started the year with 38 members and at the moment the membership stands at 44.  That’s huge and has its own issues.  More on that later.

Back to the goals on the top right.   There are two standards beyond Distinguished club; they are Select Distinguished and Presidents Distinguished.  Each requiring two more points from the 10 Club Success Plan.

Let’s have a look at what that means.

There are 10 goals listed:  column 2 applies a numerical value to 8 of those, column 3 illustrates what Hallmark has achieved and the status column illustrates what is left to achieve.

Starting from the bottom – Hallmark has achieved membership renewal dues and club officer list on time – with thanks to Janine our treasurer and Sophie our Vice President Membership. Tick!

Vice President Public Relations, Paulina did her mop up training this very evening! Take your felt tip pen – change the club officers trained Dec – Feb to 4 and give it a great big Tick!

Goals 7&8 New members – Not only has Hallmark generated 10 new members to date, but last year it recruited 18 new members.  That is a massive influx and whilst it’s a great problem to have, it does have its challenges.  I commend both Toni for his leadership as Club President this year and Gill who stepped into the role of Vice President of Education. Yay and Ticks!

That brings us to the educational awards. Six of the ten goals are related to these. Let’s face it every one of us has joined Toastmasters to improve in some way. For some, the goals are definite and determined.  For others, the intrinsic motivation is less obvious – more perhaps about building confidence or building friendships.  Over the years our personal goals may ebb and flow. I didn’t complete a single speech for a year after my sixth Competent Communicators speech.  I was going through a divorce at that time and you know …  Sometimes life gets in the way of your goals? I do … appreciate that not everyone is in a good place to complete the projects.

Before we have a look at whether it is possible for Hallmark Speakers to achieve another couple of points and finish the year with a Select Distinguished ribbon; let me explain, for those of you who are not familiar, the Toastmaster Acronyms:

CC = competent communicator – the first 10 speeches.  There are three advanced speaker awards, Bronze, Silver, and Gold (ACB, ACS, ACG)

CL = competent leader – the 10 leadership projects.  There are three advanced leadership awards, Bronze, Silver and Distinguished Toastmaster (ALB, ALS, DTM)

The thing is – it takes time to achieve each of these goals.  It takes some motivation to keep learning too.  Sometimes you may need a little nudge, like I did, to get back on track.

The Club’s Leadership Progress.

We already have one point.  Sophie has just three projects to go and has the best chance of picking up another point.  Although Club President, Toni – is just about to complete another project tonight as the General Evaluator.  That brings him in line with Sophie.  With four months to go until the end of the Toastmaster’s year, there’s plenty of time!  Yay!

The Club’s Communication Progress.

To get one more point Hallmark needs either two members to finish their competent communicators manual or one member to become an advanced communicator.  Jackie only has her tenth speech to complete, and Mark James has just three left.  Is it entirely possible these two could achieve their competent communicator’s award in the next four months … BUT only if they want to.

You may have noticed that there are a number of clocks on this printout. These are the keen newcomers eager to get cracking on their journey.  They have planned their speech progression and good for them.  If this momentum keeps up – next year will be a cracking year for celebrating speaker awards. There are Hallmark members who, like me, have got stuck.  How would you support them, encourage them and/or nudge them?

We’ve looked at how important numbers are in maintaining club standards, challenging members and celebrating success.  Both you and your club benefits when we pay attention to the numbers.  I celebrate the success of the committee and all club members so far this year! I also challenge you to play your part in next year’s success plan.

After all!

Practice … makes perfect doesn’t it?

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