Highlights from the Toastmasters International Convention

Oh, Canada! What a splendid place to host the 87th Toastmasters International Convention. The clear and crisp weather, the scrumptious food and beverages, and its extremely courteous people are all part of its appeal.

Over twenty District 4 members traveled to Vancouver. And while we enjoyed our time there, Program Quality Director (PQD) Stefanie Chow and Club Growth Director (CGD) Orlando Redden had business to take care of. We attended District Leader Training to learn how to better serve our members, interviewed candidates running for international office, and voted on the behalf of District 4 clubs at the annual business meeting.

To keep our constituency well-known informed, below are four highlights from convention and how they affect members and officers alike. And as always, email the PQD at quality@d4tm.org with any questions.

 

1. Annual Business Meeting Results

Do you ever wonder how decisions get made on the international level? Changes that affect the individual member like dues increases, new educational tracks, and marketing strategies are determined by those that are elected to office each year. Program Quality Director (PQD) Stefanie Chow represented District 4 at the annual business meeting, voting as directed and in the best interest of our members. You can see the results of the elections on the 2017 International Convention home page.

 

2. September Rollout of Pathways Program

Every member should now be aware that the Toastmasters education program is changing. In a few years, our “Competent Communicator” and “Competent Leadership” tracks will be phased out and replaced with the new and improved Pathways program. The rollout for District 4 is expected to happen in mid-September, and while current members can stay with the old program, new members will be placed into the new program.

Each member starting on Pathways is encouraged to take a survey that will suggest three customized “paths” aligning with their specific educational needs, something that the current system does not do. Pathways Guides will be visiting each club to provide more information. In the meantime, you can check out the District 4 Pathways webpage and the Toastmasters International overview for more information.

 

3. Elimination of Fall Conferences & Contests

Yes, you heard correctly! Toastmasters International surveyed districts around the world and determined that club members and officers could be better-supported by the district officers, especially in the beginning of the term. Thus, there will only be one conference and contest season starting in 2018. Contests can still be held by non-district officers, should they be organized. This will allow district leaders to be more focused on helping their club members and officers achieve excellence throughout the year.

The fall district council meeting, including approval of budget and district leader appointments, will be conducted virtually, and there will only be one in-person business meeting held annually starting in 2018. That also means that our district conference on November 11 & 12 will be our last hoorah. Learn more about getting involved or register to attend here: http://d4conf.eventbrite.com

 

 

4. World Championship of Public Speaking

Over 30,000 Toastmasters around the world competed for this year’s chance to be crowned World Champion of Public Speaking. Ten finalists advanced from the club, area, division, district, and semi-final contests and went head-to-head on the world stage. In the end, Manoj Vasudevan from Singapore placed first with his speech titled, “Pull Less, Bend More.” Watch his winning speech:

About Stefanie Chow 8 Articles

Stefanie Chow began her Toastmasters journey in August 2013 in order to expand her personal and professional network. She is thrilled to be serving District 4 as its Program Quality Director. Her crowning achievement is competing twice at the District level of the International Speech Contest — once in San Diego and once in San Francisco.

While she is not attending Toastmasters meetings, she is utilizing her communication skills as an advocate volunteer for Freedom House, a shelter for human trafficking survivors. Stefanie also enjoys her career as a meeting and events professional and spends her leisure time exploring craft breweries, watching Broadway musicals, and occasionally performing stand-up comedy!

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