Looking Up: The Purpose of the DCP

Created by Charles Schulz

I woke up this morning struck by the thought that we are at the halfway point of this Toastmasters year. My next thought was a quick inventory of what District 4 leadership (from Club Officers to the members of the District Executive Committee) has accomplished thus far. Because I am a pragmatist, my last thought was, “So, what’s the plan to finish strong?”

Very conveniently, our halfway point begins with the calendar year, which is a wonderful time to reassess and re-strategize. This naturally calls for a re-statement of desirable outcomes. For me, it’s the following:


WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ACHIEVE DISTINGUISHED STATUS The Distinguished District Program, just like the Distinguished Club Program or DCP (see an image of the Transition Period DCP at the bottom of this blog) is the most reliable tool we currently have to gauge the effectiveness of our strategies at the Club, Area, Division and District level. The Distinguished Club and the District Programs we create to support it are not the end to all our efforts – with a mix of educational (6), membership growth & retention (2), and administrative (2) goals – the DCP and the programs created around it exist to ensure member achievement and satisfaction.

WHY DOES IT MATTER? Becoming a Distinguished Club and District matters because the DCP is both a planning tool (a way to look up and ahead) and a gauge to measure success. That is, as our year begins, it gives us a template where we can plug in our members and club goals; as the year progresses and concludes, it tells us concretely to what extent we collectively enriched the club experience for each of our more than 3000 members.

THE IMPORTANCE OF CELEBRATING THE COMPLETION OF OUR GOALS: Being a distinguished district means everyone from our district attending the 2018 Toastmasters International Convention in Chicago will have an opportunity to walk onto the World Stage and be recognized collectively. Although I bet that’s a glorious feeling, it’s a fleeting moment. The more transcendental reason is that begin distinguished means that more members advanced their own goals. THAT IS WORTH A HUGE CELEBRATION AT EVERY LEVEL, so I encourage you to plan for individual and group recognition at the club level!


  • Incorporate into our pre-planned monthly meetings and training sessions for District Leaders more hands-on training, providing a true leadership lab that empowers and prepares these members for the important role of supporting our clubs
  • Assess on a weekly and monthly basis the efficacy of our Incentive Programs
  • Develop team strategies to support struggling clubs
  • Recognize successful clubs to reinforce and show appreciation for good practices.


Start the year with these three simple steps (in no particular order):

1. Set or reset your objectives using the DCP & Club Success Plan (here’s a DCP chart provided by Toastmasters International).

2. Attend Club Officer Training.

3. Officers, track your members’ progress and track your club progress.

May you find inspiration, guidance and clear objectives as you look up!

About Noemi Gonzalez 5 Articles
Noemi Gonzalez serves as District 4's District Director. Since joining Toastmasters 5 years ago, she has since served as President, VPE, VPM, and at the district level as Area, Division, Club Growth and Program Quality Director, solidifying the belief that we grow the most as leaders and communicators when we enable leadership in others.

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