Be Your Best Leader: Executive Leadership Summit

District 56 is hosting an Executive Leadership Summit on November 2nd. This set of workshops will substitute for officer-required Toastmasters Leadership Institute, but all members are encouraged to attend.

Date: Saturday, November 2, 2019
Time: 9a – 2p (Registration at 8:30a)
Where: Fountain Life Center
14083 South Main Street
Houston, TX 77035

Register Here

Please join to learn more from your fellow Toastmasters and let us all grow as leaders!

District 56 2019-2020 Incentives

District 56 is offering a great incentive for members who:

  1. Renew membership dues by 9/15/2019 and 3/15/2020.
    To make things easier, you can instead opt to pay double dues by 9/15/2019. Click here for more information about dues payment.
  2. Submit three educational awards before 3/15/2020.
    An educational award includes the completion of a level within Pathways. As a bonus, completing just this incentive grants you a Triple Crown Pin as well as recognition at the May 2020 Spring Conference or within The Applause District newsletter.
  3. Sponsor or recruit 3 or more members during the period 10/1/2019 to 3/30/2020.

Members who achieve all three goals will be awarded an Outstanding Member pin and $50 Toastmasters International voucher! Read more about member- and chapter-specific incentives for the 2019-2020 fiscal year here.

Sally Voted Division Director of the Year

District Director Kathy Kest and Sally

Our Immediate Past President and current Vice President of Education Sally was recently voted Division Director of the Year for District 56! This is a HUGE honor and might not have been possible if Sally hadn’t decided to make the push to achieve the Distinguished Toastmaster educational award. We’re very fortunate to count Sally among our leadership (and membership)! Her attitude toward service is both an asset and an inspiration to us all. Thank you and congratulations, Sally!

Fall 2019 Toastmasters Leadership Institute

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend my first TLI — Toastmasters Leadership Institute — a three-hour workshop to orient chapter officers within their specific roles. The facilities at MD Anderson were spacious and comfortable, and I was grateful for the coffee and assortment of breakfast options that were provided by TLI. District 56 Director Kathy Kest provided a superb example of acknowledgement versus recognition during her opening statement, wherein she recognized two gentlemen who had gone above and beyond to help resolve an unanticipated issue with parking.

The TLI leadership team ran individual breakout sessions for each role, exemplifying servant leadership by generously sharing their expertise. They each helped attendees understand how we can help our chapters grow by fulfilling our individual officer roles. As the VP of Public Relations for Spirited Speech Masters, I attended the VPPR session lead by Rhonda Reeves, Director of Division M and the VPPR for Exxon-Mobile’s Innovators chapter. She presented a clever acronym she uses to represent the aims of a VPPR:

  • Promote
  • Raise Awareness
  • Attract Members
  • Increase Membership
  • Sustain the Brand
  • Engage the Community

The room of VPPRs was then divided into groups of four, and each group was charged with determining the How, When, Who, and What of our assigned aim. This style of self-generated content and learning was extremely effective, not only because it helped us to think through what we already knew (or could figure out together) but because we were getting to know one another better. I know I made a couple of connections I hope to have the opportunity to develop further.

Overall, I felt like I learned a lot, both about my role as VPPR and about Toastmasters in general (as a new-ish member, I was particularly grateful for the temporary embargo on Toastmasters acronyms). I would recommend TLI to any new officer, and hope to have the opportunity to attend the TLI in the Spring with even more of my fellow Spirited Speech Masters!

Area Q54 Council meeting, immediately following Saturday’s TLI
L to R: Sally Boyd, Joann Hester, Patricia Koch, and Diane Nino

Looking back at District Conference

For a myriad of reasons, many members of Toastmasters have yet to attend a District Conference, an annual event wherein members are encouraged to celebrate achievements, network with one another, and learn strategies for chapter development. The annual conference for District 56 was held last weekend, and three of our long-time members — Dawn, Joann, and Sally — all chose to attend, each for varying amounts of time. I asked them to share about their experiences to give the rest of us an idea of what to expect when we become First Timers ourselves.

Left to Right: Sally, Dawn, and Joann pose beside a sign for this year’s #MyWhy campaign.
Continue reading “Looking back at District Conference” »