Step up Your Toastmasters Game–Become an Assistant Area Governor

I have been asked by the Area Governor to become the Assistant Area Governor.   This is the second time I’ve been given this opportunity, and I had a one-word response to his request:  YES!

The reason is because I remember the last time I was an Assistant Area Governor, when I was in my previous Toastmasters club in Orange County, California, and I learned so much during the experience.    When I moved to Chicago at the beginning of the summer, and joined my new Toastmasters Club, I was searching around for a way to “step up my game” and become a larger part of not just my own club, but the surrounding area, division, and district.

I am writing this post to describe the 5 ways an Assistant Area Governor (or Assistant AG) can assist the Area Governor (or AG) and even more importantly, the 5 ways that an Assistant AG can gain from the experience.

A.   Five Ways an Assistant Area Governor can Help the AG

1.   Area Visits

An Assistant Area Governor can assist the AG with visiting the clubs in the area.   An AG must visit each of the clubs in his or her area, AND do what is called a Club Report for each of those clubs.   If you have 4 clubs, that means 4 visits, right?   Well, the time investment is greater than just 4 evenings spent at the area clubs–it means you have to write the club reports, and you have to sometimes follow up with each club to get all the information you need for the report.   In our Area, there are two NEW clubs being added to the 4 already there.    That means that the AG has 50% more club visits to do, so he felt he needed some help.    It was the fact that I had already been an Assistant AG before that made our AG think of asking me to become his assistant.   I will go with him to the club visits and help him with the reports.

2.  Area Speech Contests

The Area Speech Contest is more complicated than the Club Speech Contest because you need to organize the venue. coordinate the schedule with all of the clubs in your area that are doing their own speech contests, and you need to staff the contest with judges, timers, contestants, contest masters, not to mention those who run the registration desk or set up refreshments.   For those Areas that using the speech contest as a fundraiser, you must also set up an opportunity drawing (raffle).     An Assistant AG can help the AG set up and run the Area Speech Contest.

3.   Division Council

If the Area has an Area-wide meeting with the AG, president and VP Education of all the clubs in the area, then the Assistant AG can help with this.

4.  District Executive Committee

The District Executive Committee meets once a month to discuss district-wide issues, and all AGs and Division Governors are invited.   An Assistant AG can assist by going to these DEC meetings and helping discuss the issues affecting the area and then disseminating any information gained from the District Officers.

5.   Club Mentoring

If there are new clubs in the area, they need to be guided in the first six months of their existence, and this task falls on the Area Governor.   An Assistant Area Governor can assist with this.

So that outlines what an Assistant AG can do for the AG.   But what does the Assistant get out of the experience?

B.   Five Ways an Assistant AG can Gain

The main reason why an Assistant AG can gain is by preparing oneself for becoming an AG in the following year.   How does this work?

1.  Preparation for AG role–knowing the area clubs

An Area Governor who already knows the clubs in his area, and all the prominent officers of those clubs, is going to have an easier time assisting them with what they need because a) he or she will already be familiar with their needs and b) he or she will already be familiar with the officers who will need to make use of any assistance provided.

2.  Preparation for AG role–knowing division, district

An Area Governor who already knows the officers in the division and district will be able to spend time from the first day of his or her office solving problems, rather than developing relationships with those who are in a position to help solve them.

3.  Preparation for AG role–contest master

By assisting with the Area Contest, all of the lessons learned as an Assistant AG will mean that the contest will go REALLY smoothly when he or she takes over the AG role.

4.   Club mentoring

Because the AG knows of all the new clubs forming in the area, he or she can steer an opportunity to the Assistant AG to charter, sponsor, or mentor one of the new clubs.   This is an important milestone and one of the most difficult and time-consuming projects that one often takes as the last step in becoming a Distinguished Toastmaster or DTM , the pinnacle of completion of both the public speaking and leaderships tracks in the Toastmaster Educational program.

5.   Networking

If you are looking for a new job, or what to be prepared if you have to look for a new job in the future, then the contacts you make as an Assistant AG at the club, area, division, and district level will be invaluable for you in establishing yourself as a brand that will add value to any prospective company you want to work for.

In these ways, you get as much as an Assistant AG as you give to the AG by assisting him of her in his role.   If you are interesting in stepping up your Toastmasters game beyond your home club, then definitely ask your Area Governor if he or she needs an assistant!



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