5 Ways to Prepare to be a Vice President Education at Toastmasters


So you’ve just been elected to be the Vice President Education for your club at Toastmasters.    If you want to be successful at your club officer role which starts on July 1st, you need to start TODAY to prepare for it.   This post is designed to give you advice on how to do this, based on my previous experience at three different clubs, both in the Founders District in Orange County, CA, and here now in District 30 in the Chicagoland area.

1.   Register for the Toastmasters Leadership Institute

The Toastmasters Leadership Institute (some other Districts make call it something different) is where club officers are formally trained.   When I say formally, this means that you are given formal credit towards your club’s Distinguished Club Program for having 4 out of 7 officers trained.    However, every club should have the goal of having all 7 officers trained EVEN IF they have done the training before in a previous version of the TLI.

Don’t stop with your own registration–ask all of the officers to confirm that they are going to a TLI session sometime in June.   The way it works in our district is that there is a “main” TLI that takes place on June 14, and there are “satellite” TLIs that take place in other areas of the District in the following weekends in June (21st and 28th) in order to accommodate those who either have some conflict with the June 14th date or who want to go to a TLI that is closer to where they live.

Make it easier for the other club officers to attend the TLI and car pool.   Be sure to mention that, although TLI is an all-day affair, that doesn’t mean that each officer has to attend all day.    There is only a one-hour training session that is required for the club officer to attend, and most TLIs have a morning and an afternoon session to accommodate those with a busy schedule.

There is a Plan B, and I’m not just talking about the additional satellite TLIs.   Each Division Governor should coordinate with the Area Governors to make available to each area a make-up training session in July so that every club officer has an opportunity to be trained, even if they can’t make any of the TLIs.

2.  Read the Club Leadership Handbook

Once you’re registered for the Toastmaster Leadership Institute, then go to the following web page at the Toastmasters International website and download the Club Leadership Handbook

http://www.toastmasters.org/clh

You should read at least the section on the Vice President Education role.

3.   Read about the Distinguished Club Program (DCP)

You should read the following document, which outlines the Distinguished Club Program–it can be found at the following web page at the Toastmasters International website.

http://www.toastmasters.org/1111_dcp

One of your most important duties to be performed at the beginning of your term as Vice President Education is to consult with the President and to determine what the club goals will be in the upcoming Toastmaster year.    One way to do this is to look at the Distinguished Club Program, and determine which level your club will try to achieve, which in turn is based on how many out of the 10 possible Distinguished Club Program or DCP goals your club will be able to obtain):

  • Basic Qualification (either 20+ members or a net increase of 5 members)
  • Distinguished Club (5 or 6 out of 10 DCP goals)
  • Select Distinguished Club (7 or 8 out of 10 DCP goals)
  • President’s Distinguished Club (9 or 10 out of 10 DCP goals)

Each club should at least try for the basic qualification and the Distinguished Club level of achievement.    Here’s a list of the 10 possible goals of the Distinguished Club Program:

  1. Two CC awards
  2. Two more CC awards
  3. One ACB, ACS, or ACG award
  4. One more ACB, ACS, or ACG award
  5. One CL, ALB, ALS, or DTM award
  6. One more CL, ALB, ALS, or DTM award
  7. Four new members
  8. Four more new members
  9. A minimum of four club officers trained during each of the two training periods
  10. On time payment of membership-renewal dues accompanied by the names of renewing members for one period and on-time submission of one club officer list

4.  Determine the Educational Record of the Members of Your Club

Your end goal should be the creation of a Club Success Plan, which outlines how in particular your club will reach each of the 10 goals above.    The first six out of the 10 goals, however, have to do with the area you are in charge of, namely, the educational program of all the members of your club.

In order to determine how many of the six goals your club can achieve, you have to see how many members can realistically get the CC, CL, or advanced awards needed to fulfill that goal.   You can only do that by knowing where the members are NOW.    Don’t wait for July 1st:   contact your outgoing Vice President Education and determine if he or she has an educational record, which shows

–how far along each member has gotten on the educational track, and

–how far along each member has gotten on the leadership track

If the Vice President Education has no such document, then you need to have him or her CONTACT all club members to ask them how far along they are.    Most will be able to tell you how many speeches need to be completed to fulfill their CC or advanced communicator award; few will be able to tell you how many roles or projects need to be completed to fulfill their CL or advanced leadership award.   In the latter case, you may have to ask the Vice President Education to remind members to bring their CL manuals to the club meeting so that he or she can look through their members’ manuals and determine which out of the 10 projects need to be completed.

5.  Create Club Success Plan

The Club Success Plan is important not only for your club, as it is the road map of how your club will achieve its goals successfully, but it is also important for your Area Governor, because it will be the road map that they will monitor your club’s progress towards that goal.

The Club Success Plan is contained in the same document listed above, namely,

http://www.toastmasters.org/1111_dcp

If you print this out  now, you will be able to take the goals discussed at the first Executive Committee Meeting of your club called for by the Club President, and start planning out who is responsible for whatever activities need to be accomplished to get there.   This creates accountability for all club officers and knowing this at the beginning makes everybody buy into the plan that you set up.

If you follow these five steps, and start NOW, you will have a headstart on your journey to being a successful Vice President Education, and through your success, to help your Club achieve the success that it deserves!

 

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