Toastmasters outside our Club
Some of you reading may be wondering if NDG Leader Toastmasters is one of a kind - well, yes :) and no. While we love what we do at NDG Leader Toastmasters, and we believe we offer a unique experience, we are one of many, many clubs across the world. A quick scan of the Toastmasters International website will tell you that we are one of over 14,000 clubs worldwide, with 270,000 members in 148 countries. Toastmasters is everywhere! So how are we organized to ensure a great experience?
First, Toastmasters International is a non-profit organisation based in Colorado in the United States of America. While there is a headquarters with paid staff dedicated to supporting the organisation, the organisation is governed by volunteer members who give their own time - from the Club level all the way to the International President. It is this aspect - the volunteer organisation - that I wish to talk more about today.
Clubs are organised into groups called Areas, which themselves are led by an Area Director. NDG Leader is in Area 60, but has been part of other areas before, depending on what clubs are part of Toastmasters at the time. The Area Director is responsible for the clubs in their Area and makes sure to keep up on how things are going and organise an Area speech contest for all the Clubs to participate in. Above the Area Director is the Division Director, who is responsible for a certain number of Areas (and therefore a larger number of Clubs). Similarly, the Division Director will keep track of their Areas and as many Clubs within them as they can, and is responsible for the Division speech contest.
Above the Division is the District - NDG Leader Toastmasters is part of District 61. The District is responsible for a significant number of Divisions and therefore a lot of Clubs. There are lots of volunteers at the District level, but they are led by three key roles (the Trio, as they can be called): the Program Quality Director, the Club Growth Director, and the District Director. They are responsible for overall programming in the District, District governance, as well as the District Conference (although the last may be delegated to another member to plan and execute). It is at the District Conference that the District speech contest is held - and the competition is fierce! The District is a significant leadership level within Toastmasters and being a District Director is a pre-requisite for many roles beyond the District Level.
Once beyond the District level, you get into the International Director and International Officer roles, as well as Region Advisors. These are very significant leadership roles and the highest office of them all, the International President, will oversee the entire organisation. I have less contact with these aspects of Toastmasters - I will need to inform myself to talk more about it!
Suffice to say, your journey in Toastmasters can lead to great heights. Come start your journey with us at the Club level at NDG Leader Toastmasters - remember, every International President has gotten their start as a guest and a new member before you. Why not see where the journey takes you?