February 2019 Newsletter

Inside this edition:

  1. Save the Date! The Spring Conference is coming!
  2. The Credentials Desk FAQ
  3. What’s District Leadership MidTerm Training All About?
  4. Are You a Club Coach? Why Not?
  5. What Can Be Said About a Binder Clip
  6. News About Dues

The Spring Convention is on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11, 2019. 

More information about the District 35 Spring Convention:


District 35 Business Meeting Credentials

by Keith Cumiskey, DTM – Immediate Past District Director

At the annual District 35 Business Meeting on Saturday, May 11 in Green Bay, each club president and vice president education in attendance is entitled to one vote. Clubs and voting members must be in good standing (i.e. dues paid by individuals and the club). Ballots must be claimed at the Credentials Desk during staffed hours at the convention. If either or both officers cannot attend, they may designate, in writing, any other active member of their club to act as a proxy or proxies for their club by using this proxy form and presenting it at the Credentials Desk.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is this the same as the International Convention proxy?

The International Convention proxy is for the International Business meeting (in August). This proxy is for voting at our District 35 convention (May 11) to conduct District business and elections.

  • Can I do this online or email my proxy?

Only a hard copy proxy presented at the Credentials Desk at the convention is valid.

  • Why do I care?

Toastmasters is our organization and it’s our privilege and responsibility to make decisions that impact us in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. At a minimum, we will elect our District leaders for 2019-2020 and vote on the alignment of clubs, areas and divisions. A complete business meeting agenda will be published approximately one month prior to the convention.

  • Can I assign my proxy to any member?

You may assign your proxy only to a member (in good standing) of your club. Additionally, see # 6 below.

  • If I’m a club President or Vice President Education, can I just show up at the business meeting and vote?

You must check in at the Credentials Desk during staffed hours and pick up your ballot(s). Ballots are only provided at the Credentials Desk.

  • I’m in multiple clubs. Can I vote on behalf of each club?

A member may cast at most, two votes (three if they are a district officer). This is different from the International Convention where it is typical for members to cast blocks of votes from several clubs. For example, if you are the club president of two clubs, you can vote on behalf of one club, but should assign your proxy for the second club to a member of the that second club.If you have any other questions about the Credentials process, please contact Keith Cumiskey (khcumiskey@ra.rockwell.com), Immediate Past District Director and Spring Convention Credentials Chair.

Mid-Year Highlights and Staying Strong

by Ed Thelen, DTM – District Director

Do you remember the feeling after you’ve attended a TLI or a conference?  You’re usually excited and ready to implement some ideas from what you’ve learned at the event. Well, I have that same energy after attending our District Leader mid-year training the last weekend in January. Two Regions (approximately eight to ten Districts) are paired together for training. The more intimate setting, in comparison to all Districts attending training at the International Convention, makes it easier to interact with our peers in the same Trio roles as Kris, Rozaline, and myself.

Over the two days of training, we walked through many things. Some of the sessions were focused on team building and were follow-ups on sessions we participated in back in August at the International Convention. We had reviews on branding and budgeting for our District Finances. Many of the sessions were interactive in that either we 1) worked with our own Trio, 2) worked with our peers in the same role (I worked with other District Directors), or 3) worked with a second Trio on some items. This interaction definitely helped us gain different insights, while at the same time, reminded us that we all seem to have the same challenges that face each of our Districts. In addition, we went through some updates for program changes that will be forthcoming. We will provide more detail as we receive the information from World Headquarters, but look for changes to Pathways (the new humorous Path already launched), club officer training, Distinguished District recognition, the Wow! Factor program, and the Club Coaching program (some of these previously announced and we went through clarifications at the training).

Going through the training (my last one as a District leader) was helpful to set the right focus for the remainder of the year. Although it is not easy at times, we need to stay focused and make our best efforts to continue to put forth quality meetings, which in turn will excite new members about the program and have them join a Toastmasters club. Thank you for all your efforts over the first half of this year and let’s end this Toastmasters year strong!

Are You a Club Coach? Why Not?

by Kris Pool, DTM – Club Growth Director

As I write this article, I’m listening to the Super Bowl pregame on television, waiting impatiently for the game to begin. The players on both teams have worked their hearts out this season to reach the Super Bowl, but it’s the coaches that guide, encourage, push, and drive the players to be their best.

Just like in football, we in Toastmasters need extra help too. That’s where our Club Coaches come into the picture. The coach is a counselor, a source of knowledge and a fountain of ideas. To be successful as a coach you will need to use your speaking, thinking, and listening skills, plus determination and patience. As an assigned Club Coach, you are helping a struggling club to become distinguished. That means helping them reach the minimum membership requirement (20 members or Net 5 growth from the July 1 base membership number) and five Distinguished Club Program goals.

Did you know that as a club coach, you can also receive credit as a District Officer? This is a new incentive from Toastmasters International. What that means is if you enjoy being a speech contestant, and you can’t compete if you are a District Officer, this is your opportunity! Coach a club to distinguished status by June 30, 2020 and you’ll receive credit as both the club coach and as a District Officer.

A coach receives a pin upon assignment and a certificate upon successful completion of the assignment (awarded after the June reports are finalized with International). A successful coach also receives credit toward the Advanced Leader Silver award or DTM requirement in Pathways. But more than that, you get the experience of successfully coaching a group back to health. This experience helps you to develop your skills as a counselor and facilitator. These are skills that could be transferred directly to other aspects of your life.

In addition, District 35 will continue with the incentive of awarding a $100 gift card to a coach for successfully completing their coaching by June 30, 2019. Successfully completing the coaching assignment means the club being coached achieves distinguished status on 06/30/19.

For additional information or if you have questions, please contact Club Growth Director Kris Pool (kris.pool.DTM@gmail.com) or visit https://district35.org/do-you-want-to-serve-as-a-club-coach/

A Simple Binder Clip Turns into a Powerful Toastmasters Message

by David Sepulveda, Eastside Madison Toastmasters Club

Thank you so much for this opportunity to share. It really is an honor to be asked to share my Table Topics answer with the members of District 35. I was asked to give a table topic on a random object and what I pulled out of the bag was a binder clip. Wow! What can I say about a binder clip? This was not a small binder clip. It was about 1/2″ wide. The kind of binder clip that holds lot of things together. As I look at my audience, I see the eyes of my fellow Toastmasters, and then, it hits me. These beautiful people are holding so much together just to be here. They have families, careers, responsibilities—things that need to be done, and yet, here they are listening to me talk about a paper clip on steroids. No one is paying them to be here; in fact, they are paying to be here. They are keeping their lives together like that binder clip. Making sure they are here on time and volunteering for extra responsibilities so they can have the opportunity to improve, grow, and push their perceived limitations. Why would anyone do this to increase their sphere of influence? They do it to improve the lives of those they encounter. Toastmasters participants keep their responsibilities in order. We hold our stuff together so we can have the opportunity to improve ourselves because we realize the value of the impact we have on those around us. We strive knowing that with every incremental improvement, our positive influence is multiplied. I am proud to be a part of Toastmasters and continue to work on improving my sphere of influence alongside so many great men and women. 

NOTE: Club Growth Director Kris Pool recently attended a meeting at Eastside Madison Toastmasters Club and heard David’s wonderful Table Topics response and asked him to both record on video and post online as a marketing tool and write up his response to share with all the District 35 Toastmasters in the district newsletter.

Membership Renewal Dues Reminder (and Membership Campaigns)

Are you a member in good standing in a club in good standing? You probably are right now, but to ensure this good standing, please be sure you submit your renewal dues payment to your club treasurer prior to March 15, 2019; this will cover dues for April through September. That will give your club treasurer plenty of time to get the club dues paid online with Toastmasters International by the end of March.

What happens if you don’t renew? Couple of things… If you plan to participate in an Area, Division, or District speech contest as a contestant or functionary role, you will not be eligible. You will lose your access to Pathways Base Camp. You won’t lose any progress you’ve made, but you will be locked out and will not be able to access your Pathways information again until you have paid your renewal dues.

Clubs – if for some reason you haven’t paid the October dues renewals, you will need to pay both October and April dues renewals or face being suspended by Toastmasters International. If you pay the minimum of 8 membership renewals, then you earn credit toward the Distinguished Club Program (DCP) goal #10.

Scary thought, but we only have 4 ½ months left in the Toastmasters year and your district would love to see all our clubs renew their entire current membership PLUS add new members as well. There is strength in numbers.

We are in the February and March membership campaign of “Talk Up Toastmasters.” This is your opportunity to showcase your club and members! Plan a special event, post it on EventBrite and local community calendars, submit a press release to your local newspaper. Invite prior members of your club back to join again (they can finish earning any education awards they had started and finish by June 2020 and introduce them to Pathways). Encourage your Toastmasters friends to consider dual membership. What makes your club unique and special that they may not get from their home club? Why can’t they enjoy the benefits of membership in both clubs?

If your club gains five (5) new, dual, or reinstated members during the “Talk Up Toastmasters” membership campaign, you will earn a ribbon for your club banner, receive a 10% off an order from the Toastmasters store, plus gain another goal in the DCP.

What do you have to gain? Continued membership strength, new members, fresh ideas and perspectives. Remember, it’s all about the HUGS! Helping Us Grow Stronger!