Monday, May 12, 2014

Club Officer Training planning

So you're a new area/division governor and realizing that club officer training should be coming up - who organizes this?

Formally district training falls under the mandate of the LGET, whomever that is, and they are the ones who will authorize training dates. In a nutshell, a training event is pitched to them, they authorize it, then it is delivered. The organizer of the event will provide a roster of who attended, the LGET will enter this into TI's system and the individual members/clubs get credit. The fact that the LGET physically keys in the training results gives them the ultimate control on what is permitted or not!

Generally speaking the division governor is the organizer. Generally speaking the area governors work to support the division governor in delivering/promoting an effective training event. This can be delegated out.

In terms of when, Toastmasters says the first session should be between June 1 and August 31. The second session between December 1 and last day of February.

Training needs to, at a minimum, cover each of the club executive roles and follow the 2/2 mandate. That is, you need to have at least two trainers from two different clubs, and at least two different clubs must be trained during the session.

Generally speaking there is a single division training date for each training period. Any additional training offered beyond that is a service provided, not guaranteed. Personally I've always tried to have at least three events on different dates/times - I think that's excessively fair - but that's a personal preference and not a requirement. In remote areas it might make sense for an area governor to get permission and then offer makeup training for their area as a whole. (I have done this, worked well)

Training credit, as with all educational credits in Toastmasters, is only given for physical events. The trainers must physically be in the same room as the trainees. Note that Toastmasters International has, on a case-by-case basis, given authorization for virtual training events but my understanding at present is that this is still not the default, must be justified and approved in advance. Certainly it would be a safer bet to confirm in advance rather than frustrating a room full of participants.

Toastmasters has a good base page at which includes much of the training materials. As with educational sessions I consider these basic slides as a starting point - frankly training that was only these slides and nothing more would be very dry indeed.

Ideally trainers should be experienced Toastmasters, people who have served the given role many times and are known to be good at the role. It's not a requirement that they have served the role but it makes them far more credible as trainers.

Personally I like to encourage each trainer to give at least one concrete handout to each group they are training. You can find different examples of these at .

If time allows I've found that a group discussion of the role is very effective.

Personally I like to cover basic timeline items with each officer:

  • SAA - setting up the room, arranging backup coverage
  • Treasurer - setting a budget, cheque requisitions, quarterly financial reports
  • Secretary - how to keep minutes, the importance of storing club correspondence, arranging backup coverage
  • VPR - promoting Toastmasters (the organization, rather than the club), ensuring club contact information is accurate, organizing maintenance of website
  • VPM - submitting member applications, voting members in, retaining members, organizing dues collection
  • VPE - agenda creation, helping members set goals, leading by example, contests, proxies
  • President - all of the above, leading by example, proxies, being a district champion
Training events generally fall into two categories - either sessional (sequential training materials, no real choices) and Toastmasters Leadership Institute TLI (different value added sessions, people choose what they want to attend). Both have their points - if you have limited time then a sessional makes sense. If you have the time and want to bring out more participants (plus give speaking opportunities!) then TLI is a better option.

Things that you could cover during a TLI:
  • Membership building
  • Using the Toastmasters site more effectively
  • Using electronic tools like easy-speak
  • Any Toastmasters ed session (Better Speaker Series, Successful Club Series, Leadership Excellence Series, Success/Communication, Success/Leadership)
  • Anything on electronic media - delivering Powerpoint more effectively, using social media, using youtube
  • Keynote/inspirational presentations
  • Training Toastmasters judges / running effective contests
  • Experts panel (i.e. sit down a group of strong Toastmasters and have the audience pose questions on various hot topics - how to achieve more in DCP, etc.)
Technically a TLI doesn't have to be involved with officer training but they usually are combined as it helps to bring bodies out.

Members can deliver division training as an HPL, organize any portion of it for CL credit in organizing a special event, help to promote it as a PR event for CL credit, deliver ed session speeches for ALB/ACG credit, deliver advanced speeches for CC/ACB/ACS/ACG credit, etc.

As always if you have any questions or comments then please let me know at

No comments: