Leadership Details

Q1. What leadership opportunities within the club are open to me as a member of Toastmasters?

Our club have a staff of officers who are elected once a year. Elections take place in May for the term July 1 to June 30 and, where applicable, in May for the term July 1 to December 30 and in November for the term January 1 to June 30. Club offices (and their rank within the club) are as follows:

  • President – chairs meetings and supervises all other officers
  • Vice President Education – schedules meeting assignments and works with members to see that their needs are met
  • Vice President Membership – runs club membership drive and also works to keep members satisfied and happy
  • Vice President Public Relations – makes sure club meeting listings appear in the media, puts posters up, etc.
  • Secretary – sends correspondence on behalf of the club, keeps club records and minutes
  • Treasurer – handles financial affairs, such as dues and purchases
  • Sergeant at Arms – sets meeting room up, puts stuff away, greets guests, etc.

Club offices are open to ANY member. There is no reason why a new member cannot run for President without serving in any other club office.

Q2. What leadership opportunities are open to me OUTSIDE the club?

You can serve as Area Governor, Division Governor, District Secretary, District Treasurer, District Public Relations Officer, District Lieutenant Governor Marketing, District Lieutenant Governor Education and Training, District Governor, International Director, International Vice-President, or International President. To explain what all these mean, you need to know more about each level.

Q3. What is an Area?

Clubs are grouped into Areas of three to eight Clubs. Each Area has its own Area Governor, a member of one of the clubs appointed by the District Governor to serve the Area. Area Governors are usually, but not always, members of a club in the Area they are responsible for. Areas have Area Speech Contests several times a year, with winners from the Club levels going on to the Area Contest. The winner of the Area Contest goes on to the Division. Areas also share Area goals, determined by formulas set at World Headquarters, such as “x number of clubs at 20 members in strength” and “x number of CC’s in the various clubs.” If an Area meets or exceeds all its goals, its Area Governor is recognized for hard work motivating the clubs.

Q4. What is a Division?

Clubs are grouped into Areas of three to eight Clubs. Each Area has its own Area Governor, a member of one of the clubs appointed by the District Governor to serve the Area. Area Governors are usually, but not always, members of a club in the Area they are responsible for. Areas have Area Speech Contests several times a year, with winners from the Club levels going on to the Area Contest. The winner of the Area Contest goes on to the Division. Areas also share Area goals, determined by formulas set at World Headquarters, such as “x number of clubs at 20 members in strength” and “x number of CC’s in the various clubs.” If an Area meets or exceeds all its goals, its Area Governor is recognized for hard work motivating the clubs.

Q5. What is a District?

Areas are grouped into Divisions. Divisions may be as small as one Area in size (rarely) or have five, six, or more Areas. Each Division has its own Division Governor. Division Governors are usually members of clubs within their Division and are elected once a year at the Annual District Business Meeting. The Division Governor works with his Area Governors to motivate the clubs to high membership and to have good, effective educational programs. Divisions have Division Speech Contests several times a year, with winners from the Areas coming together to compete. The Division winners go on to the District level. Divisions have Division goals, just as Areas do. A good Division Governor will work with his clubs and Areas to increase membership and educational effort.

Q6. How do I get to be a District officer?

If you want to be an Area Governor, show up at a lot of events outside your club and get to know the people around your District. Work hard within your club. Eventually, you’ll be considered for appointment as an Area Governor. It doesn’t hurt to ask the people who are running for District Governor to consider appointing you. If you want to be a Division Governor or other District Officer, you’ve usually got to run for the office. Each club in a District gets two votes and the clubs that have representatives at the Spring Conference vote and decide who’ll serve for the next year. Terms always run July 1 to June 30, by the way, so elections are usually held in April or May. Another good way to get to be a District officer is to volunteer to help a District committee. You don’t get DTM credit for helping a committee or serving as a District committee chair, but you get *known* and that’s usually all it takes to get asked to serve the next time around.

Q7. What levels are beyond the District?

Technically, none — just Toastmasters International. The Districts *do* get together for *Regional* Conferences in June of each year, but the Regions are not formally constituted bodies. They’re just groupings of eight or so Districts. Each Region is entitled to representation on the Board of Directors of Toastmasters International in the form of two International Directors who serve two-year terms, with one being elected each year, but it is the world body that elects these officers, not the Regions themselves. The main requirement for representing a Region is that you have residency and membership in a club in that Region. Once you are elected, however, you serve the world, not just the clubs of your Region. At the Regional Conferences, you also find speech contests, with the various District winners squaring off. Only one contestant goes on to the World level; the humorous speaking and evaluation contests stop at the Regional level, leaving the International Speech Contest contestants to decide the World Championship of Public Speaking each August at the World Convention. Regions do not have regional goals. They’re not organized bodies.

Q8. What do I get for serving as an officer?

If you serve as a club officer, you earn credit toward a CL. If you serve as a District officer, you earn credit toward an AL. Service on the International level doesn’t earn you anything in particular because you’ve usually already earned everything there is to earn by that point. But, more importantly, you get tremendous leadership experience. With everyone a volunteer and no club HAVING to do what its District officers suggest, you have to develop powerful persuasive abilities to guide the clubs and members in the right direction.

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