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Author malcolmw  Date 22 Aug 11, 10:18  Views 2981
Description A basic guide
Category Toastmasters  Type Information

Toastmasters International - organisation and structure

Overall size
As of August 2011, there are more than 13,000 clubs with more than 270,000 members in 116 countries. Membership growth is at about 5% a year.

111,200 members are outside the USA - 40% of the total. This proportion is growing, in particular due to rapid expansion in India and China.

In Britain and Ireland there are about 250 clubs with more than 7,000 members. Membership growth here is at about 8% a year.

Clubs
A Club is the basic grouping of members.

Officers These are President, Vice President Education, Vice President Membership, Vice President Public Relations, Treasurer, Secretary and Sergeant at Arms [see here]. Any member can be a Club officer. However a member who has been President for a full Toastmasters year cannot continue to be President for the year immediately following.

Contests Club Contest winners go on to Area level, but a club can decide to nominate a contestant for Area level instead of holding a club contest.

Goals Depending upon its achievements a Club becomes Distinguished, Select Distinguished or President's Distinguished [see here].

Areas
An Area is a grouping of 3 to 6 Clubs, although in a 3-Club Area there should be plans for a 4th Club.

Officers An Area Governor is appointed (or, in some Districts, elected) annually [see here].

Contests Area Contest winners go on to Division level.

Goals Depending upon its achievements an Area becomes Distinguished, Select Distinguished or President's Distinguished [see here].

Divisions
A Division is a grouping of Areas.

Officers A Division Governor is elected annually. The Division Governor may appoint up to two Assistants.

Contests Division Contest winners go on to District level.

Goals Depending upon its achievements a Division becomes Distinguished, Select Distinguished or President's Distinguished [see here].

Districts
A District is a grouping of Divisions. District 71 comprises Britain and Ireland.

Officers These are District Governor, Lieutenant Governor Education and Training, Lieutenant Governor Marketing, Public Relations Officer, Treasurer and Secretary. The first three are always elected and the last three are elected or appointed depending on local preference. (In District 71 the first four are elected and the last two appointed.)
Non-elected positions are appointed by the newly elected District Governor.

Contests Districts have up to four District Contests. The International Speech Contest winner goes on to a Semi-Final level at the International Convention. For other Contests, the District level is the Final.

Goals Depending upon its achievements a District becomes Distinguished, Select Distinguished or President's Distinguished [see here].

How can I become an Area, Division or 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 (or election, in Districts where the position is elected) 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 have to run for the office. Each club has two votes at the District Council election which decides who'll serve for the next year. Terms run July 1 to June 30 so elections are held at the Spring District Conference.

Regions
A Region is a grouping of Districts. There are 14 Regions spanning the world. District 71 (Britain and Ireland) is in Region 11 together with District 59 (Continental Europe), District 74 (Southern Africa) and District 79 (Middle East).

Officers Each Region has a Director on the Board of Toastmasters International, and a Regional Advisor providing marketing support The main requirement for the roles is that you have residency and membership of a club in that Region.

Contests There are no longer any Regional Contests. Distirct International Speech Contest finalists compete against each other in 9 Semi-Finals at the International Convention. The winner in each Semi-Final goes forward to the World Final.

International
This is the worldwide level of Toastmasters International.

Officers There is an International President and three International Vice-Presidents. Also, there is a permanent administration staff headed by an Executive Director.

Convention An International Convention is held each August. It has always taken place in North American but it is intended to hold some outside North America in the future. The Convention includes the Annual Business Meeting at which International officers are elected and policies decided. Club votes are usually proxied to District representatives.

Contest The World Final of the International Speech Contest takes place at the International Convention.

Reward for serving as an officer
If you serve as a Club officer, you earn credit toward an ALB. If you serve as a District officer, you earn credit toward an ALS. Service at the International level doesn't earn you anything in particular but you gain tremendous leadership experience. With everyone a volunteer you have to develop powerful persuasive abilities to guide members in the right direction.

    
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