By Vicky Nann, DTM, District Public Relations Manager
If you’re a Toastmaster, you’ve surely heard the word “Distinguished.” Perhaps you’ve been urged to become a “Distinguished Toastmaster,” or to help your club become a “Distinguished club.” And yes, that capital D is important. Because in Toastmasters, “Distinguished” (with a capital D) means more than awesome or excellent or outstanding. It means that you or your club – or your club’s area, division or district – has reached specific, measurable milestones of success. You’ve attained “dignity or authority” (according to the dictionary), but in a very big and Toastmasters-specific way.
While District 10 has been a “Distinguished District” several times in the past, this past year our district has attained Select Distinguished status. This is a higher ranking, indicating we have achieved an even higher level of success. This is a huge achievement.
It means we exceeded our target for paid clubs, membership dues payments and Distinguished clubs. Of the nearly 100 districts around the world, only eleven attained Select Distinguished status this past Toastmasters year (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015). We should be proud to belong to this elite group!
Distinguished status at the District level can happen only if our clubs are successful. Clubs earn Distinguished status by reaching the goals set out in the Distinguished Club Program (DCP). The DCP is a proven system for club success, but, more important, for individual Toastmaster success. Over half our District’s 99 clubs earned Distinguished status. That can happen ONLY when individual members – people like you and I – work toward our public speaking and leadership goals.
In other words, although the District numbers are impressive, your individual experience as a Toastmaster is more important. When you achieve your personal public speaking and leadership goals, you demonstrate that you’ve mastered or honed important skills. Moreover, when you get credit for your speeches and leadership activities, it enhances the experience of everyone in your club. But it doesn’t stop there. When you achieve, your club achieves, your area achieves, your division achieves and, yes, your district achieves.
And that’s what happened. Because of your efforts, not only did you make strides toward fulfilling your personal growth objectives, you also helped District 10 reach its goals. Because of YOUR success, our District is successful.
Thank you for all of your hard work. It can’t happen without YOU.
District 10 Public Relations Manager