Toastmasters by the Numbers: So Who’s Counting?

Bonne Stroman

Toastmasters International focuses on communications and leadership skills.  What do these essentials have to do with numbers? Well, members count the number of speeches completed towards CC and AC goals or the number of assignments completed in the CL manual. Clubs count the number of goals met for the Distinguished Club Plan, or DCP. Area and Division Governors count the number of goals reached on their way to becoming Distinguished. And District officers count the “critical success factors,” the numbers of CCs, ACs, members, and clubs the district has gained during the Toastmasters year. Why are all of those numbers important? Shouldn’t the individual growth of members be our main concern?

If you think about it, every organization measures success by the numbers. Churches measure success in part on numbers of new members, numbers attending services, and money received. Schools measure success in part on attendance, graduation rates, and numbers passing state-mandated exams. Does that mean that churches do not care about individual souls or that schools do not care about the learning of individual students? Absolutely not!! Every organization must measure success. Measurement implies numbers, and measuring success in Toastmasters is no different.

In Toastmasters, individual success is measured by completion of educational and leadership awards. Club success is measured by membership numbers and by the ten goals of the DCP. And District success is measured by those “four critical success factors.” Does that mean that leaders at the club, area, division, and district do not care about individual growth as members work the program and develop communications and leadership skills? All Toastmasters leaders at the club, area, division, and district level celebrate the individual accomplishments that result in numbers indicating success. Each speech given, each club role performed with excellence, each new member added to a successful club means that our district has succeeded in sharing the value and benefits of Toastmasters to another individual and club. 

So who’s counting? We are! We celebrate the success of each member, club, area, and division as we celebrate our district’s success! May District 25 touch many lives as we work together for success during the 2011-2012 Toastmasters year!

Bonne Stroman
Lt. Governor Education and Training


by Jodie Sanders