District Director Message – Nov 2020

1 November 2020

Dear Fellow Members of District 80

This is my third bi-monthly letter to all the members of District 80. Previous issues were posted at the District 80 website and Facebook group.

Hope you are keeping well and are enjoying the many virtual Toastmasters workshops, speech contests and club meetings.

Human beings are adaptable. While we are not allowed to have in person Toastmasters meetings during the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us are making use of video conferencing technology to attend even more club meetings, not only in Singapore, but also in other parts of the world. I know some of you even attend two or three meetings concurrently, and often hop from one meeting to another in the same evening without the trouble of physical travelling. We are making the best out of the difficult situation.

While we are enjoying these meetings, we need to be mindful that the situation is still difficult.

As of 29 Oct 2020, District 80’s membership has dropped 15.68% from the same day last year. This performance is not as bad as the worldwide membership, which has dropped 17.57% for the same period. For membership payments, we are ranked 19 out of the 123 Districts in the world. However, this “not as bad” performance is no cause for celebration. Metaphorically, if you are hungry, you should not feel good just because the people around you are hungrier than you. You are still hungry. To solve your problem, you need to find food.

Hence, we need to find ways to increase our membership. This is not only the responsibility of the VP Membership or the club exco, but also the responsibility of every member.

Every one of us likely know of some people who can benefit from the Toastmasters program. They could be our colleagues, our neighbours, our friends, our relatives or our family members. Why not do them a favour by introducing them to the Toastmasters?

When we have events like club meetings, workshops, seminars, speech contests, let’s invite these people around us to join us in these interesting events. Organisers of these events also need to put aside a few minutes to explain the Toastmasters program to these guests.

I urge members to put in efforts to help in bringing in new members. For ease of remembering, I name them MAJOR and MINOR efforts.

For clubs that meet at community clubs (CC), their members are usually residents in the housing estate where the CC is located. MAJOR is the acronym for Members Actively Jio Other Residents. [For those who are new to the word Jio, it means “invite to attend together”. Congratulations for learning a new word. For those who do not like such colloquial words used at Toastmasters, please learn to like them. You will find yourself becoming a more cheerful person.] If members of CC clubs can invite their neighbours to their Toastmasters events, many of these guests could find value in the Toastmasters program and join as members.

For corporate clubs, new hires in the company are a good source of potential members. MINOR is the acronym for Members Invite Newly Orientated Recruits. After the new hires completed their orientation program in the company, invite them to join the Toastmasters activities. They will likely find the program beneficial to their career growth and become members.

If we can put in MAJOR and MINOR efforts, I am sure our membership will grow. We would also have done a good deed for introducing the amazing Toastmasters program to someone we know.

 When times are tough, we need to be even tougher to survive and thrive. Let’s work together to overcome the membership challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and emerge even stronger.

Take care, have fun.

Ng Cher Khim, DTM
District Director 2020-2021
District 80