Imagine. You already put in 60 hours this week, you’re tired and you’re late for work. But, you decide to go to Starbucks anyway. You go through the drive thru to find out that the lemon loaf gone, but you can have the last piece of dry, crusty, old banana bread. So, you make the purchase and go on with your day.

Then, you get a really nice hand gesture from someone on the road, because you changed a lane and totally missed that they were in your blind spot. So, you take the criticism, and go on with your day.

Then, you sit at your desk, work hard and tap away at the keyboard, just so the boss can walk by and not even acknowledge you are there. So, you try not to let it bother you, and go on with your day.

This is the world we live in. We go on with our day, every day, day in and day out.

Then you get a phone call. It is your Toastmasters friend, who just called to say, “I just got my DTM. You inspired me and helped me earn it. Thank you.”

Or…your Toastmasters friend gives you a small bag of cinnamon bears, because she knows you work hard, and she thought it might make your day.

That is why I remain so committed to Toastmasters – because of the people and the chance to help others.

As much as I love to see my own successes, I am more inspired more when I know I can help others.

In my own times of weakness, I feel reassured knowing my friends are willing to overlook my faults and continue to mentor me, because they understand that this is the place “where leaders are made.” 

Toastmasters is my love and my passion, and District 54 is my family.

I especially love the theme of this conference, “R.I.S.E. and Shine.” It is so appropriate. If you are new to the conference, or new to Toastmasters, “R.I.S.E” is an acronym for the Toastmasters core values of “Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence.” When we, as Toastmasters, really practice these core values, we set our organization apart from others. Anyone can go somewhere and be treated ordinarily at best. But, where can you go to have people respect you, support you…and encourage you?

When we do Toastmasters right, when we remember and live by the words, Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence, we set ourselves apart from every other place. When we RISE, we become the place where PEOPLE WANT TO BE.

One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou. She said, “At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” When we help others, when we treat others with respect, when we serve as leaders, and when we expect and deliver excellence, PEOPLE WILL REMEMBER.

My friends in Toastmasters, let’s be an organization that is set apart from everyone and everything else…and become the place where people want to be. Let’s be the organization where members know they matter…and let’s remember to RISE so that EVERYONE shines.


Hello District 54!

I am so excited and honored to be serving as District Director, and I am really looking forward to meeting and working with you this year!

I’d like to start the year off by encouraging a little bit of introspection and pose the following questions:

  • Why did you join Toastmasters?
  • Since you joined, what has Toastmasters done for you?
  • Where do you see yourself going in Toastmasters this year?
  • If you do not want to advance in Toastmasters, have you thought about what you can do to help others succeed?

If you are like me, I joined Toastmasters because I wanted to learn how speak in public. I just completed my degree in Corporate Communications, yet I was TERRIFIED of speaking in front of people. Today, I remain in Toastmasters for so many more reasons.

Toastmasters has helped me become more confident, and it has provided me with real world experiences to learn and grow. By seeking out new opportunities and taking on new leadership roles, I have developed skills that I am now able to apply in my career. As a part of this personal journey, I have also been blessed with making many, many new friends, who I actually consider “family.” Looking at the person I have become, I can honestly say that I have gained so much from my active participation in Toastmasters.

As much as I have benefited from what the organization has to offer, I find that I get even more satisfaction out of Toastmasters when I am able to help others grow and succeed.

Along the way, I have discovered that others succeed when we do Toastmasters well. So, when we talk about reaching Distinguished Club Program (DCP) goals and becoming distinguished clubs, areas, and divisions, we are really talking about doing what it takes to meet the goals Toastmasters International has in place to ensure that every member receives an experience in Toastmasters, similar to the one I received.

So, it inspires me to see people working in service of others, just because they want to see others succeed. My friends, these are the kinds of leaders that we have in District 54. I firmly believe we have the right team in place to continue to support our clubs and our members in doing Toastmasters well!

District Staff Members are working diligently to make sure members in our district have access to quality educational programs, like TLIs and conferences. Area and Division Directors are already working diligently to ensure that members in our district have make-up officer training sessions, speech contests, and quality club visits. Other staff members are working to help struggling clubs and to start new clubs, so that other people in Central Illinois may benefit by participating in this wonderful organization! Our team is planning and working, in service of others, to help our clubs support our members, so that everyone receives a wonderful experience, in which they thrive, learn, and grow.

I feel that we are off to an amazing, exciting, and inspirational start! Join us in achieving successes this year! Let’s set some new goals and overcome new challenges. Most importantly, let’s succeed together, by doing Toastmasters well!

Yours in Toastmasters,

Angie Mullin
District Director – District 54

Your Club CAN be Distinguished by this Time Next Year!

Consider implementing this checklist of ideas to get your club off to a great start! If you have questions, your Area Directors and your Division Director are there to help.

  • If you have less than 12 members, seek out help from your Area Director to obtain a club coach.
  • Make sure all club web pages, social networking sites and marketing materials are updated with current meeting and officer information.
  • Verify that your club has a way to track educational goals. EasySpeak is a great club management tool. If you are not using it, what are you using?
  • Ensure your club has a working mentoring program. If not, implement one.
  • Encourage all club officers to get trained. A minimum of 4 officers need to attend a TLI or Officer Make Up Training session this summer to be eligible to meet one of the 10 Club DCP Goals.
  • Complete a Club Success Plan and share it with your Area Director and your club members.
  • Complete an event calendar. Include at least 1 Membership Growth Campaign per Quarter. Ask Club VPPRs and VPMs to share their ideas and add their planned events.
  • Ask the Club VPE to send out a club Program Quality Survey or conduct personal interviews. Ask club members to share their educational goals for the year. Use these results to help shape your club goals and your Club Success Plan.
  • Present "Moments of Truth" to the club. Use these results to help shape club goals and your Club Success Plan.
  • Prepare members to participate in club, area, division and district speech contests! Encourage members to step out of their comfort zone, because this is the only way to grow.
  • Start promoting attendance at the District 54 Fall Conference. Which club will have the most members at the Fall Conference?
Do you have additional ideas?