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District 26 - Serving Colorado, Wyoming and western Nebraska

Hello Fellow D26 Members,

It is now February and we recently passed the half-way point in our program year.  In terms of the overall Toastmasters timeline, this is the season of getting club officers trained, beginning the dues renewal season and engaging in contests.  Those events are in addition to ensuring that members achieve their educational goals.  All of it seems to be a race to the end, June 30.  With all of the stated goals, I would be remiss in not reminding that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic that has upended our very sense of normalcy.

In working towards all of the goals, it is easy to get overwhelmed, to feel like a spoke in the ever-turning wheel and to get the dreaded burn out.  How do we avoid these things? How do we navigate the online video conferencing fatigue? What motivates us, as members, as club leaders and as District leaders?

Past International President, Lark Doley, embarked on the “My Why” campaign during her tenure as International President of Toastmasters International.  The campaign’s theme was simple, to hear members’ stories of why they joined and why they remain members.   With all that is occurring, it is important that we get to the heart of why every Toastmaster joined and why they remain.  That is at the heart of motivating others.  In our clubs, a simple “little” question to not only guests and new members, but perhaps an all-inclusive Table Topics session where all club members are asked why did they join and why do they remain, could go a long way in motivating ourselves and others to continue.

In addition to understanding your fellow Toastmasters’ “why”, recognizing accomplishments goes a long way.  Sometimes, just a simple “Thank You” will suffice.  Remember, it’s the little things that often mean the most.

*****

Jacqueline L. Smith, DTM

District Director, 2020-2021

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