CL to ALB – Not So Hard, If You Plan

On the Table – Topics for Toastmasters

Season 1 episode 12   take 2.

Today On the Table, we take a look at the Mythical Community Toastmasters Club number 31415923 and a problem that their VP of Education Vera knows was coming – and what she has to do about it.

AND – we’ll talk about the giant mistake I made on this podcast.

 CL to ALB – Not So Hard, If You Plan

VP Education Vera has a problem.

CL and ALB - not so far apart

We thought we should explain.

Club President Ralph held an executive team meeting this morning at 6:30 a.m. – no, that wasn’t the problem – and informed the team that his goal for the remainder of the year was to get the club to Presidential Distinguished – the highest award Toastmasters gives to clubs.  He gave everyone specific assignments – the VP of Membership is to find Mythical Club eight new members before June 15th, the VP PR is to hold at least 2 open houses, and the Sergeant at Arms is to start looking for a new location for all these new people.

Vera’s job is to look at the education awards and figure out how to get all of the points they can.

Looking at the Distinguished Club Plan, Vera sees that there are a total of 6 points of the 10 point program related to education awards.

[Record scratch]

Here is the beginning of the problem – I can’t math.  I’ve never mathed well and this is a prime example of it (and yes, that was a math pun.)  I was right when I said there are 6 points in the DCP related to education awards, I was right. Back to the original podcast…

The 4 competent communicator awards will be completed in the next few weeks – Vera completed hers last month, and Hilda is scheduled for her final speech next month.  President Ralph and VP Membership Kofi still have three speeches each.  Both of them have enough time to complete the manuals.

But looking at the Advanced Communicator awards, Vera has no one close to finishing any of these awards.  Looking at a calendar, unless she or Hilda is going to speak at almost every club meeting in the next 5 months, they can’t complete the 10 speeches necessary.  President Ralph will have to find a way to solve this problem.

Vera has four people who are on the edge of completing their Competent Leadership manuals.   It’s important that at least two of them get completed before June 28th, because Vera likes to submit awards before the crush that crashes the Toastmasters International website on June 30th every year.

But there are also Distinguished Club Points for advanced leadership awards – and the club will need both of them this year.

[Record scratch]

And BOOM! That’s where I went wrong.

Thanks to David Hendrickson on Facebook, who pointed out my error.

The Advanced Leadership Awards points are not counted like the Communication Award – any Leadership award counts toward these two points.  Not a CL for the first and an advanced award for the second.

Back to the original

Membership Campaigns to get to the CL

Back in July, during the club success planning meeting, she knew that she needed at least 2 CL manuals for 2 Distinguished Club Points, and two Advance Leadership Bronze awards for 2 more DCP points.  Making sure that the manuals were passed out and credit properly given had been President Ralph’s task this year – he’d done a good job.

[record scratch]

Ok, mea culpa. My mistake and mine alone. The rest of this podcast is factually correct – the CL bottleneck is a real problem to get the last 3 or 4 projects done.

Back to the orginal –

All of the members had been working, but now, at the halfway point, she sees that the dreaded CL bottleneck was about to stop her in her tracks.

The Toastmasters Competent Leadership Manual has 10 projects in it.  Most of them have more than one task to be completed, so it can take a long time to finish the manual.  But there are a few projects that will take longer to do.  If the member and the VP Ed aren’t on top of it, there can be a huge bottleneck that can stop the members from completing the book.  A healthy club will have about 20 members – but there are only so many speech contests sanctioned by Toastmasters International.

The three contests that Toastmasters International sponsors are each 2 months long and are scheduled with a deadline.    All of them have the same requirement: add five new, dual or reinstated members to the club roster.  The Smedley Award is scheduled between August 1 and September 30.  The Talk Up Toastmasters membership program runs from February 1 to March 31.  Beat the Clock is scheduled for clubs to beat the end of the Toastmaster year to meet the club membership goals – May 1 to June 30.

Vera read the Membership-Building Contests flyer (1620) online.  Knowing that there are only two speech contests, she needs to encourage others in her club to step up and fill other leadership roles.  Chairing a Membership Campaign or Contest is listed as a task in Project 8 or in Project 10.

Vice Presidents and their Abbreviations

Vice Presidents and their Abbreviations

Instead of only having the VP PR manage two open houses alone, she can get other people to take on each of these campaigns.  Now Vera is that much closer to making sure the club gets the completed CL manuals.

Vera also can consider some outside-the-box options.  Clubs can have contests that aren’t expected to go beyond the club level.   How about a club that sponsors a contest that requires use of a particular prop?  Or…  Vera has two people who are very interested in debate and would like to schedule a demonstration for the club.  That will give some people a “special event” task completed for Projects 6 and 10.


But Vera has to find two advanced leadership awards as well for the Distinguished Club Program.  When she checks out the requirements, it looks like the requirements for the ALB are – serving as a club officer for 6 months and participated in the club success planning, getting to Officers Training and giving two Better Speaker or Successful Club speeches.

Vera takes a quick look at her club’s officers – President Ralph has been good at motivating his team to plan for the club to get to their Distinguished Award and he got everyone to the TLI last summer.  So Ralph and any other one member of the executive team could get an Advanced Leadership Bronze as soon as they have their CL and CC.

Vera’s toting up her club’s needs now.  That’s smart of her – she’s got her attention in the right place.  She knows who in the club can achieve these goals.  When it’s time for the next officers meeting, Vera will be able to make strong recommendations – and maybe assign a couple of the Better Speaker speeches in the next month.

Now it’s up to President Ralph to figure out how to get an advanced communicator award.  Stay tuned – Ralph has an idea that may work!

CL to ALB – You can do it!

As a club member, if you’re not sure where you are and what you need to do, check out this free download from Toastmasters dot org. The Member Achievement Record is a PDF download that allows you to keep track of all your work in one place – not in the back of one manual or the other.  You can also check on the Toastmasters dot org My Toastmasters link to find out what education awards they have on record for you. The link is in the show notes.

If you’re a club officer, you may be just a few steps away from your Advanced Leadership Bronze.  If you’re not sure where you are, take a few minutes to look at your current manuals and the requirements for not just the next award, but the one after it.  Talk to your VP Ed about getting those tasks you need to accomplish on the agendas.  Your club president will thank you when the DISTINGUISHED CLUB ribbon is pinned to your club banner.

Thanks again for David Hendrickson’s eagle eye – I will try to do better!

Thanks today to District 10 for sponsoring this podcast.  Our Spring Conference theme and date have been announced – Ready! Set! Go! Race to the DTM Spring Conference will be held on April 18.  Check out Distrist 10 dot org* for more details.

It’s contest season now – and judges are needed.  If you’re feeling awkward about being a judge, let me suggest you check out Toastmasters International’s excellent video training.

These short videos explain the tasks and requirements of being a judge – not an evaluator – and warn of the potential pitfalls and problems that judges face to be fair.  As the club contests in our district are winding up, the area and division governors are going to be looking for competent, unbiased judges.  You can do it!

Music today is from

Sweeter Vermouth by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC Attribution 3.0.

Direct Link: ISRC: USUAN1100712

© 2010 Kevin MacLeod


Laconic Granny by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC Attribution 3.0.

Direct Link:

ISRC: USUAN1100522
© 2008 Kevin MacLeod


Plaint by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC Attribution 3.0.

(Yes, this is the Sad Cat Diary music.)

Direct Link:

ISRC: USUAN1300009
© 2013 Kevin MacLeod


Life of Riley by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC Attribution 3.0.

Direct Link:

ISRC: USUAN1400054
© 2014 Kevin MacLeod

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