Save the Date for the Spring Conference

District 4 Toastmasters, Saturday, May 11, 2013


March Madness

By Katherine Pratt, ACS, ALS, Director Club Coach Program 

March Madness, Hands Up

Dues renewal season is just around the corner, and with it comes a little March Madness! But in District 4, March Madness has nothing to do with college basketball.  It refers to the District's incentive for all Treasurers and clubs to score by renewing their club dues by March 15th.

Why Should You Pay Your Dues?

Toastmasters’ dues are collected twice a year (and are due by April 1st and October 1st). But what are the benefits of paying dues on time to the club, its members, and the district? First and foremost, this keeps your club in good standing, which allows your contestants to be eligible to compete in upcoming contests. In addition, it enables your club to qualify for the Distinguished Club Program. Working to become a distinguished club or above can re-energize your club as it motivates the members to work toward a common goal. Paid members and clubs help the district reach its membership goals, too. In addition, once a member’s dues are paid, they can continue to enjoy benefits such as being able to record educational awards, to shop with membership prices at the Toastmasters store, and to receive the monthly Toastmaster magazine.

Often the dues renewal period can fly by. Encouraging your club’s members to pay dues early can help beat procrastination and can ensure that your club and its members continue to receive the benefits of Toastmasters without interruption. That’s where March Madness comes in.

March Madness—District 4 Style

Unlike NCAA basketball, all our teams, the clubs, can qualify for March Madness. The only thing a club Treasurer needs to do is to pay dues for at least 75% of its base membership by March 15th. A base membership refers to how many members each club had on July 1, 2012. Don’t know what the base membership number for your club is? It can be found on any Distinguished Club Program report on the TI website. Check out how many members the club Treasurer should renew to win.

The odds of winning are much higher than becoming part of basketball’s “Final 4.” EVERY club that successfully renews at least 75% of its base membership will be a winner and will receive a special ‘traveling’ trophy from District 4. This trophy can be used to recognize a member at each meeting – clubs often recognize Best Speaker or Best Evaluator or Best Table Topics Speaker with ribbons. Have your Best Speaker take this traveling trophy home or to the workplace so that the whole world knows about their achievement. Next meeting, someone else gets to take it home!

So start collecting and submitting those dues today, before the final buzzer sounds on March 15th. “Take a Chance” at renewing your dues early and score a slam dunk for your club!

Why Should You Pay Your Dues

Toastmasters' dues are collected twice a year (and are due by April 1st and October 1st).   But what are the benefits of paying dues on time to the club, its members, and the district?



Sponsor three new members (new, reinstated, and dual) between 1/1/13 and 3/15/13, and you will enjoy breakfast with World Champion Craig Valentine!   Email Atul Nayak when you sponsor a member.


Watch this special message from Craig Valentine to find out how YOU could have breakfast with Craig for free! 




I Nominate

We are now accepting nominations for elected and appointed District Officer positions - Division Governors and Top 4 Officers (Deadline March 16th), Area Governors, District Secretary, and District Treasurer (Deadline May 17).



Congratulations to Destination Articulation, our first club chartered in 2013.



Tram Dinh Tram Dinh thinks "You Can Do It!"  

Toastmasters and Second Language Acquisition

Growing up in Viet Nam, a young woman learns to speak slowly and softly, to show respect to adults by listening attentively and responding only when asked to do so. As a woman and new arrival to the United States of America, I recognized people communicating in the English required a medium to loud voice tone. I was so afraid to speak up or get up from my seat to speak.

I heard about Toastmasters in college, but did not think I would fit in such a club of well-seasoned public speakers. With my soft voice and Vietnamese accent, I would never be able to stand up in front of an audience to deliver a message in English. I worried that my audience would not follow me while explaining a concept or mispronouncing a word. If I had to give a presentation in class, I would ask myself, “What if I forget what I want to say? What if I mispronounce a word? What if I say something wrong?” With all the "what if" questions, I lost my confidence.

As a software engineer, I did not give presentations often. However, in meetings I did have trouble expressing my point of view without being misinterpreted. I knew I needed to improve my communications skills.

Two years ago, I heard about the Adilbmasters meeting at IBM. After the first meeting, I was thrilled and impressed. The meeting was structured, exciting, supportive and positive. Each speaker was evaluated tactfully. Also, several people would have other roles and chances to speak during the meeting. I thought the most interesting part was the filler words -- ah, uh, hmm, so, you know -- counter. I joined the club.

My first speech had over twenty filler words; my eye contact was to one side of the room; my body was stiff; my voice was monotone and barely audible! I realized that if I hadn't joined Adlibmasters, I would have never found out! I started to pay attention to those areas in all the speeches from myself and others. I have learned so much from each meeting about both communication and leadership skills. I have learned new things: tips from other members’ speeches, what to do or not to do in a speech, how to give constructive evaluations, how to facilitate a meeting, and committed responsibility. I was getting better and better every time I spoke! By my tenth speech -- to my surprise! -- I didn't have any filler words! I felt more comfortable in front of the audience. I could to use gesture and facial expression to get the audience's attention. My voice was louder and clearer. Even my Vietnamese accent wasn’t as strong. Moreover, I got many comments from my co-workers that I talk more in the meetings, my opinions are appreciated, and I really "shine" when giving a speech.

I am so glad I joined Adlibmasters. With determination to practice and improve my public speaking skills and the help from the Adlibmaster members, my dream has come true: I can give presentations in English confidently. Instead of asking myself "what if" when I get up to talk, I smile and tell myself, "You can do it".


D4TM Home of the Whopper, Spring 2013



Golden Quill for Best Club Newsletter >>  

Platinum Page for Best Club Website >> 

Diamond Director for Best Club Video >> 

Celebrate Your Club's Anniversary with an Open House >> 


Don't wait for March Madness, take a chance!


Your District 4 Leaders
Miriam, Rita, Atul and Bernard 

Toastmasters |