Yes it’s that time of the year when we get to consolidate the learning from the first six months of our office, discuss the challenges and solutions, and look to our succession planning.

Darryl O’Reilly, Northern Division Director was first to setup and host their online session which was completed with positive feedback on the format. Ratnakar Vallabhaneni was next off the rank– Eastern Division’s Director – who invited the trio to join his COT session and deliver a plenary speech. Namrita Anchan spoke to ‘Tone & Language Matters and Why?’, Julia Davey DTM spoke to ‘A Winning Formula’ and I was able to speak to ‘What is Leadership?’

Upcoming dates may be found on the D73 Calendar, complete with registration links:

Sat 18-Feb / Central Division COT  (In Person)

Education Development Centre, 4 Milner Street Hindmarsh (Port Road near the Entertainment Centre)

Emma Hiscock (

Sun 19-Feb / Bass Division COT (Online)

Kiru Vaithilingam ()

Wed 22-Feb / Southern Division COT (Online)

Vijayakumar Shanmugam ()

Thu 23-Feb / Ranges Division COT (Online)

Stephan Barrie ()

Sat 25-Feb / Metro Division COT (In Person)

Corner Park Street, and Ferrars Place, South Melbourne 3205 (Entry from Ferrars Place)

Tracy Gordon ()


For my speech, I proceeded to declare my Toastmaster tragidity (yeah that’s not a word) in case there’s passionate grammarians out there today.

“Effective Leaders are human first and leader second
– various

I noted that this is the first time in a long time we’ve committed this much time to allow officers to receive instruction, and more importantly to be able to share their stories and challenges, and to hopefully do some problem sharing amongst their peers.

Remember this is round two, so officers (many of you) have been in place for over half their term, this time around that is, as I heard from officers that have done their roles over a dozen times – so much experience to share.

In round 2, the sessions are focused on problem solving and making sure the next few months help arm the next executive team for success. And for those that are striving for goals in the Distinguished Club Program, an opportunity to gain that ‘officers trained’ point.


We also have the return of the all-important feedback, where each officer breakout will get an opportunity to give the top 3 take aways in 3 minutes. This is an important part of the session, as the awareness of what goes on with fellow members of the executive can often be lost – in particular because of the last few years moving to online and hybrid where much of the social interaction, before and after meetings, is only just starting to return.

Some of the take aways shared so far across the breakouts:

  • Technology both in our meetings and in support of administering our meetings
  • Succession Planning / Changeover
  • The importance of reaching out to fellow officer
  • Parliamentary processes and business meetings
  • Chasing renewals
  • Celebrating cultural diversity
  • Membership / retention and conversion / how to follow-up
  • Agendas
  • The numbers game
  • Flexibility

Please make sure to book your session, and encourage members thinking about becoming a club officer to do the same. I can’t think of a better way to get a handle on what to expect… Apart from reading the manuals of course…

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny”
– Aristotle

We joined Toastmasters as volunteers to do one thing – whether we realised it at the time or not is part of our growth. We joined to grow in confidence, and to do this in a safe environment where we’re allowed to fail, and in failing, be supported by those around us to grow. 

Matt Kinsey, International President of Toastmasters International gave a great educational last month. During his talk he built a definition of Leadership through various stories and personal experiences. He defined leadership as:

Exercising your influence

In a positive and supportive manner

Towards the accomplishment of a worthwhile goal

While following an agreed upon set of values

And starting with your heart


I leave you with some thoughts                                      :

We are invariably motivated by Self Interest… but when service to others is part of the equation – our rewards are so much greater…

We are not just volunteers in Toastmasters we are students – the curriculum is defined in the levels of service, through our meetings and Pathways. There are performance expectations, but there are many who are available to help you meet them…


What are your goals? 

Chances are taking a leadership role, one of service, will help you achieve them… 


Kevin Broughton DTM

D73 Program Quality Director 2022-2023