COVID-19 Message from the District 53 Senior Team
Updated November 21, 2021
Toastmasters District 53 continues to monitor and follow the news about the COVID-19 pandemic.
As more information or changes become available we will post updates here.
More than ever, we ask clubs to be alert to the possibilities of outreach beyond your immediate members. It has been an unusually hard year for club closures and member attrition, as you all know — and recruitment of new members, the chartering of new clubs, and youth and adult outreach are all dependent on your members.
We recommend that clubs pay attention to and follow local guidance from public health agencies and reputable news sources in their decision-making about re-opening.
At this time, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York all continue to recommend caps on public and semi-public gatherings for both indoor and outdoor events. However, all three states are making rapid changes in response to guidance from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC). Keeping your club in line with local guidance, and with your members’ own comfort-level, is the best procedure for the moment.
Be aware that many club meeting sites and venues may have decided to maintain more cautious guidelines than the state or city, and that some venues may have closed permanently. Conduct your negotiations with your old site in a spirit of Integrity and Respect, remembering that you represent Toastmasters as a whole when you speak on behalf of your club’s needs. Follow the same principles in negotiating with a new venue. Please remember to keep your information updated on Toastmasters.org in Club Central whenever you change meeting times, meeting locations, or club name — and that all such changes require a vote of membership at a regularly scheduled and announced club business meeting.
The Board of Directors has made the exception that all clubs in all Districts can meet entirely online as needed until further notice. Keep up with the latest Toastmasters news on the pandemic here (https://www.toastmasters.org/resources/news%20and%20announcements/covid-19).
Publicizing Online Meetings
Looking to grow your attendance or membership and capitalize with online access? There are great ways to do that safely and securely.
Security is Important
- Ask for an email or other verifiable information from potential guests.
- Get a phone number from guests, and call them ahead of the meeting.
- Don’t reveal your online meeting link ahead of time. Deliver it to members and guests privately.
- Advertise the email or Facebook link to make contact with your club, and check that resource regularly.
- Make a phone call and talk to would-be guests before inviting them to the online meeting.
- Use social media accounts (Meetup, Facebook, Twitter, and more) to funnel potential guests toward a group of clear points of contact: a single email, facebook name, and a single phone number.
- Don’t make one person responsible for all methods, but designate one person as the manager of each type of contact.
“Online” Club Designation
If you are meeting online, you should let District and Toastmasters website visitors know. Indicate that in your Club Demographic section of Club Central on toastmasters.org by clicking the “Yes” button for Online Attendance. This will let members and potential guests know that individuals can participate in the club online.
The District has a Meetup account where we promote the open clubs. If your club is meeting online and open to guests, please EMAIL us to let us know so that we can properly promote your club.
Look for your club’s information here:
Meetup Group – CT Clubs
Meetup Group – NY Clubs
Meetup Group – MA Clubs
Please let us know if that information is incorrect, so that we can update it and help you welcome new guests and potential new members through the Meetup Channel.
Online Meeting Resources
Toastmasters International Online Meetings Page
Online Meeting Tools, Quick Reads & Other Resources
Five page guide to help role-holders conduct Zoom online meetings
Tips for Successful Virtual Meetings (download PDF)
Zoom Video Conferencing
Zoom Home Page
How to Get Started with Zoom
How to Join a Zoom Meeting
WebEx Video Conferencing
WebEx Home Page
How to Start and Join a WebEx Meeting
Government Information about COVID-19
Be sure to take appropriate precautions as recommended by the CDC. In addition, we highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with your state’s public health responses: Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.
Toastmasters International Coronavirus Update
Toastmasters International continues to monitor the effects of the disease on our clubs, members, and upcoming and current District events. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has impacted the daily lives of Toastmasters around the world, and the Board of Directors have taken actions to support members and clubs. You can read about them in the communications section below. The health and safety of all Toastmasters is our top priority.
Refer to the Toastmasters COVID-19 webpage for the latest messages and updates from International Headquarters. Please watch this accompanying video from International President Richard E. Peck regarding the coronavirus.