Aspire to Excel – Setting the Seeds of Success

Dr Yvonne LeongDear Esteemed Leaders & Members of District 102,

Time flew passed quickly and today is the last day of term 2019-2020, a term where we “Aspire to Excel” in our Toastmasters journey. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all your efforts throughout the term. I appreciate your great work, commitment and dedication, to make a difference in others’ life despite this trying time.

As I reflect on the past 12 months, we have completed a lot in each of the clubs, areas, and divisions, as a team. All these achievements come against the backdrop of extremely challenging months, in many ways it felt hard at times particularly juggling priorities between work, family and Toastmasters; in addition to going through the stress of an organization change and a global pandemic crisis. However, we managed to cross all the hurdles that stand between us and our goals.

We started the term with lots of ideas, campaigns, activities for education, public relations, and club growth. We aimed to achieve Smedley Distinguished District status. By Dec 2019, we successfully achieved our half-term goals and we were hopeful of clinging our term-end goal too. While we were enjoying the smooth sailing time, something happened. We have to make the hard decisions for an organization change and after that, we were thrown into a global pandemic crisis where no one could guide us what to do next. Our face to face meeting opportunities was robbed off. In Mar 2020, we adjusted our strategy, started to find ways to reach out to members, and continued to energize them. I am blessed that we have a bunch of technical specialists stepped forward to draw out procedures to use technology to continue Toastmasters activities virtually. Many workshops were organized to share “how-to” knowledge with members to help them to start online meetings, online contests, and online annual business meetings. My district officers and Famosa Toastmasters Club stepped in to organize online workshops, online interviews, online roundtable talks, online international speaker sharing series, with one common objective – to add value to our members during this crisis. We recorded 27 online events from 25-Mar till 27-June, on top of our online speech contests and online DCM. Thank you to all the organizing team for this exceptional record.

Besides, I am ecstatic to see that all our leaders rose in the face of crisis; your grit and tenacity in continuing our workshops and meetings in the virtual world have given the same opportunity to members to continue learning the communication and leadership skills. Thank you to all of you for your strong support of our members.

I also want to thank the Toastmasters International Officials, World Head Quarters (WHQ), Past District Directors/Governors, Region 13 District Directors for their sincere sharing of experience, tips, advice, and encouragement for us to move towards excellence.

No doubt, our leadership journey was challenged in this term, our perseverance was tested. But it was evidenced that we were resilience, flexible and adaptable to the environment and finally we succeeded in these new ways of running meetings & events.
• As at 25-June, we achieved Distinguished District status
• As at 30-June, we achieved Select Distinguished District status

Congratulations to all members of Select Distinguished District 102!

I am so proud of all of you. You have made this term a remarkable and remembrance term. After the uplift of Recovery Movement Control Order, we will meet at the District 102 Hall of Fame in October 2020 to celebrate your extraordinary successes.

Finally, it came the time for us to pass on the baton to the next batch of dynamic leaders. I am sure that the new leaders will bring District 102 to another new height.

I hope you can enjoy a short break with your family and friends, have some well-deserved rest, and return revitalized to set another new goal for the new term. Meanwhile, my team has put together some unforgettable moments that we all had together, please check it out here and enjoy!

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve you as your District Director. I wish you all the very best in your Toastmasters journey.

Dr. Yvonne Leong, DTM
District Director, District 102 (Term 2019-2020)
Toastmasters International
Where Leaders Are Made

Watch the video at https://youtu.be/pZaAnWuuo-Q