The Role of Area Director
Being an Area Director is one of the most satisfying roles in Toastmasters. It’s a wonderful opportunity to extend yourself as a leader, and become acquainted with the wider Toastmasters community. The best guides for this role are the District Leadership Handbook which is given to District leaders at the start of this year, and the Guide for Area Directors. They can be found here:
How Do You Become an Area Director?
There’s two ways to become an area director.
The first is direct appointment by the District Director. This is mentioned on page 87 of the District Leadership Handbook.
The other is through an election by the area council. The procedure for this is explained on pages 93 and 94 of the District Leadership Handbook. The best place to start is by contacting the current area director to find out the date of the next area council meeting, and ask if any other candidates have put up their hand for the role.
Following is a brief checklist of the role:
1. Conduct at least two Area Council meetings each year
Attendees are usually the club presidents, VPEs and VPMs. They must be given 4 weeks notice of the meeting. At this meeting, the Area Director speaks with these other leaders to assess goals, and discuss issues with the club leaders.
The role of Area Director can be filled either by a vote at the Area Council meeting, or can be assigned by the District Director. Refer to the guides above for more information.
2. Attend District Council Meetings
The Area Directors are members of the District Councils. District Council meetings are held at least twice a year. The Area Director is required to submit a report to the District Council about the area. It is recommended that Area Directors read the previous reports to get an idea of what is required.
3. District Officer Training
The Area Director attends District Officer Training twice a year.
4. Area Director Club Visits
Area Directors are required to visit clubs at least twice during the Toastmasters year.
First round visits are conducted between July 1 and November 30. Second round visits are conducted between January 1 and May 31. The Area Director fills in a report, and sends this to the members of the Area Council. (It is not sent anywhere else). The Club visit report is found at the back of the Serving Clubs Through Visits guide (above).
5. Area Speech Contests
The Area Director organises the Area Speech Contests. A good place to start is to find a copy of the previous Area Director’s Speech Contest Agenda, scripts, and determine a location for the contest. There is a budget for the contests. Area Directors are told how much this is at District Officer Training.
6. Support Clubs
The Area Director is a vital conduit for Club Officers, particularly Presidents. Issues may arise e.g. a difficult member, or a club with low membership, and the Area Director can assist with advice in these circumstances.
7. Grow the Area
Areas have between four and six clubs. Just as a club can be Distinguished, so can an area. The area must have a growth in the number of clubs to be Distinguished.
To be eligible, the area must have no net loss of clubs. The Area Director must also submit their Club Visit Reports on time. Once again, more information on this can be found in the documents referred to on this page.