Post written by Penny Haywood Calder ACS, ALB
At the Division S Speech contest in Perth in October this year, Immediate Past Division S Governor, Jim Davidson, presented his Hall of Fame awards to the clubs, and to the members involved in running the clubs. They are responsible for the recent extraordinary progress of Toastmasters in Scotland.
One of the key measurements of success, for clubs and members, is the number of qualifications club members achieve, so getting results for members is at the heart of everything we do.
Division S (Scotland) achieved the President’s Distinguished Division award: the highest (and rarest) accolade bestowed by Toastmasters International, mainly for our members who earned:
• 32 competent communicators awards plus
• 17 advanced communications awards, plus
• 22 leadership awards.
Each of these awards represents a sustained commitment over a significant period by each member.
The Competent Communicator award, for example, involves 10 individual speech projects. Each project adds a specific skill, culminating in motivating and inspiring speech levels. Every speaker is supported by formal evaluation plus group feedback for each project.
Voluntary club officers and district officers donate their time to make these awards possible for our members. Their success proves that Scotland is one of the best places in the world to attain Toastmasters’ globally recognised (in 126 countries) qualifications in communications and leadership.
In addition, the volunteer officers attracted 200 new members to Toastmasters International clubs in Scotland and 119 club officers were trained to run the clubs.
Jim Davidson and Oscar Merkx
New clubs chartered (officially recognised by Toastmasters International) in 2013-2014:
• Inverness Toastmasters, led by Isla Cruden
• St Andrews Toastmasters (St Andrews University) led by Yenlik Nurasheva
• Caledonian Toastmasters (Glasgow Caledonian University) led by Oscar Merx.
• State Street Toastmasters, corporate club in Edinburgh, led by Max Ridder-Patrick
The following clubs achieved the highest award: President’s Distinguished club status:
• Capital Communicators in Edinburgh led by Eoin McDunphy, who was also recognised for bringing former International President of Toastmasters, Ted Corcoran, to Edinburgh to run a workshop on how to write a speech in 10 minutes.
• Dundee Toastmasters led by Majorie Gillan who was also recognised for her superb organisation of the very first Division S speech contest in 2013 and providing considerable ongoing assistance to St Andrews Toastmasters allowing them to charter in record time.
• Haymarket Toastmasters, Edinburgh, led by Professor Alex Roberts who was also recognised for enabling world public-speaking champion, Jock Elliott’s Edinburgh workshop on winning speech competitions
• Perth Toastmasters led by John MacDonald who also assisted St Andrews greatly and has organised more than is fair share of Area and Division events.
The following existing clubs achieved select distinguished club status:
Aberdeen Toastmasters, led by Allan MacLeod
• Glasgow Toastmasters led by Michael Whyte
• Southside Speakers, Glasgow, led by Ian Barton
• Waverley Communicators, Edinburgh led by Kevin Miller.
Jim Davidson and Jane Cameron
Jim Davidson and John Smith
In addition, the outgoing Scottish Division Governor, Jim Davidson recognised:
• Declan Mair for re-designing this Public Speaking Scotland website
• Peter Stewart for promoting Toastmasters
• Jane Cameron for marketing Scottish Toastmasters and her considerable contribution to the Division throughout the year and her personal support to the Division Governor who said “This is the unseen work of Toastmasters and Jane made an disproportionally high contribution for which I am personally very grateful”
• Sheila Fraser, Gerry Dunn, Charles Wood, Moira Beaton and John Macdonald for services to Toastmasters in Scotland.
• Area governors Peter Cranston (Area 43) and Penny Haywood Calder (Area 30) for each helping to set up two clubs. Also to Gerry Dunn who took up the reigns of Area 60 Governor mid-way through the year.
Special recognition was given to John Smith who set up the first of the current clubs in Scotland nearly 20 years ago.
Well done to all involved.
Penny Haywood Calder is a member of Haymarket Toastmasters and Immediate Past Area 30 Governor. Find out more about Penny at