April 21, 2020
Dear Club President and Vice President Education,
We know that due to the evolving impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), some members are having difficulties finding opportunities to present speeches in the club setting. Because of this, Toastmasters International has made the following allowances regarding special meetings devoted solely for prepared speeches, also known as Speakathons, to increase speaking opportunities for many members.
The current rules that apply to conducting a Speakathon:
- Speakathons are held at the club level. An Area, Division, or District cannot host this event.
- Members may present and receive credit for only one speech at the event.
- Speeches need to be prepared, meet the objectives of the project, and be evaluated in person and in writing.
- Only club members may participate in a Speakathon. Non-club members may attend as guests but may not participate otherwise.
Effective immediately and until June 30, 2020, the following modifications are in place.
- A Speakathon is still a club-level event; however, a club may now partner with other clubs in their District to host the event.
- Speaking opportunities must be provided to all clubs participating in the Speakathon.
- Each Speakathon must allow speeches from both the traditional education program and the Pathways learning experience.
- If members intend to participate in a Speakathon:
- Ensure that the host and all participants have the appropriate resources (e.g., evaluation forms, timing devices, microphones, webcams, online meeting platforms, etc.).
- Evaluations may be provided in-person or online during this time.
- Districts may promote multi-club Speakathon events.
- The District Public Relations Manager can promote such events through the District’s regular channels of communication.
- These events cannot be communicated or conducted as a District-, Division-, or Area-level event.
We understand the impact of the virus on club meetings may vary and as such, some clubs may have transitioned to meeting online while others may have stopped meeting entirely. We encourage you to support the club officers in your District in making the best decision for their members so they can continue working toward their communication and leadership goals for the program year.