Toastmasters Triple Crown and Smedley Awards

Toastmasters Triple Crown Award and the Smedley Award Toastmasters 101

What are your goals this year in Toastmasters?  Have you given that much thought?  What if you decide to think big and go for a Triple Crown?

What’s a Triple Crown, you ask?

Today on Toastmasters 101, let’s discuss your work and what you can do to win three awards in this Toastmasters year.

Do your goals this year include learning how to speak in public?   Are you interested in leadership?  Then Toastmasters is for you.  We teach public speaking and leadership skills.  This is Toastmasters 101 podcast and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

How many projects can you do in one year?

In my club, we have several new members who are asking questions about what they should do first.  Probably like all experienced members, we encourage our new members to take on the listening roles – ah counter, grammarian, timer.  In my club, the usual next step is to take on a small speaking role like Word of the Day or Joke of the Day, or Invocation or Toastamonial to end the meeting.  However… in my club, getting the chance to do the Word of the Day or Joke of the Day is pretty tough because some of the senior members fight over them.  Yes, I’m one of them.

We have people who are moving slowly and we have people who are moving fast.  That’s a big benefit to members – you work at your own pace.  Those who want to work slowly will see the steps of the first level done by others.  But those who want to move quickly will work with mentors to make scheduling decisions to move through the program faster.

If your club meets weekly – which a majority of Toastmasters clubs do – you can expect that there are about 150 speech slots in one year.  It’s reasonable to think that you’ll get a shot at a speech slot every month.

That’s why Toastmaster Roy Monarch asked me about the Triple Crown Award.

The Triple Crown is an award given to a Toastmaster who completes three awards in the Toastmasters program.  In the former education program, that would be completing manuals and possibly completing some leadership tasks.  This award is usually distributed by districts and is not a Toastmasters International award.  Roy said he’d never heard about the Triple Crown before now – and his club intends to offer it to their members this year.

So how can you get a Triple Crown Award?

If you’re looking at earning a Triple Crown Award, you’ve got to start planning it.

You can take a look at your upcoming projects in Base Camp.

There are 5 tasks in Level 1 – 4 speeches and being a speech evaluator.

In Level 2, 3 speech projects.

In Level 3, usually 3 projects.

So if you’re a new Toastmaster and just starting out, you’ve got 11 projects to complete in 12 months.

That’s not hard, is it?

You can make your plans now.

If you’re a new Toastmaster, let me give you a few ideas how to make this easier.

In general, doing the projects in order makes sense.  You will build on your skills in sequence, which is why the projects are in this order… except…

I find waiting for basic presentation skills until you’ve given 7 other speeches and perhaps developing some bad presentation habits doesn’t serve your goals well.  Who wants to get into a practice and discover later that it’s a bad habit?

In a previous episode – episode 18 – I talk about the essential speech skills that you need to build a foundation for your public speaking.  I’d much rather you did those speech projects before your Mentoring or Communication Style speech projects – but that’s up to you.  Skip ahead if you want!

However – and this is important – you must complete all of the projects in a level before you get credit for them.  That means you must go through the instructions and take the final evaluation quiz.  Then you can submit your completed level request.

Here’s the rub:  you can’t submit a completed Level 3 until you’ve completed Level 2.  Yes, it’s funky that way.

You may want to skip Level 2, for example.  You can do that – but you won’t get the Triple Crown if you do Levels 1,3 and 4.

Unless they’re in different paths.

Here’s the deal:  the 3 awards do not have to be in the same path.  If you’re working in 2 paths, the accumulation of 3 awards from either or both pathways is permitted.

We’ll talk about working on two Paths at a time on another podcast – in fact, I’ve already talked about it once on Episode 23 .

You can start another path at any time that you’re willing to pay for it.  So you don’t have to get all your level awards in one Path.  You could finish a Level 5 Path and start a new one and do levels 1 and 2 and still complete 3 awards in one year.

That’s what the Triple Crown award celebrates:  commitment to working through the Toastmasters education program at a pace that allows you to complete the work in 1 year.  Starting on July 1 and ending on June 30 of the following year – that’s the Toastmasters year – you complete the work and report it.

You may have been aware of the change in your district leadership in July.  That’s why – our year starts in July.  That’s why we have club officer training this time of year – new officers need to know what we expect them to do as they get started.

So – make a plan.

But you may want to find out if your district recognizes the Triple Crown Award.  They may not.

And that’s what Roy Monarch’s club intends to do – because their district does not.

If you think your district should – I can’t think of a reason why you shouldn’t ask them to start.  “It’s not been done here” or “We don’t do that” fail to recognize that we’ve changed up a lot in Toastmasters in the past 3 years.  Between Pathways and Covid 19, we’ve had a lot of changes.  Now your district can institute another.

For people who feel that this is just a silly thing and of no value  – let me say this.  Don’t bother working for it then.  But let those of us who want to do it do it.  We promise not to stop you from not working on the Triple Crown.

Did that make any sense at all?

Here’s another award that Toastmasters International does recognize:  The Smedley Award.

What’s a Smedley?  Ralph Smedley was the founder of Toastmasters.  We honor his memory in 2 ways:  we have the Smedley Fund,  a funding mechanism for the advancement of education,  a resource for Toastmasters in times of crisis, and for youth programming.

From the Toastmasters.org website:

…The reinvigorated Smedley Fund retains its same purpose—the advancement of communication and leadership education through the research, development, and distribution of educational programs and materials. https://www.toastmasters.org/About/Smedley-Fund

The Smedley Fund will be used to replace Toastmasters materials if your club’s materials were destroyed in a disaster.  The application for it is online at the Toastmasters.org website.  I didn’t know about that until today!

The other way we remember Mr. Smedley is the Smedley Membership Contest, which is held annually during the months of August and September.  If your club gains 5 new members – reinstated or new members, you win the Smedley Award and a credit toward a purchase from the Toastmasters store website.

Sadly, transferring members don’t qualify.

So… it may be time for you to have a club open house event.  How does that work when our meetings are online?

I’d love to know – has your club had an online open house?  Let me know – I want to be able to share your success and methods here on the podcast.

Whether you’re working on club goals or on your personal goals, we want to help you build your message and find your voice at Toastmasters.

Wrap it up, Kim

Our music is from incompetech.filmmusic.io

Toastmasters 101 is a podcast production of Toastmasters District 10.

My thanks to Roy Monarch for his question and my congratulations for his completion of his Distinguished Toastmaster Award!

We’ll talk again on Toastmasters 101.