You’re not alone! While one of the earliest lessons about clear communication is to avoid jargon and confusing language, it’s a tough habit to break, and Toastmasters often fall into the trap of using acronyms and insider language in their discussions with one another.
Here are some of the more common (and occasionally confusing) terms you might find on your Toastmasters journey.
ACB/ACS/ACG: Advanced Communicator Bronze, Silver, and Gold. These are educational awards that can be earned by Toastmasters by completing advanced speech manuals.
ALB/ALS: Advanced Leader Bronze and Silver. These awards are earned by serving in a variety of leadership roles that require a considerable investment of time, such as club and district officers, club sponsors and mentors, etc.
Area: A small group of around 5 clubs. For the 2015-2016 Toastmasters year, Best of Dallas Toastmasters belongs to Area 35.
AD: Area Director. An individual whose role is to support and empower the clubs in a given Area. This role was formerly called Area Governor, or AG. (People forget the new name all the time, so don’t be surprised if you hear these terms regularly.)
CC: Competent Communicator. This term can be used to refer to either a manual or a person. The Competent Communicator manual contains a series of ten projects, each of which covers a different aspect of speaking well. It is the first communication manual used by all new Toastmasters, regardless of experience or ability level. A person who has completed all ten of these projects may also be referred to as a Competent Communicator or CC.
CL: Competent Leader. This term can be used to refer to either a manual or a person. The Competent Leader manual contains a series of ten projects, each of which covers a different aspect of leadership. A person who has completed all ten of these projects may also be referred to as a Competent Leader or CL.
DCP: Distinguished Club Plan. This is a plan made annually by club officers to help ensure that the club is meeting milestones that are evidence of a high-quality club. When properly implemented a variety of goals are met in areas such as training completed, educational awards achieved, and membership growth. When these goals are met, the club may be awarded the designation of Distinguished, Select Distinguished, or President’s Distinguished.
District: Multiple Divisions make up a District. District 50 consists of NE Texas, plus a sliver of Louisiana, and includes Best of Dallas. (Our neighbors in Fort Worth belong to District 25.)
Division: A Division is a geographic subdivision of a District, and is made up of several Areas. Best of Dallas Toastmasters belongs to the Metro Division of District 50. The other D50 Divisions are Southern, Vista, Town North, Plains, Frontier, and Eastern.
DTM: Distinguished Toastmaster. This is the highest educational award that can be earned in Toastmasters International. A Distinguished Toastmaster has earned their Advanced Communicator Gold and Advanced Leader Silver awards, and also completed a High Performance Leadership project. It takes multiple years to achieve.
HPL: High Performance Leadership. This is a leadership learning project in which an individual applies lessons about leadership to a large, socially-responsible project of his or her choosing, either within or outside of Toastmasters.
TLI: Toastmasters Leadership Institute. Held twice a year, these are training events for club officers, as well as for any other interested members. In addition to officer training, TLIs may offer judges training, keynote speeches, and other workshops. Best of Dallas covers the cost of members attending any TLI.
TM: Toastmaster. Any member of Toastmasters International has attained the title of Toastmaster, or TM.