Earning the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) Award

Larry Wilson - PRO

By Larry Wilson, DTM, District 22 Public Relations Officer (PRO)

Over the past 15 years, around 9,000 people have held membership in at leastone club in our District 22. Of those people, 98 earned their DTM, the Distinguished Toastmasters award. The average time it took this 1% (not to be confused with that 1% we often hear about in the economic and political news) to earn their DTM is 8-1/2 years.

Out of curiosity, I emailed those eight dozen DTM’ers and asked one question: What did earning your DTM mean to you? From the one- fifth that responded, I heard quite a variety of responses. Some were humorous. Here are those responses (without names, to protect the guilty):

  •  Success in Toastmasters means being distinguished; now I am recognized as successful.
  •  It meant an accomplishment a long time coming for me, I am glad I finally achieved it.
  • SUCCESS, this was a big ‘I CAN DO ANYTHING’ moment and gave me confidence.
  • My DTM was a recognition and a validation of my efforts.
  • The achievement of this long term goal reinforced that if you want it bad enough and do the work required, anything is within your reach.
  • I became the first DTM in my town and hopefully inspired others in our club and community to strive to become better speakers and leaders in all that they do.
  • It renewed my faith in my persistence since it took me four decades to earn my DTM.
  • I learned that being a leader means that the end results are not in my hands but in the hands of those I lead.
  • It was a great sense of accomplishment.
  • “DTM” standing for “Don’t Time Me” was no longer funny.
  • I no longer had to explain why I had yet to earn my DTM despite being in Toastmasters for three decades.
  • It was a sense of accomplishment, meeting a goal I’d been working toward for several years.
  • A sense of completion. I regret not staying in Boy Scouts long enough to earn my Eagle Scout award.
  • It provided me a powerful sense of accomplishment and enhanced my motivation for future endeavors.
  • The time and commitment it took to earn my DTM was proof to me that goal setting is the only way to accomplish your dreams.
  • Gave me growth and a newfound pride in successfully completed work — especially several projects beyond my comfort level — and it was more enjoyable than expected
  • It meant that I did not quit.
  • I realized it was not an individual accomplishment but something earned withthe help of many others.
  • A way to show fellow Toastmasters that I set a challenging goal for myself and achieved it.
  • I felt highly satisfied that finally, after 25 years, I finished what I started.

Did you know that the path to DTM currently means giving 47 speeches? Here are the total specific criteria to earn a DTM:


  • Speeches……………………………………………47
  • Meeting Roles or Club Projects…………… 21
  • Mentor a Member……………………………….  1
  • Club Officer and TLI……………………………..1
  • District Officer……………………………………. 1
  • HPL Project………………………………………..  1
  • Sponsor/Mentor/Coach a club……………… 1

The Revitalized Education Program takes over in the next two to three years. For those who are close to earning a DTM, it is suggested you complete it before then. And a little tip for earning it: make sure you earn your ALS before your ACG. It is so much more fun to give that 47th speech in front of your club to earn a DTM that it is to just reach an office end-of-term date. Your club can make a special event of that day of your final speech.

To download a spreadsheet template for tracking member progress towards a DTM, go to http://d22.toastmastersdistricts.org/downloads.html then click on “Members” then select “Track Path to DTM Template” to download it. This template has been floating around the district for about a decade and can be found in use in a number of clubs.

Ready to prove to yourself that you can earn your DTM?


T ask


10 Speeches, Basic manual


21 meeting roles or club tasks


Club officer for a 6-month term

Attend TLI and participate in DCP planning

Any 2 of 22 in either the Successful Club or the Leadership Excellence series


2 Advanced Manuals


2 Advanced Manuals not previously given

Any 2 of 21 in either the Successful Club or the Better Speaker series not previously given


2 Advanced Manuals not previously given

Mentor a member through the first 3 speeches (which also is a credit for a CL #9)

Any 1 of 12 in either Success/Leadership or Success/Communication series


District officer for a 12-month term

Sponsor or mentor or coach another club

High Performance Leadership (HPL) project


Send in the application after earning both the ACG and ALS (and try to earn the ACG last!)


About Kimberly Myers

Speaking Coach | Speaker | Author | Toastmaster
This entry was posted in Education, Toastmasters and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s