1st DECM 2019-2020 in Kaunas: a couple of flashbacks

What is DECM? What do these 4 capital letters stand for? 😉

Well, the short answer is simple. It’s D = District, E = Executive, C = Council, M = Meeting.

There is also a longer one. It’s one of the most important team-building educational and organizational event of the Toastmasters year. It’s when the district leaders including District, Division and Area Director all meet in one place to learn, engage, discuss, plan and have some fun! 😉

The 1st DECM of the Toastmasters 2019-2020 term took place in a cozy little town of Kaunas, Lithuania on a sunny September weekend, 14-15.

30+ people from all over District 108 got together for this themed event – THE SUPER-HEROES! And it turned out we truly are SUPER-HEROES and for a reason! 

Let’s fly back there and hear what people say about this amazing event!

And do NOT FORGET to take a look at the FUNNY PICTURES from Kaunas 😉


I participated in DECM for the first time in my life. And to be honest with you I didn’t know what to expect. It turned out, however, that they were fantastic two days, spent in a group of amazing people, with an agena filled to the brim. On the one hand, very interesting lectures, on the other, the administrative part, which at first glance could seem simply boring.

An example of the first could be a visit to Radom. In Radom? – you will ask, DECM was in Kaunas, wasn’t it? Yes, you are right, it was. Nevertheless straight from Kaunas we were taken to the newly emerging Toastmasters club in Radom.

And Elena Pawęta took us to this virtual tour in an interactive training on Dynamic Demo Meeting. 

Each of us had the opportunity to play the inhabitant of Radom, who is just discovering the world of Toastmasters. So there was an opportunity to try your hand at speaker’s evaluation (still remeber experienced Toastmasters playing newbies from Radom, Dovile you rocked!), Table Topics, discussions. But above all, we had the opportunity to learn the concept of conducting Demo Metting in a slightly different way than traditional one. In a way that strongly engages guests. In a way that the meeting stars were guests and not Toastmasters. I am strongly convinced that being at a demo meeting conducted in this way, I would definitely become a member of the emerging club.

A moment later there was a Division Directors reports session on Club Visits by Area Directors. I expected it to be quite a boring block. But you know what? I was completely wrong. We Toastmasters can even make a work of art out of routine technical presentations 😉 It was a pleasure to see how each of the Division Directors says the same in a very different form from the others. The method of presentation of reports, their content, recommendations, every Division had a different approach. Thanks to such diversity, we learn a new approach to what we do ourselves. It was a very interesting experience.

I don’t even know when these two days filled with education flew. But I know one thing.

I can’t wait for the next DECM! 😉 

Piotr Rudzik Rudzki, Area A3 Director, District 108

It was not my first DECM, but the very first where I started to understand what’s happening behind the curtains.

To say that there is a lot of preparation is too generic and an understatement. There are many hours spent on administrative matters regarding the location, accommodation of the participants, making sure that the participants will join the meeting, thinking what are the topics that are most relevant such that they tightly fit. A two day training may seem enough, but there is a lot of information that should be spread. 

The preparation of the presentations is on top of everything else, but luckily the workload got nicely divided having also the division directors giving one third of the presentations.

To spice up the meeting we had, the first time in a DECM, a theme for the meeting and it was “Super-heroes”. Most of the time I do not like meeting themes, but I found out that the reason for this was that I was not really involved in the theme. Because you have to take a costume, put it on, feel the magic, get the super power, blend in, belong. And then you see faces of familiar super-heroes smiling or grinning from the slides of the how to organize a speech contest

Rafal did wonders in his presentation about a topic that could be boring, but he used super-heroical powerful visuals that kept us entertained while masterfully going through the do’s and don’t and pitfalls and “how to”s of a speech contest. Things that are usually abstract were brought to life.

I don’t know exactly how to characterize a presentation about the finance of the district, but when thinking about money, not that they are no good, but we think mostly of numbers which are not always good story-tellers. Leena managed to get our attention and hold it firmly by getting to the heart of the procedures that every leader of the district should know if they want not to spend money out of their own pocket when travelling to trainings, visiting clubs as part of their duties or buying marketing or educational materials for their area, or division, or district.

All in all, it was a weekend well spent, with great people, useful information, wonderful atmosphere and connection.

Adriana Vasilache, Club Growth Director, District 108

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