Lectern – A modern, flexible WordPress Theme for Toastmasters club and district websites

Lectern is a WordPress theme, available for download from the WordPress.org theme directory, which is intended to make it as easy as possible for Toastmasters clubs to set up a site that works well with standard Toastmasters International branding.

This is for the scenario where you are hosting your own independent website, rather than using the free WordPress for Toastmasters service (which already includes Lectern, preconfigured as the default theme).

In its default configuration the Lectern theme looks like what you see below. The trademarked logo banners for Toastmasters clubs can be added easily through the WordPress dashboard, once you have activated the theme.

screenshot

To add a Toastmasters-branded banner to the header of your site, use the Theme Customizer utility and select one of the banners advertised under the Toastmasters Branding tab. The legal disclaimers required by Toastmasters International for use of the brand will be added automatically.

toastmasters-branding

Another tab of the Theme Customizer lets you modify the default widgets displayed in the theme sidebar. If you are running a club website, I recommend adding the Member Access widget to the top of the list (shows a listing of upcoming meetings where members can sign up for meeting roles). This widget becomes available when you have RSVPMaker for Toastmasters active on your site.

Lectern isn’t the first Toastmasters-branded WordPress theme, but it is the first to be included in the wordpress.org themes repository. This means club webmasters who have set up a WordPress site can easily install Lectern through the administrator’s dashboard. That’s a lot easier than downloading the files and then using an FTP utility to upload them to a website.

Lectern is also as current as I could make it with the latest WordPress coding standards and with the responsive design requirements of making content display well on either a PC or a mobile device.

Getting to this point required months of working for months to clear my use of Toastmasters branding with Toastmasters International, then working with the WordPress theme reviewers to meet their technical standards. Use it, with or without the RSVPMaker for Toastmasters plugin, to share the value of Toastmasters with the world.

Obvious question: Why not distribute the Toastmasters-branded banners with the theme, as the default, rather than making adding them a separate step.

Answer: Distributing the trademarked banners conflicts with WordPress rules about distributing only freely licensed content through their website. My workaround was to add a function within the Theme Customizer that retrieves the approved banners from this website, on demand.