How to make your toastmasters club more effective and more useful?
By TM Jinachandran, Area Governor ( 2013-14), Division L, District 20: As a toastmaster, I would like to share with you some tips from my experience, which I am sure, will help you plan and implement and make your club more effective and more useful
Ø Although the General Evaluator would be recommending measures for the overall improvement of the quality of the meetings, I would recommend you to keep a close observation and take a couple of minutes before you adjourn the meeting, to recommend areas for improvement, if any, missed out by the General Evaluator. Always encourage all members to bring guests. Acknowledge the member who brings guest by giving some token of appreciation, when the guests eventually join the club [you can give away an enthusiasm ribbon].
Ø If there is shortage of members, it is advisable to conduct a membership campaign, wherein you can ask, in a particular session, all members to positively bring one friend each as guest. If not all, a few will surely join the club.
Ø Please prepare small kits with the following information and pass on the same to each guest, so that he/she will be encouraged to join the club:
o Mission of a Toastmasters Club, Mission of TMI, some free promotion materials [these can be collected from TMI website]
o Advantages of joining a Toastmasters Club [I have attached simple one. You can edit and incorporate more points, as you deem appropriate]
o Membership application form and the business card of VP-M for contacting. Keep such envelops [guest kits] ready at all times.
Ø VP-Ms are kindly advised to make sure that each guest attending the meeting are very well taken care of, warmly welcomed, make them feel at home, so that he/she gets motivated to attend the meeting again and eventually join as a member. VP-M should maintain the Attendance and Guest Registers. All guests should receive an encouraging mail, following their attending the meeting from the VP-membership. Needless to mention, all positive communication pays off the result.
Ø Remember, when you get 4 new members, your one DCP point is secured. An additional 4 will fetch you both points on the membership.
Ø Please induct new members in the meeting, assign a mentor and issue a set of CL and CC manuals ASAP. Please keep 3 to 4 sets of extra manuals so that you can initially give this standby manual to the new members and ask them to return it when they get their entitled set of new manuals from TMI.
Ø Please encourage all our fellow members to bring CL manuals regularly and get their roles evaluated by another member. This will gradually help the clubs to gain CL points required for the DCP.
Ø For the relatively new clubs, it is highly recommended to invite a senior/experienced Toastmaster from another club to assume the role of a General Evaluator. This will help receiving feedback from a different perspective. Almost all TMs are happy to receive such invitation and will surely volunteer.
Ø Please incorporate variety in the meeting by adding interesting and exciting elements such as Debates, Open Discussions, Round Robins, Education programs, Humour Session, etc.
Ø Please visit TMI website regularly to update the new members, apply for awards, monitor DCP points, procure meeting materials and to know the new updates happening from time to time.
Ø Whenever a member clocks a milestone [CC, CL or ACB, etc], please register the sameas soon as possible with TMI, so that the members feel good that club office-bearers are keen in taking care of their developments. They will feel even better when they directly receive a mail from TMI, upon your registering the award. Likewise, a congratulatory email message from President or VP-E with a copy to all members will surely boost the esteem of all, encourage all to strive to get more and more awards ASAP. Please do not forget to present such awards formally also in the meeting, when they get the original from TMI.
Ø Please do make sure that one Executive Meeting is held every month. Every meeting, please encourage all Office Bearers to bring in ideas for improving the quality of the club meetings.
Ø Please circulate your plan for the next four weeks well in advance, so that all members come prepared. This will surely enhance the quality of the speeches and role-plays to a great extent.
Ø Once a member completes a project, he/she should not wait for the VP-E to slot for the next speech, he/she can start the preparation and keep his next speech ready. This way, you can fill in the blanks in case of a cancellation. Please encourage members accordingly.
Ø Appreciate new members whenever they perform any role. A pat on the back with a soft remark ‘well done’ will make him/her feel good and will do even better next time. Needless to mention, am sure, you all will keep motivating all the team members by frequent positive and encouraging messages.
Ø Last, but not the least, here is how the DCP points are achieved for your easy reference:
o 2 CC Awards
o 2 more CC Awards
o 1 AC Award [ACB, ACS, ACG]
o 1 more AC Award
o 1 CL, ALB or DTM Award
o 1 more CL, ALB or DTM Award
o 4 new members join
o 4 more new members join
o 4 members training on each of 2 Club Officers Training Session
o One membership renewal in time & club officer list updation
Ø 5 Goals – Distinguished Club
Ø 7 Goals – Select Distinguished Club
Goals – President’s Distinguished Club [Let’s all aim to achieve President’s
About the author: TM Jinachandran is the Area Governor ( 2013-14) , Area 24, in Division L, Oman