“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” Benjamin Franklin
Lets look at a couple scenarios that pop up for some clubs …
Club VIP – Understands the importance of honouring the commitment to its members and prospective members by continuing to hold meetings as per the club schedule on:
Prospective members dropping by will find the lights on at the venue and a group of enthusiastic members to provide a warm welcome.
Club RIP – Sometimes, clubs decide (for whatever reason) to cancel meetings. It could be seasonal, it could be weather-related, it could be … well, whatever the reason.
Imagine a prospective member hops onto Toastmasters International, ‘Find a Club’ and decides to drop in at the advertised time. They arrive at Club RIP at the scheduled hour to find the venue in darkness and not a soul in sight.
They go home frustrated and annoyed that they have wasted precious time and may not feel so inclined to return in a hurry.
Ok! Maybe they should have made a phone call first, but they didn’t!
50% of visitors to my Club do not phone or email first. They come on a whim.
Surprising as it may seem, there are people in the community who will take advantage of some downtime to look up a Toastmasters club and drop in and check us out. They had been meaning to do it all year, but!
Is your club running a fever?
How hot is your club? Has everyone got the fever? Passion running rampant, hearts racing in anticipation for the next speaking opportunity? New members joining every meeting because your club is just so contagious?
Maybe it’s more like your club has the plague? Everyone dropping like flies? Not turning up to meetings, assignments generally delivered poorly, lacking energy and in dire need of a transfusion of preparation.
Inoculation against extinction is by choice.
When members decide to change the ‘way’ things are done in Club for the better, RIP can become VIP.
Let’s see what’s cooking in the Health Lab, no Bandaids here:
- First Impressions
New members breathe life into a club. The most important thing you can do to recruit new members is create a good first impression. Visitors are drawn to clubs that generate excitement and enthusiasm. When the room is infused with energy, people are excited about being there, and that’s what keeps members coming back.
Health Check Hint No. 1
Make the meeting room easy to find and visually appealing. Greet guests warmly and provide an information packet and name tag. Introduce them to club officers and members. Ask them to sign the guest book, and always invite them back.
So, your club has a new member, congratulations! It’s time for a formal introduction. The New Member Orientation Kit for Clubs has materials to orient and induct new members. Explain the education and recognition programs and involve the member in all aspects of club activities immediately.
Health Check Hint No. 2
Assign every new member a mentor.Assess the new member’s needs and assign them a speaking role
Ensure the new member knows how to access https://www.toastmasters.org/
Fellowship, Variety and Communication
Clubs need to be open in a variety of ways: to new members needs and expectations, different points of view and innovative approaches that make meetings fresh and vibrant.
Health Check Hint No. 3
Encourage members to sit with a different person each meeting. Allow ample time during the break so that members may have a chance to chat and get to know each other better. Acknowledge birthdays, special milestones etc.
Program Planning and Meeting Organization
Everyone wins when meetings are organized and skillfully conducted. Start and finish on time and have a forward program in place in order that members have time to prepare for their assignments.
Health Check Hint No. 4
‘Variety is the spice of life’. Club programs need to be enticing, exciting and entertaining, not ‘same old, same old’.
Need a first aid kit for your club?
Here’s some resources to help you put life back into your Club:
Club Sign in Sheet – Keep track of who is attending your meetings
NEW MEMBER PROFILE – Helpful in understanding your members needs
From Prospect to Guest to Member Brochure
CLUBS WITHIN DISTRICTS MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION & PAYMENT INFORMATION
Membership Growth Manual
Members are the heart and foundation of Toastmasters International. Here is a link to a Map of Service to Members – the ‘Who’s Who of Toastmasters International’
Pathways is here!
Toastmasters Supplies Australia is a service that stocks and supplies a range of Toastmasters educational and meeting material to support clubs and members in Australia.