Toastmasters has given me so many more opportunities than learning to speak in public.
Tonight I learned of some of the “behind the scenes” efforts to improve the organization, and to make membership retention more effective. I found myself taking copious notes about the expectations and needs of new members.
We spoke about mentorship, as well as combining fresh ideas of the newer members and the experience of long-term members for the benefit of both groups.
Another excellent suggestion was to identify special professional skills of members (and even non-members) for organizational purposes, training, and special events.
However, the two most important topics for me were E=mc2 (Every Member Counts) and the concept of the “quality meeting.” These encourage guests to join us, and have fun growing together.
We can help our clubs provide quality meetings by being organized, friendly, and prepared. We should invite guests to special meetings, or at least for a specific date instead of making an open-ended invitation.
Our meetings should be easy to find, and guests should be made comfortable by sitting them with a seasoned member to explain why we do certain things.
As for Every Member Counts, we should ask our people if they’re getting what they want out of Toastmasters, and help them achieve their goals. I plan to use these skills to be a better leader, perhaps even become a volunteer coordinator, so I can leave this world a little better off than I found it.
Tarrant County Toastmasters
More information about the Membership Monday conference calls, with recordings of some sessions.
By Jodie Sanders