What are ways that you as a club officer or club member can add value to your club and help contribute to the club being so fun and educational that there is a low turn-over rate? It would be great if this year we did not lose any clubs and we had the highest retention rate ever. These are ideas to consider to show members they are important, give them a different tool to help them improve, and give them more opportunities to connect with the club.
Have an assorted collection of club greeting cards. There are times in everyone’s life when a greeting card signed by club members can be such an encouragement: new baby, illness, loss of a loved one, etc. In District 50 I once went with another club member to a hospital to visit our club mentor who had invested so much of his time in our club. We happened to meet a past District Governor in the parking lot and all went up to visit him. His little room was crowded with cards, flowers, and balloons from Toastmasters members who had become his family.
Reach out to members who do not attend. When I was the club secretary at the Denton Toastmasters club a long time ago, I kept track of meeting attendance on a huge Excel spreadsheet. I did my best to send weekly emails to the Club President and VP Membership to list the members who had missed 3 consecutive meetings and those who had perfect attendance for the past 3 meetings. We would contact those who had not attended and periodically thank those with perfect attendance at the end of the meeting. Members knew their attendance and contribution to the meetings were valuable.
Videotape your speakers. Speakers receive feedback about their speech from their evaluator, the comments written on slips of paper, and perhaps conversations after the meeting. Videotaped speeches give speakers a greater level of feedback so they can sharpen their strengths and address their weaknesses.
Club socials. Depending on your club meeting time and location it can be difficult for members to talk with each other before or after the meeting. Scheduled fun activities outside the regular meeting date and time can give members the chance to socialize with one another. It can give a new member the chance to “find their place” in the club and learn how they can contribute. Holiday barbecues, potlucks, or picnics hosted at a member’s home can be fun and inexpensive. Why not add a catch-up meeting at the end to allow a few members to give speeches and receive manual credit?
Each member is important and has a direct impact on their Club, Area, Division, District, and Toastmasters International. I plan to continue in Toastmasters for the rest of my life.
Division E Governor
By Jodie Sanderes