Visiting the clubs of Division A last year as the Division A Director, I learned all kinds of things about how Toastmasters looked in different clubs and found many great ideas. These seven are ideas designed to make visitors feel welcome and to help everyone remember names.
Not all seven of these can be adopted at the same time. They are examples of great ideas that can help your club make people feel more at ease in the meeting.
Small changes can make a big difference to a club and the club meeting.
- Ask club members to watch the door and greet new people. Sometimes more than one new person comes or the Sergeant-at-Arms is busy with other parts of the job.
- Address everyone as Toastmaster LastName, leveling the social status of members. This is particularly helpful in military and university settings, but also is relevant in community clubs when some have titles such as Doctor, Reverend, or Judge that denote a higher status.
- Print nameplates for each member of the club.
- Provide expected guests with printed nameplates. (Doing this says you remembered they were coming and thought they were important.)
- Wear nametags. This helps visitors remember your name.
- Create nametags for each member of the club. Keep these with the rest of the club’s supplies. These can be used if a member forgets his/her own nametag.
- At the end of the meeting ask about accomplishments of members and celebrate those—whether related to Toastmasters or not. Guests may feel free to speak here where they might not feel qualified to respond otherwise.
by Suanna Davis