by Bridgette Beal PM4

Do you know the jolt of excitement you experience when you find yourself a part of something important?

That was the atmosphere in the Strategic Planning Committee Town Hall. This event was supremely crafted, and even with a group of talkative, brainstorming Toastmasters, they still adhered to a tight schedule.

As we looked at future travels over the coming years, our goal was to answer four questions.

  1. How do we increase member retention?
  2. How do we increase club retention?
  3. How do we overcome money as a barrier for our members attending district events?
  4. How do we help mitigate the often stated reason why our members don’t step up into leadership: “not enough time”.

When I tell you we brainstormed, I mean it! 14 pages of notes and ideas.

The topic that immediately rose to the top was the idea of mentoring. But not just mentoring, but looking at a buddy system where club members:

  • Unite to keep an eye on one another, creating challenges and accountability to keep working on their path(s)
  • Reach out when members aren’t at a meeting. Working to make everybody feel like they are important. This is not a new idea, but one that can be restructured to include all Toastmasters (and maybe create more time for leaders to work on other things? See Q4 above).

We discussed the importance of ensuring quality meetings that inspire its members and how the Nemileta 9 incentive can help new clubs by visiting to see how it’s done!  Also discussed were:

  • the importance of communication with members in between club meetings.
  • A strong, regularly updated website
  • one of my favorite ideas … reaching out to let members know they were missed when they don’t come!

How about a fund to provide scholarships to those who want to attend District events, but can’t afford them?

This all sounds impressive, doesn’t it? I’ve just touched the surface. It’s not too late to join the conversation!

Head on over to

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