I live in the south-west of Ireland, 12 miles from Killarney. My journey in Toastmasters began nine years ago. Reflecting on this, there may have been some autonomic reason for my leadership roles in Toastmasters. My family background is three generations in Irish politics yet, I do not do politics. Another reason, I am the eldest of thirteen children, so I must have been the sergeant-at-arms in the homestead.
My introduction to Toastmasters happened by coincidence. As I was attending another function at the Toastmaster hotel I was approached by the Guest Greeter. I attended the next meeting and the rest is history. This goes to show the role a “good” guest greeter can share in marketing a Toastmasters club. Word of mouth can often be the most vital tool for growth.
What Is the Plan for Club Growth In 2018/19
Firstly, I need to recognise the entry for the first full year of the advent of the Pathways learning experience. This will invigorate the member experience at club level, I am certain. However, the challenge for the District Executive Committee is to leverage the refreshing that Pathways brings to our District, to build a relevant and accessible path to life for the member beyond the club.
The District has three vital goals in the Distinguished District Program.
- Increase in membership.
- Increase in clubs.
- Distinguished clubs.
Certainly, the District Leadership Team cannot achieve these goals alone. We seek the assistance and dedication of our members, our clubs, Area and Division Directors.
The foundation of marketing Toastmasters is quality club meetings. A gathering where the guest is made to feel welcome, good energy exchanged, engaging, fun and educational. Resulting from this clubs and membership will grow, educational awards will be achieved and members will be keen to renew their membership. When the club leadership team works well together energy abounds-new members join and there is outreaching to support and establish new clubs.
I invite any member who has a suggestion of a location or workplace with potential for a new club please contact me on Gerard Mannix
I will be suggesting the use of the “Blueprint for Club and membership growth” toolkit. I will be extremely focused to help struggling clubs, and clubs with less than 20 members, to grow membership. Club coaches shall be appointed where appropriate and effective guidelines given to these coaches. Incentives will be available to encourage membership payments, membership growth and club growth.
I, as District 71 Club Growth Director, and the District Leadership Team are here to support you to achieve your goals and make this a successful year for you.
[Always check the The Latest Information on District Incentives]
Smedley Award Time
1st August to 30th September 2018
The Smedley Award runs for a two-month duration (http://bit.ly/2LJOU2d). If you or your club can actively work to enrol five new members during this period, you will achieve a Smedley Award!!! Do not miss out on an opportunity to add another ribbon to your club banner. A banner full of ribbons is always an amazing talking point for guests and members alike. More importantly, you will setup your club for success. That would mean one Distinguished Club Program goal for membership-building being achieved. This would mean more members at club meetings, taking on roles and making progress. Most of all, it would mean five new members having access to the life-changing benefits of Toastmasters.
Whether it’s for their career, improving self-confidence, enjoyment, to meet new people or to tackle a long-standing goal, there are a multitude of reasons why some might join YOUR club.
Growing your membership is easy, just make your guests feel welcome, follow-up with them and ensure that a mentor is available for them right after they join.
We are heading into fees renewal period, remember to start chasing payment early on. This is also the perfect time to call members who have not attended meetings for some time. Invite them to come back to the club, set up a speech slot for them and reignite their interest and enthusiasm.
This is also the time also to register new clubs. Area Directors and Division Directors check on their clubs to ensure they are in good standing.
Remember there is no longer a grace period.