The foundation of a healthy club starts with their members. To ensure member retention and growth, a club must demonstrate the value of being a member and how Toastmasters can help them reach their goals. Adopting these 5 habits will encourage guests to join and members to stay.
- Run a professional meeting with printed agendas and roles filled. Every speech should be an educational project. Respect everyone’s schedule by starting and ending your meeting on time.
- Every members should greet every other member. This goes a long way to creating a safe, welcoming environment. Public speaking is scary especially to newcomers who are visiting for the first time. A warm, supportive environment goes a long way to overcome their fear.
- Every meeting is an educational opportunity. For instance, the Toastmaster can explain why we clap after each speaker, the Word of the Day can discuss the value of expanding our vocabulary, the Table Topics Master can share why impromptu speaking is important. Explaining how each part of the meeting builds important skills reminds members and informs guests of the benefits of joining Toastmasters.
- Hold monthly club officer and executive council meetings. These meetings are crucial to providing a web of organization and direction for the club that will keep all of the pieces running smoothly. Develop your Club Success Plan and work the Distinguished Club Program. When members have defined goals they will be more committed. When the club has goals, members will work to help achieve them.
- Include your guests in the meeting. Ask them to participate in Table Topics once all club members who have not had a speaking opportunity in the meeting have participated. At the end of each meeting ask the guests for feedback to capture their first impressions of the club. Finally, have guests sign a guest book with their contact information. Follow-up with them to let them know how much you enjoyed their visit. Answer any questions and invite them to come again. Ask them if they would like to join your club.
With these 5 habits in place the club is in a strong position to implement additional good habits. Click to learn more about membership growth and retention.
Sally J Gibbons Philbin, DTM
2017-18 Division D Director