Open House: February Shout Outs

By Sally Philbin

It’s my pleasure to give shout outs to two clubs that have excelled in the last month.


A Cut Above Toastmasters took it to the next level. They advertised, they updated their social media accounts and kept them active, they invited friends, neighbors, colleagues…you get the idea.

The result was a qualifying Open House with 4 guests. Next, they put on an organized Open House with an inspirational speaker that lent pizazz to the meeting, they started and ended on time, they were welcoming and inclusive. 

The result was a new member!!!  Woo-hoo!!! Welcome to Toastmasters, Ariane Hamner.



At their most recent Open House in January 2021, they boasted 7 guests. What was the secret to their success?  To find out I went straight to the source, the person who has been instrumental in organizing Open Houses for Oakland City Center Toastmasters even before the shut-down, Derek Pham. Derek has been a member of Toastmasters since 2016 when he joined Oakland City Center. 

I asked Derek what the biggest challenge was to throwing a smashing Open House. He said, “the biggest challenge is getting people to come to your club meeting when there are so many choices out there.” He’s right!  It no longer depends on physical convenience…the world is everyone’s oyster!

The obvious next question is “How did you do it?” The answer: “Use many different methods of outreach. Don’t depend just on FaceBook and hope for the best.” Then he gave me a specific suggestion that came from our own Bett: “give each member a flyer and have them pass it along to 3 acquaintances.” Be specific as you plan your Open House.  Right-on Derek!