By Nancy Moscardini
I’ve been in the field for many years, and in my opinion, this quote strikes at the heart of communications:
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel —Maya Angelou
When I respond to an inquiry email, the visitor feels heard, acknowledged and welcome. You have that one opportunity to make them feel part of something bigger than themselves. I’d like to share a few tactical tips that will strengthen your brand and provide you with efficient ways to support the work.
Create a Communications Toolkit
This is a Word document with premade communications for various audiences. One page is for the inquire email response. This email is actually a 6” table, borders set to 0, with two rows, one column. The top row is our branded banner, the 2nd row is the content that has the benefits of Toastmaster membership, our unique proposition, benefits and meeting information. The reason it is in a table is that we can copy and paste from Word into email and the banner is aligned perfectly to the width of the content so that is gives a consistently professional look and feel.
Attach the Pathways Core Competencies flyer
I often attach this flyer to continue the conversation as it gives you an opportunity to follow up to understand their needs and help them with next steps to join as a guest at the next meeting. When I bring up Toastmasters in a casual conversation, the overriding image they have is only public speaking, the flyer expands the conversation, as they do not know all of the new leadership and learning opportunities available.
Customize the Open House presentation to get branded images for social media campaigns
These are branded, great looking slides in PowerPoint, all you need to do is update with your club info and export the slides to jpeg or png. PowerPoint will ask if you want to convert one or all the slides. Now you have a collection of messages at the click of a mouse to post as part of a larger campaign on social media.
Adapt public Pathways flyers with annotations
I have also taken screen captures from public Pathways flyers and presentations, and added this text, “This is what I’ve been learning, what are you working on?” This serves multiple purposes; it engages comments from the audience to keep the conversation going, gets members excited about what is in the next level, and creates awareness for non-members of what’s in it for them when they join. You want to express what could be and show how you will help them get there as a guide on this learning journey.
Create a one-page job aid to do a specific task
The last tip is about leadership to enable and empower your members. Consider creating a one-page job aid how you do a specific task, for example, the responsibility of Toastmaster of the day for your meeting. It creates a standardized plan for everyone to follow, with instructions what to do 1 week before, 2 days before, and day of the meeting. New members can use this document and feel empowered to take the first step in a leading role and it sets the expectations for the existing members as they know they will have great experience each and every time.
Thank you for the opportunity to share these proven strategies that have improved our members and guests experience and I feel confident they will do the same for you.