A Tool to Use for Building Membership

Do you have this tool in your club’s membership tool kit? Have you used it lately? This tool can….

  • engage those club members who seem to be “stuck” in advancing through their program; perhaps seem a bit lethargic
  • serve as a refresher on the basic principles of communication
  • energize a Toastmasters club by harnessing its wealth of knowledge and leadership skills so it can share with the community
  • enhance meeting attendance and interest among all members
  • if used at least once a year, safeguard your membership levels
  • raise dwindling club funds
  • be the basis to launching a new club

Since the spring of 2018, there have been a number of Toastmasters clubs in District 86 that have applied this tool with great SUCCESS and FUN. Pushing ourselves beyond our comfort boundaries can be uncomfortable and nerve-racking! These clubs faced the obstacles, found the solutions and conducted a successful workshop.

Have you guessed what this tool is? Ahaa! Speechcraft. A program that requires planning & promotion, team collaboration, experienced Toastmaster volunteers and a unified intention from the hosting Toastmaster club. The results can be amazing!

So far this year, the following clubs (that I’m aware of) have hosted a Speechcraft program: Progressive Toastmasters, Waterloo; Brampton Talks, Brampton, London City Hall Toastmasters, London and Cambridge Toastmasters, Cambridge.

Why did these clubs host a Speechcraft Program? There were numerous reasons why the Speechcraft program was conducted; but the common objective was to grow their membership and build public relations in their community. This program also allowed for speaking opportunities for the Toastmasters and raising funds for the club.

What were some of the challenges faced? All these clubs faced this same challenge – getting the member volunteers to support the Speechcraft program. Also, creating an effective publicity campaign to attract non-Toastmasters participants and finding a suitable venue were other common challenges. Once the membership realized that a team effort was needed to make this program a success, these obstacles was defeated.

What are some helpful suggestions to assist other Clubs in holding a successful Speechcraft program? As soon as the Club approves hosting the Speechcraft event, determine dates, time, location AND ORDER the curriculum...aim for 10 participants. Conduct publicity 2 months prior to the start of the program. Have the first 3 Speechcraft speeches follow Level 1 Pathways criteria and keep the same educational presentations. Outline each week’s program agenda prior to the start of the program -- taking note of needed volunteers to be recruited. Get testimonials and photos from all participants and post on your club’s webpage and submit a blog for the District 86 website – why not blow your own horn!

Although the task of co-ordinating a Speechcraft Program seems daunting and exhausting, it can be a wonderful learning experience! Seeing the planning and hard work coming together; the other Toastmasters sharing their knowledge and skills with others and seeing the “glow” from the Participants on graduation night is energizing! They have found their voice, their confidence and their communication skills. All this and having FUN, too!

Let’s share the experience of Toastmasters while building membership – host a Speechcraft Program!!

Margaret Waechter, ACG, ALB
Speechcraft Chair

Timmins 2017/2018 Year

How do you take a club from 4 members to 14 and President’s Distinguished in one year?

It takes will, determination, diversity, enthusiasm and a LOT of team work. The Porcupine Toastmaster’s club did just that in 2017/2018.

Will
The 2016/2017 President took on the role because there was no one else, he had no interest in the role but worked with the area director and found 2 new members who had been with clubs in the past and got them back into Toastmasters. In the summer of 2017 we had 4 members, but we met all summer anyway.

Determination
With 4 members we set out to recruit. Having Open houses, attending the “Welcome to Timmins” night a trade show type event for all the service clubs in the Timmins area. We showed up ready to go at every meeting whether there were 2 or all 4 of us in attendance (driving through potholes or winter storms to get there at times). We used the meetings to practice and plan for upcoming events to increase club membership. Determined to get us back on the area and division map one of our members even braved the 4 to 5 hour drive to compete in speech competitions.

Diversity
In our original 4 members we were already diverse in career, management experience, country or origin, and religious beliefs. We continued that diversity while recruiting new members. We made sure that everyone who attended felt welcome and since we were such a small group we used each of their strengths right away. We had one member take over the electronics so that we could have members attend the meeting via skype. At times we had up to 4 members attending via skype. Now we had diversity in home town as well.

Enthusiasm
Even with only 4 people at meetings we found a way to keep it interesting. Some nights were all business and planning other nights were all table topics. We did our best to fill the roles but often there were not enough of us to do it, so we doubled up. The new member who helped with technology to bring people into meetings also took on the role of Facebook guru. Even our Area Director brought the enthusiasm. Joining our club for 6 months attended meetings in person and via skype (she lives 4 hours away).

Team Work
No matter what we did everyone took part. Each task was made easier by splitting the work. Each new member was brought into the mix right away, offering to help in whatever way possible. We ended the year with our election for the 2018/2019 season, one member moved to the Area Director’s role and we had multiple people signing up for each positon on the executive. We even had to have a vote for one position.

Step it up at Chez Nous’ Open House – September 15

Back to school… back to Toastmasters!

With many clubs taking it easy over the summer, September is the perfect time to re-invest and re-invigorate!
One way (correction… a great way!) to do this? Attend Chez Nous’ Open House featuring guest speaker Jacques Brunet.

While this Open House (like all Chez Nous meetings) will be hosted in French, the team at Chez Nous welcomes all Toastmasters to join in. Bring a friend or colleague who shares your passion for communications and perhaps ‘la belle langue Française.’

Joignez-vous à notre séance d'information

Le Club Toastmasters Chez Nous vous offre une méthode éprouvée qui vous aide à mieux vous exprimer en français. Découvrez pour vous-même à notre séance d’information.

We look forward to welcoming you.
Le Club Chez Nous c’est pour vous!

Lambs To Lions Toastmasters Club

Lambs To Lions Toastmasters Mississauga Youtube

Watch the above video to know why Lambs to Lions Toastmasters can be best choice for you.
 
Lambs to Lions is a friendly and culturally diverse volunteer-run club of about 17 members, who is looking to grow its membership.  We offer a fun and streamlined meeting format of 1.5 hours, every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, from 11:30 am to 1 pm at the Mississauga Central Library on Burnamthorpe Road.  It's a great option for folks who are busy weekdays. 
 
We are a powerhouse of leaders - including the current District Club Growth Director, Area Directors, speech contest winners and mentors.  Evaluations of speeches and meeting roles are honest while being constructive - this is where growth occurs.

 

Swearing-In Speech @ Port Credit Toastmasters Club by Philip Lai (President, 2018-19)

I will talk about our Club Vision, the Distinguished Club Program, etc. in a later meeting when our Team has a chance to sit down, discuss and agree to the business plan. For now, let me just tell you a story.

Several weeks ago, I invited a Toastmasters member whom I had never met to give a speech at the Clarkson Toastmasters Club of which I’m one of the sponsors. She promptly accepted the invitation with a simple yes in her email. Last week, she showed up quietly, on time, brought along with her a large and heavy bag of stuff she’s going to use in her speech. And most of all she looked very pregnant!

Her speech was well prepared. Her message was crystal clear. The delivery was impeccably polished. That bag of stuff turned out to be all kinds of beans and they were part of her speech, and we all had learned much about the nutritional value of beans from her 6 min 45 sec speech (I was the timer, that’s why I remember). Without any doubt, she is an eloquent speaker and an experienced Toastmaster.

But I have seen something more than that. I see in her low-key appearance, sincerity, humility, commitment and fun-loving. If I were in her shoes, I would have thought of many good reasons not to accept an invitation from a stranger. She really didn’t have to in every sense of the word. But, she did, and she did it because of her own commitment. She reminds me of why we joined Toastmasters and why we choose to serve the Club. Becoming a better communicator and leader is the only reason we’re here. The way to grow in Toastmasters is to try, to learn, to make mistakes in the trying and learning, taking on challenging responsibilities, and to do our best to support each other. To me, what I saw in this person is the pinnacle and true spirit of Toastmasters. I want and I need the qualities I saw in her, and I don’t mind achieving a DTM along the way!

Finally, I want to say that I’m extremely lucky to have the opportunity to serve this great Club together with the remarkable people in the team. Thank you for saying yes to the responsibilities. We didn’t have to do this, but we all choose to step forward because of our own commitment to continuous growth. Individually, we are all very strong in our capability and we all have a certain way to get things done. What you’re going to bring to the team are invaluable and will be much appreciated. I really hope we all emerge a better leader and most of all a better team player by our working together. And to my fellow members, please support and help us to help you in our toastmasters journey. Last but not the least, I want to thank Hollis and his team for the hard work and contributions to the Club. Together we’ll make Port Credit Club Great Forever!

Not all Porcupines are Prickly

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate said “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world. Did you know that one Toastmaster, one District Leader, one Facebook post and one telephone conference can rejuvenate a Toastmaster club?

In the fall of 2016, Porcupine Toastmasters had only one member, Yvan Tremblay who posted to Facebook asking for help to save the Toastmaster club in Timmins. Told 3 former members were required and a total of 8 by April 1st 2017 the last man standing found the will to make it happen.

With much determination the club grew in diversity with a mix of new and former members and enthusiasm spilled out across Area 2 in Northern Ontario. The former Porcupine members were joined by 2 Toastmasters from Southern Ontario and 1 from the south of Area 2. By June 30, 2017 the club was 8 members strong, ready to start working as a team for an exciting 2017/2018 year.
PorcupineToastmasters

Round 1 COT Training

Read how Porcupine made it to President’s Distinguished in the next blog from Area 2.

Ericsson Toronto Toastmasters 2nd Anniversary and Open House

2ward Greatness!

Ericsson Toronto Toastmasters
2nd pic. Left to Right, Dragana Vulpic-Bork (Club Mentor), Melanie Pereira (President) & Glynis D’Souza (Club Sponsor)

We had an amazing 2nd Anniversary Celebration hosted by Katie Tran! Our theme was, ‘2ward Greatness’ and the Keynote Speaker, Glynis D'Souza, gave us an inspirational speech on 'The Terrific Twos', reminding us how lucky we are to have a Toastmasters Club at Ericsson and reminisced fondly on the hard work put in by our Sponsors (Glynis D’Souza and Melanie Pereira) and Mentors (Dragana Vulpic-Bork and Maria Martinez) to make this happen!

Mark Henderson, the Chairman & Lawrence Roy, Program Director both, huge supporters of the Toastmasters program, encouraged Ericsson employees to take advantage of the in-house club and learn a thing or two about leadership while honing their communication skills.

The highlight of the event was a testimonial style, documentary film which was a labour of love, produced by Katie Tran, VP, Public relations. She recorded club members while interviewing them sharing their Toastmasters experiences and encouraged viewers to join. It was very well received and generated a lot of interest with the guests, some of whom, who have converted to club members!

Ericsson is a corporate club in Area 41, Division C, with approximately 20 members and achieved Select Distinguished Status in its first year, this year we are aspiring for President’s Distinguished!

- Melanie Pereira, Club President

Toastmasters at Work

clarkson tm muktha

In April 2018, I started a new role with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation as their Cycling Engineer.

I’m responsible to collaborate with internal stakeholders throughout MTO’s five Regions to develop standards, guidelines and training to design safe cycling facilities.  

Since starting in this position, I’ve applied everything I have learned so far in Toastmasters. I listen effectively to understand and learn about the issues and gaps. I applied my leadership skills to take initiative, challenge status quo and collaborate with my Team to develop solutions. I communicate with internal and external stakeholders to encourage dialogue and express myself clearly. As a Team, we have achieved so much over the past few months and was asked to present at a Highway Standards Branch meeting. Here’s the catch, the director is a Toastmaster, and he asked that I keep the presentation to 5 - 7 minutes! With all the Toastmaster experience I have, I rose to the challenge! I wrote out a script, reviewed it with him and once we agreed on the outline, I filled in the content. 

 

I was blessed to have the opportunity to practice my presentation with Port Credit Toastmasters, Speaking for Success Toastmasters and Clarkson Toastmasters. Something else I apply from Toastmasters…I rehearse my speeches and presentations, many times. What was amazing was that the director told me that there would be about 100 staff attending. Just before my presentation, I found out that there were 220 people at the meeting! I had rehearsed so many times, that although I was nervous, I knew I would be fine. Guess what, the presentation went well! I forgot some material, but no one in the audience would have known that, except my director! If you would like to learn tips on how to get the most out of your Toastmasters membership, or want to learn more about the benefits of Toastmasters, I encourage you to come on out to Clarkson Toastmasters Club! We meet Tuesdays at 7:00 pm at Christ Church, 1700 Mazo Crescent. 

Muktha Tumkur, ACG, ALS

 

 

 

Toastmasters International Values:  Respect • Integrity • Service • Excellence
Our Principles:  Lead By Example • Work / Play as a Team 

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