Here are ten ways to ensure that your members are having great experiences in your club.
Outside of the Club Meeting
- Communicate with the members frequently. Send out schedules on a regular basis, confirm attendance at upcoming meetings, and if possible, get the speech titles, topic descriptions, and manual projects from your upcoming speakers and advertise the speeches. This will generate some interest in the members and make the speakers feel special. Also, confirming the speech titles, descriptions, and projects ahead of time helps you make sure that all speeches are manual speeches.
- Congratulate members for accomplishments both inside and outside of Toastmasters. Send emails to the club announcing educational awards, promotions, and other success stories. Put photos of members who earn educational awards on the club website and on social media.
- Assign mentors and encourage them to stay in contact with their mentees on a regular basis. Make sure that both new and experienced members have mentors. Have mentors and your Vice President Education confer with members and make sure they are working towards specific educational goals. If they’re not, ask them what they’re working on outside of Toastmasters and find a way to tie a Toastmasters educational goal to that other goal.
- Build connections between members and other people. If you know of two members, not necessarily in the same club, who share a common interest, introduce them to each other and spark a new friendship or connection. Introduce members to your non-Toastmasters friends who work in similar careers. This helps them build their network and they’ll remember you as a connection maker. Plus, the member you introduced to your friend might be the person who finally convinces your friend to visit your club.
- Call members that go missing. If a club member misses more than a meeting or two, call them and let them know they were missed. If members take some time off for a vacation or some other event, be sure to send them a quick note to welcome them back and let them know you’re excited to see them at the club again.
At the Club Meeting
- Greet everyone individually. It may take more than just the Sergeant at Arms. All officers should be responsible for making sure that every member and guest walking in the door is greeted. Be gracious hosts and make everyone feel welcome.
- Consider using name tents if the club is large or has new members. Coming into a large group can be daunting for a new member and name tents will help ensure that they call on people correctly and learn names quickly. This will assimilate them into the group faster.
- Start the meeting on time every time. End the meeting on time or early. If the meeting ends up being short, don’t drag it out just to fill the remaining time. Call the meeting to a close and give members some time to stand around and visit socially. This can help develop deeper bonds of friendship among members.
- Deliver encouraging, specific, and supportive feedback for speakers. If your club is struggling with good evaluations, have an officer deliver the Successful Club Series module Evaluate to Motivate (link below.) Or even have a special evaluation workshop using The Art of Effective Evaluation (link below.)
- Make every member feel special and wanted. It may be difficult to make every member feel special every meeting, but you can focus on one member per meeting. If you’re an officer or just an engaged member, take the time to think about each member and pause to make one of them feel special at every meeting. It doesn’t take much effort. A kind word or asking about what’s going on in their life is often enough to make someone feel wanted.