Looking for tips on how to be an effective Club Coach or Club Mentor? Maybe you are in a club that’s doing okay, but you’d like to make the member experience even better. The following series of videos was created a few years ago, but is every bit as relevant today. Scroll down to find the topics you are most interested in, grab a notebook and pen, and feel free to connect with our District Team on any points you would like help with. That’s why we’re here!
At the recent 2016 District 21 Fall Conference in Parksville, BC, Anna Rasmussen ACS, ALB
and Nils Erzinger ACB, ALB helped introduce us to Pathways with their presentation “Toastmasters Pathways: A Conversation.” In this article, Anna and Nils explore Pathways further and respond to some common questions from District 21 Toastmasters.
In case you haven’t heard, Toastmasters International will be introducing a brand new revitalized education program to District 21 this coming September. This new program is called Toastmasters Pathways. Click here for a brief overview of Pathways.
1. Why the Change? What are the benefits of Pathways?
In 2010, Toastmasters’ Board of Directors crafted a five-year strategic plan to modernize the communication track and renew the focus on leadership learning. Toastmasters Pathways addresses the growing need to provide greater access to educational materials and expanded online learning resources. The new program continues to offer experiential learning for members while providing a learning structure that is better suited to personalized goal setting and transferable skill development.
2. When can we access materials to get a look at the program?
Due to the fluidity of the rollout process, the exact time frame for each phase cannot be precisely predicted. The roll out phase for District 21 is slated for August/September 2017 as the best case scenario. All District 21 clubs will be encouraged to set Pathways in motion for their members when the roll out phase begins. Your VP of Education will be trained as Base Camp Manager to help you access materials and guide you through the new Pathways program.
3. Will clubs continue to provide manuals from the existing education program? Is there a cutoff date?
All current education manuals including the Competent Communicator and Competent Leadership manuals will be available throughout the two-year transitional phase which concludes at the end of 2019. After this date, all Toastmasters will be transitioned to the new Pathways program and the current education program will be retired.
4. Are there additional costs to Pathways?
Generally speaking, it is intended that members will not incur additional cost from Pathways unless they choose to order printed materials. The printed materials and associated costs will be posted in the online Toastmasters International shop just as they are currently. Members who choose to have the materials shipped to them from World Headquarters will not have access to the interactive learning tools or to as many learning paths as those who participate online. There may be a charge for some portions of the online program (similar to the current situation, where your CC/CL manuals are free but your AC manual costs).
5. Why can’t education credits be transferred?
The structure of Pathways is quite different than our current education program. While the current program has separate learning tracks for communication and leadership competencies, the new Pathways program combines and expands on these competencies within project and each learning path. At the heart of Pathways are five core learning competencies: public speaking; interpersonal communication; leading and managing; leading strategically; and building confidence. Each project provides opportunities to develop these core competencies plus other skills that support the disciplines of your chosen learning path.
To learn more, click here.
6. If I can’t transfer my current education credits, what was the point of completing projects in the current program?
Consider for a moment…why did you join Toastmasters? Members overwhelmingly indicate the main reasons for joining Toastmasters are to improve their public speaking skills, build confidence, and become more effective communicators. Each time you complete a project; you learn something new and progress closer to realizing your goals – the main reason for being in Toastmasters! All of our learning – the experiences, relationship building, personal growth, and professional development – we have gained while completing projects in the current education program will remain with us. This is true even if the current educational credits won’t transfer to Pathways. Take a moment to reflect how your investment in yourself has paid off. It’s far beyond any award. Imagine how it will take you forward on your journey in Pathways!
What will the Distinguished Club Program (DCP) look like under Pathways?
The DCP will continue to provide clubs with education, membership and administrative goals. The following table shows the educational goals in the current program and Pathways.
8. How will the online program work for evaluations?
Project evaluation resources will be accessible online via Base Camp. Approximately 50 tutorials will be available to help members navigate the different features of the Evaluation Resources section. Evaluation forms will be different for every project, tailored to assess the skills each member is trying to achieve in that particular project. When a member is preparing to deliver a speech, they can either print the evaluation form and take it with them to the club meeting, or have their evaluator review the project ahead of time and prepare accordingly.
9. How do I apply to be a Pathways Guide?
Pathways Guides will play an integral role in helping members transition to the new Pathways program. All clubs will be assigned a Pathways Guide. You can click here to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a Pathways Guide. One of the benefits of being a Pathways Guide is the opportunity to earn District leadership experience. This experience will count towards becoming a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). To apply to be a Pathways Guide, please contact one of the following:
Please include the following information in your contact:
- Your full name
- Your membership number
- Your club(s) name(s) Your club(s) number(s)
- The Area you wish to serve as Pathways Guide
Your expression of interest will be forwarded to the District 21 Program Quality Director and you will receive further details regarding the application process at that time.
Toastmasters Pathways revitalized education program has inspired a lot of questions and conversation from members around the world. We encourage you to investigate the links provided to learn more and to plan your next steps for a journey in Toastmasters Pathways.
Submitted by Anna Rasmussen ACS ALB & Nils Erzinger ACB ALB
The D21 theme ‘Building our membership together for success’ reminds us that we all play an important part in helping our clubs succeed. International Director Margaret Page and District Director Alan Warburton facilitated an early morning conference session featuring several clubs who competed for stage time. With the assistance of Shawn Gold, who supplied instant feedback via a polling app, we received great take home value, and learned about many successful initiatives taking place in clubs around D21. Keep up the great work, everyone…your efforts are noted and appreciated.
Margaret followed up with us, providing ‘Hundreds of Membership Building Ideas’ for our consideration, saying that this list was compiled by David McAllister, International Director from Region 3 and a marketing expert–several years ago when he was on the trio.
Is your club looking for an injection of new energy? Here are a few tips to consider…
● Plan a special showcase meeting. Invite members from around the district to present a special program. Invite guests and be ready to sign them up on the spot.
● Take your show on the road. Schedule your meeting in a new location where it will get new visibility. Suggestions: community center, library, retirement community, bookstore, etc. Get the facility to help promote your special appearance. Invite guests.
● Conduct a Speechcraft. If you do not have enough members to successfully launch the program, call on members from other clubs to help out. Warning: don’t expect someone else to do all the work, though. Charge a fee for the speechcraft that will cover the new member fee and the first six months of dues. At the end of the speechcraft, offer a “free” membership to all successful participants
● Ask a member from another club (look for one who you believe is especially motivational in their speaking ability) to do an education module at one of your club meetings. Create a guest list to invite prospective members who can benefit from the topic. Choose from the Successful Club or Successful Speaker series. (Note: the evaluation and listening modules work particularly well.)
● Create a holiday invitation (St. Pat’s, Halloween, Thanksgiving, spring, etc.) and ask each member to hand out invitations to friends and co-workers. Plan your agenda around a holiday theme.
● Appreciation night: Honor a community member at a special meeting. Ask the guest to say a few words promoting Toastmasters. Be sure to have lots of guests to help express your appreciation.
Having 20-30 members in your club ensures you have the right balance between rotating executives, wide range of speech topics, sharing of meeting roles and an audience to deliver speeches to. It ensures the club holds and maintains quality meetings and likely has regular guests who they convert to members. What is the secret sauce?
Of course there is not one simple answer, each club in unique based on many factors. Overall clubs lose about 40% of their members in any year so it is critical a club always recruits members.
Over my journey I have been inspired by the measures clubs take to keep guests coming and convert guests to members. Recently reading Area Directors club visit reports I noticed a lot of clubs don’t give guests a take away prize. Taking something away gives the guest some information to digest and reminds them to return next meeting. It also provides critical information about joining the club.
Many top performing clubs offer:
- Toastmaster Magazine
- Membership application with info about fees.
- Sheet explaining what Toastmasters International is and something about the club – perhaps a letter from the President can cover this.
- A ribbon (optional). Toastmasters International offers ribbons and some clubs make their own “I survived” ribbons.
Toastmasters International also sells guest packets: https://www.toastmasters.org/Shop/Meetings/new-members-and-guests/387–Guest-Packet
To ensure your guests become members always make sure they leave your meeting with something in their hands.
Michael Bown DTM
District 21 Club Growth Director, 2016-2017
from Carol Carter, your District 21 Program Quality Director
Every July 1st to June 30th, Toastmasters International gives each club a set of goals to work towards. If achieved, the club and members will grow stronger, gain more experience, and be more influential and of greater benefit to others. This set of goals is the Distinguished Club Program.
Clubs that finish the year strong and healthy, both in membership and in number of DCP Points (there are 10 possible points you can achieve):
- have fun Summer meetings and other special events
- get back on track faster in the Fall
- stay healthy and have less stress
- have members who are consistently growing themselves and others through the Toastmasters Program, finding time to participate at higher levels in Areas, Divisions and the District.
Would you like to be in one of these strong teams?
Helpful resources to use RIGHT NOW to strengthen your team:
1) Here are two Membership Growth pdfs from Kerry Deschamps, PQD District 96 to help you build membership quickly and have fun doing it!
Stay out of overwhelm! Have each of your team members choose 3 strategies THEY love that they feel are ideal for your club and empower them to form small teams that make wonderful things happen. That 6 point plan is obviously from Vancouver, but I love the concept of each member committing to one purposeful act they will do consistently for one month. It’s a short commitment, but a focused one and THEY choose what they will do and report back. Discover your members’ hidden talents, and have FUN promoting your club to your ideal members.
2) Learn from some membership growth ideas that really work from our District 21 Winners of last year’s Club Campaign Challenge
3) If your club doesn’t qualify for a club coach, don’t wait until you have low membership. Boost yourself with tips from this 4 Video Series. Share these with team members. Review them at meetings. Visit: http://d21toastmasters.org/videos-tips-for-healthy-clubs-club-coaches-2
4) One key to great clubs is giving members a strong start and additional boosting no matter how long they are Toastmasters through effective Mentoring Programs. Pat Johnson and Chris Kozakowski share excellent insights into
- Being an effective mentor
- Being a great mentee
- Building and maintaining excellent mentoring programs in your club
It’s not how much you know, it’s what you choose to take action on that will make all the difference to your team right now, and in the future. Carpe Diem! Seize the day and make your your club as strong and healthy as possible, while learning new skills and trying fun approaches to connecting with your community.
I’ll keep watching that Club Kudos list grow!
Club Building & Member Education Videos
Have you ever wished that you could find someone who could quickly and succinctly explain an officer or club role to you or effectively demonstrate how to deliver a certain type of speech?
District 21 Ambassador Program (Margaret Page DTM) Part1
Training videos for the broader TM educational program, such as ‘The Better Speaker Series’ and ‘The Leadership Excellence Series’ will be created as time and resources permit. You can help by creating some of these yourself.
Click here to access the D21 YouTube Channel.