You grow personally.
Helping to start a new club isn’t just about the new opportunities you’ll have to give speeches – at demonstration meetings and in the first months of a budding club. It also presents many challenges and opportunities that you won’t find when participating in existing, established clubs.
You will develop and apply your organizational & planning skills; your marketing & persuasion skills; your coaching, mentoring & leadership skills in a deeper, more impactful way and thereby improve in all these highly desirable skills.
And, of course, you get credit toward your Advanced Leader Award for helping to create a new Toastmasters Club!
Your area grows and becomes more fun.
Interaction between clubs is an integral element of keeping the Toastmasters experience fresh and motivating participation. Some clubs are fairly isolated from others, however, and some large regions have no clubs at all.
By building new clubs, you can reduce the distance between Area clubs, allowing them to exchange ideas more readily and support each other. You strengthen your Toastmasters Area, enabling ever more exciting local conferences and social opportunities. It’s more fun and inspiring for everyone!
Your District grows and supports you better.
You’ve likely heard many times that the District is here to serve you as members. This is especially difficult when the number of clubs is so low that the areas are quite spread out geographically and resources are slim. It’s difficult for Area Directors to be present for the clubs on a regular basis and some members might never meet the Division and District officers.
When Areas grow by new clubs being chartered, Areas can be realigned and the distances between them, reduced geographically. Each club will interact more regularly with their Area Director and hopefully receive better service and support.
And let’s not forget that building new clubs ensures not only that our District stays healthy and vital but also that we move one step closer to achieving our mission: to make effective communication a worldwide reality.
Building new clubs gives all Toastmasters the chance to improve their District, their Area, but most importantly, themselves!
How do I Start the Process ?
Identify your target:
Are you planning for a new community, corporate, advanced or other Club? Ideally, we strive to attain the 20 member target before submitting the Application to Organize.
Order a New Club Kit:
Email your request for a Club kit via the Toastmasters website, “Find a Club” then “Start a Club” located at http://www.toastmasters.org/startclub.asp Ask them to send you the complete printed new club materials.
Build a team:
Identify key motivated people willing to serve as Sponsors and Mentors, as both of these roles are critical to a new Club’s eventual success.
Plan your Demonstration Meeting:
Demos meetings are presented before a group of prospective members by one or more experienced Toastmasters. A demo will include an overview of the organization, the benefits of membership and how to start and operate a Club (including information about fees).
Develop and implement a promotion strategy:
Get the word out—use flyers, newspaper ads and phone calls to let the community know about the demo meeting—if the target Club is slated to be an open community Club. Email is effective and corporate newsletters for closed or corporate Club prospects.
Focus on what’s in it for them:
Benefits sell—emphasize in the demo session why it is worthwhile to join. Involve your team members, and get their testimonials about what Toastmasters has done for them. Keep it upbeat, positive, interactive and not too technical.
Take a social break:
Allow some time (if time is available) for socializing—get guests talking and interacting with one another.
Plan the next steps:
It’s a good idea to develop options for next steps in advance of the demo meeting. Make provisions for the full range of possible outcomes (i.e., from slight interest to enthusiastic, “when-can we-start commitment.) Once commitment is confirmed by the attendees—be ready to suggest a suitable course of action.
Identify the future leaders:
Gauge which attendees come across as likely leaders of the future Club and enlist their involvement as soon as possible for positions of President, Vice President Education, VP Membership, etc.
Get a financial commitment as soon as possible:
Solidify the commitment of prospective members by having a “starting point” budget and collecting some level of dues at the first meeting.
Respect their time:
Stay within the prescribed time limits of the meeting.
Keep your newfound goodwill with the group intact by honoring your commitments.
They consider you to be the expert.
In short, “The potential for new Clubs is all around us; in communities, corporations and government organizations. Toastmasters is such a time proven formula for development of communication and leadership skills that it just about sells itself.”
by Joe Guenette DTM
D21 Club Growth Director