Pep Squad
The Best Method of Club Improvement
Alan Swartz

What is one of the easiest methods to make your club distinguished? My wife Connie suggested that the best officer training was visiting other clubs that are very dynamic to see what they do to get members, retain members, have fun and educational meetings, and create a great club climate.

She is right. I visit clubs all over the District. I learn from every club I visit. Perhaps they have a great web site, a Facebook page, a blog site, and a notice in the local paper of their meetings.

The Vice President of Membership sits down with every guest after the meeting and explains the Toastmasters program, answers their questions, and gives them an application. They may ask the guest, "What will it take to get you back to our next meeting?" Or they may say, "Our club would like to have you as a member." Both are very strong invitations. They will insure the guests are greeted and that someone sits with them to explain the meeting.

Good clubs have a mentor program. The week by week mentoring guide our District has developed is great. The good club will keep explaining all the aspects of Toastmasters to their new members.

Good meetings are the key to retention. If we continually work to involve all of our members on a regular basis, have fun, make sure we have good speech evaluations and good evaluations of the entire meeting, we are on the track to improvement. Having a meeting full of positive affirmations is critical. That’s all part of club climate. Good clubs are always looking at their club climate from the aspect of a guest. "If I were a guest at this meeting, would I want to come back?" If the answer is no, then the officers need to make improvements.

Regular officer meetings are critical. If you visit the good clubs, you will see that they have leadership and talk about their vision of the club. They "name" their club what they want to become. They have an officer team and share the workload.

In summary, if your club is struggling, pick out a couple of clubs that are doing well, using the TI website to look at District Reports and identify your neighboring clubs that are achieving goals and recruiting members and retaining them. Just use the Officer Resources on the TI site, than District Reports. Then take some of your officers to a another club to see how you can "steal and distribute" their winning ideas for your club’s improvement. Good luck.


Eagle Valley charter photo
Charter of Eagle Valley Toastmasters club in Avon, Colorado, December 2010.
Christy Martin, President, left of banner, standing.
Patricia French, third from right in front of the banner, started the club.
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