Coaches Corner

"The Smedley Award" Membership Building Contest and the NFL Draft have a lot in common. Now I know what you are thinking, too many speeches and too many Toastmasters meetings have clouded my judgment! But really, the two have many comparisons. The NFL Draft has been around almost as long as Toastmasters. According to Wikipedia,"The NFL Draft is an annual event in which

the 32 National Football League teams select new eligible college football players. It is the NFL's most common source of player recruitment. " The Smedley Award is an annual event in which 166 Toastmaster clubs in District 26 select new eligible members from our community. This could be the most common source for Toastmasters member recruitment.

Club /Division/Area/ Club Name /New Member Total/ Award
1965 /D/ 04/ Timberline Toastmasters /6/ YES
2136/ D/ 06/ Aurorators Club/ 5 /YES
2228/ D/ 02/ Daybreak Toastmasters Club/ 7/ YES
4881/ M/ 06/ Parker Toastmasters/ 7/ YES
5086/ S/ 01/ FACCMasters Toastmasters/ 7/ YES
780094/ E/ 02/ Neenan Club/ 5/ YES
897557/ D/ 06/ Defenders of Speech/ 5/ YES
1272692/ D/ 06/ Absolutely Articulate/ 8/ YES
Total Number of Clubs Getting Awards: 8

Congratulations to these clubs! So what is the Smedley Award?

Smedley Award

Program Dates: August 1 – September 30

Picture it, 1924. Ralph Smedley invited a few men to meet in the Santa Ana, California YMCA where he conducted the first meeting of what would eventually evolve into Toastmasters International. One person initiated a program that would go on to affect millions of people. In his honor between August 1 and September 30, add five new, dual, or reinstated members. By doing so you’ll qualify to receive a "Smedley Award" ribbon to display on your club’s banner. Membership applications and payment for members who join between August 1 and September 30 must be received at World Headquarters or online no later than September 30. Each members join date as listed on the application must be no later than September. Transfer and charter members do not count for credit. Effective July 1, 2009, in addition to the ribbon, qualifying clubs will also earn a special discount code for 10% off their next club order.

Ok, so we know what the Smedley Award is. But where can I get members and what do you mean "select eligible members"? I can’t select members. Of course you can select members. Everyone knows someone who can use Toastmasters OR maybe someone Toastmasters can utilize. Talk to people about how Toastmasters could make use of their organizational skills, or leadership skills. Maybe they would be a great mentor for others. I have talked to many people who would like to be a mentor or lead others in the community but were to shy to pursue them. We know Toastmasters help!

Here are 10 great questions to ask or put on a questionnaire to intrigue people about Toastmasters:

  1. Is your life going in the direction you want it to go?
  2. Do you wish you had more confidence?
  3. Would you like to manage your time better?
  4. Are giving timely and exciting presentations a strain for you?
  5. Do your co-workers dread your presentations?
  6. Are you interested in communicating better with your spouse, significant other, family, co-workers, or employees?
  7. Do you struggle giving performance reviews?
  8. Have you been told you could improve your listening skills?
  9. Do you want the self assurance to ask for a raise, promotion or to give a great interview?
  10. Are leadership commitments personally and professionally a challenge?

So, now what can we do? Talk with our club’s Vice President of Membership and Vice President of Public Relations about their plans for the Smedley Award so we can incorporate what they are doing. Offer our help with their plans. Invite co-workers, friends, family, and people you see to the next meeting and offer to pick them up if that is feasible. Help by being a good role model at the meeting. Sit with our guests, explain what is going on during the meeting, and answer questions. Talk to them after the meeting about any questions or concerns they may have. Be sure we have a current Membership Application available. Go over any Toastmasters materials with them that were given at the meeting. Invite them back and to join.

Toastmasters is an organization that can benefit so many people in ways we can’t even imagine. Give people the opportunity to explore what Toastmasters has to offer. Good luck on the first draft of the season. Take ownership of the selection process and enrich the lives of your fellow Toastmasters with the people you know. Together Toastmasters is changing humanity one member at a time!

Until next time "Be the leader you expect others to be".


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