Coaches Corner
Shameless Self-Promotion

Shameless? Self-promotion? Do both of those words belong together? Yes, they do.

Shameless because we are proud of our Toastmasters heritage and programs. I believe we should be telling everyone we meet about Toastmasters. I tell check-out clerks at the grocery store they can get more confident talking to their customers through Toastmasters. I share my experiences with the wait staff at restaurants, telling them they could be making bigger tips and loyal customers through the art of persuasion which they can hone to finely tuned instrument at Toastmasters. Yes, I have even dropped Toastmasters at a few city council chambers and political events. Couldn't everyone benefit from attending a Toastmasters club? Why not yours?

Self-promotion is what we do in Toastmasters. We are eager to share our enthusiasm for the benefits we receive from our membership and our clubs, so why wouldn't we want to share that with our friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family members? I know I am always proud to invite someone I know to one of my meetings (and yes I attend meetings four nights a week). I want them to see what I am getting out of Toastmasters, the friends I am making, the strides I am making in my public speaking and leadership skills. Don't you feel the same way about your club?

Some clubs have asked about using paid advertising to garner new members for their clubs, and I ask them if they have been promoting their clubs through the free channels. Most say that they tried but it did not seem to pan out. I heartily disagree with them. Yes, it takes the right touch to establish a relationship with a newspaper editor or a radio station manager, but there are so many free opportunities to be exploited that most have not thought about trying.

How about looking up the local events calendar and seeing if there is an event coming up that your club could possibly help the promoter or presenters with our overflowing

unique training and experience (and bring your banner to the event)? Is your club even listed in the events calendar (this is often free, but you must renew it each month)? One example I am familiar with is the Lafayette Kids Park project, which brought together hundreds of local people and the members of Speak with Ease Toastmasters. The Speak with Ease Toastmasters #631413 helped participate in the one day park project to raise awareness of the need for play facilities for handicapped children. During the holiday, the Front Range College Communicators #1097218 collected and donated food to the local food bank so others in the area may eat better. Both of these things got the attention of the local news media and helped them get recognition – cost: ZERO dollars, benefits: PRICELESS.

I have suggested many times that clubs consider putting on a Speechcraft or a youth leadership program. Tri-Town Toasters #1112188 in Frederick is planning a Speechcraft in February and these programs are great ways of promoting Toastmasters benefits to the community and consequently bringing the mission of the club to the community. If you are looking for recognition, consider doing something for your community.

Alternatively, many clubs have chosen to join their local Chamber of Commerce. This is an inexpensive alternative to advertising but your club still has to cultivate the leads by attending chamber functions, so it is not free, but very lucrative. If your club can't afford membership, consider asking another local club to go in with you, in Longmont three clubs joined together to join the chamber and it has been a very beneficial experience for all the clubs.

If you need more ideas, please contact me so I can help you work out a program. You can reach me by e-mail at or by phone at (303) 828-2808 in the evenings or (303) 882-2912 during the day. I am ready to help you, all you have to do is ask.


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