Player's Lineup


“To be matter of fact about the world is to blunder into fantasy -- and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange and wonderful.”

Robert A. Heinlein

Club Coach Chair, Betty Chavira
Do you want more active members in your club?

Do you want more active members in your club?

Then go tell someone to FAIL!

Many people love to quote eloquent speakers. Martin Luther King, "I have a Dream …" Mahatma Gandhi, "Be the change you want to see in the world." I love the absurd. I seem to understand it better. So I quote Darren LaCroix, "Nobody comes to Toastmasters to be better speakers at Toastmasters." We have goals to be better speakers for our community, our business or to give a Toast at our daughter’s wedding. They may be very lofty goals to some of us, but we need a safe environment to practice them. A place to screw-up and then recover, rebuild and try again. Our club culture is built upon that safe environment to stretch, grow, and fail a few times. Without taking a few risks we will stay in our own safe bubble and never grow.

OK, Tom, again with that psychobabble. How can I get more active members in my club?

Take the opportunity to visit other clubs, meet-ups, networking events (chamber of commerce events work really well). When given the chance to share your Elevator speech, state very strongly and loudly. "I invite you to come to Toastmasters and Fail!" That alone should increase your listening audience by 5. Repeat it once again, "I invite you to come to Toastmasters and Fail!" Someone will blurt out, "Why would you want me to fail?" Now you can explain how Toastmasters creates a safe environment for you to take risks in speaking and leadership skills. This is a overflowing

laboratory for your own speaking and leadership experiments. Build upon your successes. Identify your areas to improve. Take a few risks here before you go to your daughter’s wedding and be less than excellent.

A good friend was just elected club president of a well-established Toastmasters club with a large membership. I told her how excited I was for her. I knew her enthusiasm would shift the club to greater active participation. Guests would eagerly return to visit at 7am. Members who hadn't participated for a while would become more active. Then I said, "Joan, I will be bragging about you when you tell me the 3 times you Screwed-up. The 3 times you took a risk no one else had taken in your club. The times you stretched, risked and grew. Think about it. Five years from now will it really matter that you changed the room layout, made the chairs face 45 degrees to the right and someone complained?"

OK, Tom, again, how can I get more active members in my club?

Take some risks in your club. Annoy a few old curmudgeons with something new. Invite the person behind you at Starbucks to Come to Toastmasters and Fail. Over the past 6½ weeks I have had numerous opportunities to speak before non-Toastmaster groups and 9 Toastmasters clubs. I have invited face to face 78 people to come fail. So far this has resulted in 3 new members and 11 guests. It's not hard and a lot of fun. Email me with when you Failed in your club and know what you are doing with that experience.

The man in the Hat

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