District 26 - Serving Colorado, Wyoming and Western Nebraska

Toastmasters are quitting or becoming inactive in droves, according to Toastmasters International World Headquarters.

The average time a member stays is 18-20 months; however, they may become inactive prior to that.

Member retention is easier than recruiting, but perhaps misunderstood. And a great technique for member retention is the ‘Stay Interview’.

Exit interviews are common but too much like talking to cows about why they left the barn.


The ‘stay’ interview asks why members remain or will remain.


‘Stay’ Interviews are the absolute best trust-building activity…and therefore the best retention tool.” ‘Stay’ interviews identify things members like about Toastmasters and/or their club rather than things they dislike. However, the ‘stay’ interview is much more valuable because it provides insights which club leaders can use to motivate and retain a particular member, not just a group.

The first question is what the member looks forward to when coming to the club meeting. Those answers may help you promote certain parts of the club experience.

If Alice likes facing new challenges, keep that in mind when tossing out meeting assignments or asking for event volunteers. If it’s novel, give it to Alice. There’s probably another member who looks forward to meeting roles or volunteer projects he has more experience with.


Whether a club uses ‘stay’ interviews or some other method, getting officers talking to members leads to better engagement and retention.

Jim Dent, DTM

Currently Speaking – Secretary | New Life – Club Coach

*Adapted for Toastmasters from an article in Forbes by Bill Conerly


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