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Talk Up Toastmasters – Area Director’s Diary

Talk Up Toastmasters is one of three challenges during the Toastmaster’s year to engage five new members to each of our clubs. Every club achieving five new members in this two month period (Feb & March) receives another ribbon for their club banner.  Plus they ensure another distinguished club point.  Every distinguished club point recognises a ‘well run’ club.

It is, of course, a lot more important than just a ribbon.  New members are the life blood of any club. There is a natural churn in any club. People leave for all sorts of reasons. This means that if we don’t continually add new people in to the club we can end up with a big gap in abilities. 

There will always be stalwart Toastmasters, like myself, which is great.  We do bring experience and can mentor & coach new speakers.  But inadvertently, we can also stymie the interest of new and progressing speakers with our over enthusiasm, confidence and ‘perceived’ skills.

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Of course, new Toastmasters may want to ‘learn’ from experienced members.  But if too many of the experienced members are ‘Advanced’ Speakers, the perceived gap can be too big a jump.  So recruiting on a regular basis is important for continuing progress. How we retain members is a subject for another post.

I encourage all members to get involved as part of a membership and/or public relations campaign.  Project 6&8 in the Competent Leadership manual.  Every little helps …

Here are some suggestions for recruiting new members in the next two months; please do share any other ideas you have in the comments!

Quick Wins

Who

When

Update easySpeak and your own website regularly – good Search Engine Optimisation

Set up Facebook Page – post photos of each meeting to celebrate ‘something’ every meeting.

Post your events on all FREE online local directories – there are loads!

Like other Toastmasters Pages to share stuff!

Create free business cards via VISTA for members to give out to friends and colleagues

Use the Toastmaster’s Magazines as marketing collateral

Put posters | leaflets | Biz cards in local community centres

Phone visitors for feedback

Post marketing material at your event, directional signs etc

Wear your pins with pride

Post your meetings on Facebook events, Eventbrite and Findnetworkingevents.com

Instigate guest follow up programme

Create a guest pack takeaway

Not so quick wins

Contact ex-members, invite them to a special ‘no obligation’ reminder event

Create a MEETUP profile – engage with interested members

Invite a journalist to visit and do a write up

Invite your local councillors

Set up a LinkedIn profile and engage with business people

Create a YouTube Chanel and upload speeches, table topics etc…

Place a series of adverts in your local media – inc a press release

Plan promotional activity around Smedley, Talk Up Toastmasters and Beat the Clock timing to max # opportunities

Special events for those wishing to complete CL projects

Create a gala event and invite the press

Produce a regular newsletter

Offer to do a talk on radio

Offer to present on the local speaker circuit

Team with other clubs to take a table at a business event

Collaborate with other likeminded communities ie literary events

Create an interactive website

Contact HR managers re continued professional development

Offer Youth Leadership Programmes to Sixth Form colleges

Deliver a “chargable” 6 week Speech Craft programme

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