Membership Building: Recruiting via Email
Putting online communication skills to work in a corporate club.
By Gwen Whipple, ACB
Recently, I used my Toastmasters intuition at work. It happened when I read an article written by a guest director for our department’s Intranet. She and a group of staff members had traveled the prior weekend to a conference in a neighboring state. She wrote that the three days were filled with intensive training and networking. She ended the article by writing that there had been small group, in-depth discussions about what they were learning.
I thought of that group of attendees – a few of whom I knew on a casual level. My intuition told me that some of them had probably experienced struggles with communicating to the group. Because it was known I was in Toastmasters, I believed I would hear from at least one person who attended that conference. Was I ever correct!
By 10 that morning, I received an email:
“I would like to participate in the Toastmasters program in our building. Can you point me to information on the program? Are you a member? If yes, tell me about your experience. Thanks, Selina.”
I quickly responded:
“I would love to have you join us at our meeting today at noon. It is right here in our building, room 4070. I did a write-up for the Intranet that will be published this coming Thursday. How about I send you a sneak peek? After you read it, if you have any questions, I would be happy to share more.”
She must have liked what she read because she answered:
“I will be there. Looking forward to it.”
It was a great meeting with a few last-minute role assignments, but that’s typical in the summertime. We had only one speaker giving an Ice Breaker, and plenty of lively Table Topics. Selina volunteered to answer a Table Topic question, and did a great job. I talked to her briefly once the meeting ended, and I was pretty sure she was hooked. I saw she had one of our new member packets in her hand.
I followed up with an email that afternoon:
“I am so glad you could join us today. I was impressed that you jumped right in and took your turn at Table Topics. I hope you will read through the packet you were given today and decide to join this group. As I said in the article I sent you – it will feed your hungry mind and serve as a wonderful practice audience for those presentations for your job.”
“Thanks for your kind words and support. I have decided to join the group. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time. The convenient location and time make it possible now! Thanks again.”
She will be a great addition to our group. Tomorrow will be our first meeting since my article was published. Will others show up? Will we meet their expectations? Time will tell. My intuition tells me there are many others in our department who could benefit from all that Toastmasters has to offer. It’s time to check my email!
Gwen Whipple, ACB is a member of City Toasters club in Seattle, Washington.