As a club mentor, advisor, and Area Director, I have been consistently asked, How do we get our club guests to become members?
There is no perfect answer to this question because there are so many variables to consider. However, during my time working with clubs, I realized there was one constant in our attempts to increase membership: engagement. Here are some steps we took.
Be the Brand
Always be a beacon of the best Toastmasters has to offer.
- When speaking to others about the organization, be an example of what it teaches: poise, confidence, thoughtfulness, and a high standard of speaking.
- Share specifics when asked how you have improved your speaking skills.
Engage Your Guests
Make sure guests are welcomed and understand the structure of meetings.
- Assign club members to be the liaison of the day for each
- Talk to the guests, tell them what you enjoy and appreciate about Toastmasters.
- Contact guests after the meeting to check in with them
about their experience.
Reach Out to Your Community
It’s also important to increase public awareness of your club.
- Offer services to your community and be more involved with local groups.
- Consider attending or participating in local events as a club.
- Volunteer to conduct a free public speaking course for those interested in improving their skills.
Be Active on Social Media
Set up a social media page for your club as an informal way of interacting with members between meetings.
- Post regular updates about your club on social media.
- Provide practical information and nuggets of interest about twice a week.
Making your club meetings interesting and enriching is essential—both for retaining your current members and adding new ones.
- Experiment and be creative with the meeting agenda. Try different activities instead of following the usual format. Here’s a fun one: Run your meeting backward!
A key to making your club bigger and better is to connect with your Area and Division leaders and find ways to improve. Always remember: You are not alone in Toastmasters. Everyone is a resource and a mentor.
Clifton James, DTM is a member and Past Club President of the Nee Soon East Toastmasters Club in Singapore and a member of SPOT ON Advanced Online Toastmasters Club. He is Assistant Division Director (Club Growth) for Division G, District 80, and won the District’s Table Topics® Contest this year.
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