From Jill Segal, D91 Club Extension Chair
Embrace the joy and challenge of starting a new club
Are you looking for ways to have fun and meet new people? Are you considering improving your marketing and promotional skills? Would you like to actively fulfill your Toastmaster promise by encouraging new members to join? And how about helping them transform their speaking and leadership skills? You can do this at the same time as making progress on your own TM journey. The perfect way to achieve this is by starting a new club!
How can you get started?
Step 1 Get clear on your vision for your new club
Consider what kind of new club you would like. Are you drawn towards starting a community club? Perhaps you’d like a club at work or in your professional or trade association. Maybe you’d like to create a club with a special focus such as debate, evaluation, other languages, or storytelling. (There are examples of clubs like these in our district and around the world). Get clear on your vision for the club. Who will the members be? How will the club serve them?
Step 2 Gather support
Projects work best when there is an enthusiastic team to get them started.
Find a small group of friends or colleagues who share you vision and are ready to play a part in getting the club started.
For a company club it’s a good idea to talk to the key stake-holders in HR or in your management team as soon as possible. Genuine support from within your organisation will help your club get going quickly.
Step 3 Make a plan
The best way to charter a new club is to start with planning. A simple budget, a communication plan, ideas for finding a venue, a list of experience Toastmasters who can be called on to help will all help you make progress more rapidly in the long run.
Step 4 Get your PR machine in action
Ultimately a new club is an exercise in PR: selling the idea of a new club to interested people and bringing them to your early meeting. Luckily simple approaches such as Facebook pages, word-of-mouth marketing, using company intranets are highly effective. We have example of recent new clubs whose founders have done their PR brilliantly.
From my own experience…
From personal experience I can say it is a wonderful to come out of your comfort zone and invite potential members to join a new club. I’ve learned useful leadership lesson and feel proud of the development in skills and confidence that new club members achieve.
If you are a committed member, if you’ve experienced the pleasure of the exchange of learning and support within your club, then sponsoring or mentoring a new club will enrich your TM experience even more.
Help is at hand
Feel free to ask for help and advice. The 2015/2016 Club Growth Director Dorothea Stuart and I will be delighted to hear from you and help you get all the support you need.
If you are already enthused and want to read more immediately there is a new club manual to inform and guide you. Click on this link.
P.S. Did you know that being a club Sponsor (helping to start a club) or Mentor (support a new club for 6 months-1 year) counts towards your Advanced Leader Silver?
P.P.S. Six new clubs have chartered between August 2015-January 2016 and more which will be chartering soon
P.P. P.S Four of our new clubs have been started at work by members from community clubs