Debbie’s Top Tips for Growth

Time to Grow

Hello District 91, Debbie Williams here, Club Growth Director.

The new Toastmaster year has well and truly started in earnest, and as you embark on growing your membership throughout the year, my top tip is to have a plan in place.  Please include membership growth within your club success plans, this will help to alleviate any panic as renewals become due.  We all want fun, organised and well-run meetings, not just for guests but for existing members alike.  We want to give members a reason to stay, and we want all clubs to be successful this Toastmasters year.

We have set ourselves a goal to achieve 5000 unique members this year.  This will ensure that we have enough members within our clubs to fill all club meeting roles, enough members to fill each individual club officer roles and enough members to make our meetings even more exciting through the diversity of viewpoints and speaking styles.  The road to 5000 is well and truly on its way – and the only way is up!!  Below are some upcoming opportunities to win awards for your membership growth efforts.

The Smedley Award

This is a campaign to promote membership growth in Toastmasters.  The Smedley Award will be awarded to any club which adds five new, dual, or reinstated members from August 1 to September 30.  Winners of the Smedley Award will receive a ribbon to be displayed on your club banner as a reward for your achievement.

Tips for the month

  • Ensure your club’s contact details and venue location are up to date, not only on your website but also on Club Central on the TMI website
  • Prepare and organise your club meetings in advance so your club doesn’t look disorganised e.g. make sure all roles filled and have agendas etc.
  • Invite friends, family, and colleagues.  Tell them your “why” you are a Toastmaster and what you have personally gained as a member.
  • Ask guests to join as a member and process their application forms and payments straight away.

What else?

Bring a former Member back to Toastmasters

We all know people who we haven’t seen at our Club meetings for a while. Maybe these are Members who stopped coming to meetings in the last year, or maybe they dropped off during or after the pandemic lockdown. You know, those members who said that they would come back when safe to meet in person, or once they settled into a new job or home. Get back in touch with them. Send them a personal WhatsApp message. Let them know what you are doing as a club, let them know that they are missed and invite them back to the Club. Invite them to experience once again the excitement of being a Toastmaster.   Inspire a member with your continued Toastmaster journey, what have you been doing, and what have they missed out on, have a conversation to find out what it will take to encourage them to come back. 

The Phoenix Award

This award is for existing clubs to focus on growing a club back to charter strength. This award is specifically for clubs with 12 or fewer members.  If you manage to rebuild your membership back to charter strength (20 members) or greater by the end of April 2023, you will receive the Phoenix Award.   Clubs will receive a special ribbon which they can proudly display on their club banner plus a trophy.

NB: This excludes newly chartered clubs.

Individual Sponsor Award

Did you know that you can be rewarded by referring others to Toastmasters?  Toastmasters International will recognise individuals who refer friends etc to toastmasters (doesn’t have to be a referral to your own club).  To receive credit as a sponsor, your name and home club number must appear on the new membership application.  When you sponsor five or more new members within one program year, you will receive the following: a unique blue pin for five members, a unique burgundy pin for 10 members, and for sponsoring 15 new members, you will qualify to receive a special discount code for 25% off your next product purchase from the Toastmasters Online Store.

The goal for the year is to have strong sustainable clubs in our District, both existing and new clubs. I look forward to supporting you all throughout the year ahead.



Debbie Williams,
District 91 Club Growth Director 2022-23