It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in Maidenhead and where would a bunch of dedicated Toastmasters be, other than at a New Clubs Workshop?!
Who was at the New Clubs Workshop?
Our workshop was facilitated by Lt. Governor Marketing Vanessa King and we had a wide range of experiences to share. We had long-standing members, people who’d set up more than one club, people who’d been members for only 18 months, club officers and interested members. The one thing we all had in common was the desire to set up a new club and spread the Toastmasters love around!
What was discussed?
We identified the questions and challenges that the attendees had and then we discussed the type of club we could set up – anything goes! (within certain guidelines). We talked about finance, always an important consideration, and the availability of demo meeting teams. Did you know there are a bunch of people willing to come in and run a demonstration meeting for you? All you need to do is ask.
We spent a good deal of time going through how to fill in the necessary forms, which was really valuable because although there’s a lot to do it is a reasonably simple process.
After a short break we went into more detail about club governance. When you sign those charter forms you are, in effect, setting up a company with shareholders and there are certain obligations and responsibilities that must be upheld. Good governance leads to quality clubs, and that’s what the aim is after all.
We also discussed the delicate issue of splitting clubs. Attendees had quite a bit of experience in this and it was incredibly valuable to share our ideas. There are Toastmasters guidelines about how many members a club should have and guidelines for splitting a club in a way that is beneficial to all members. The most important thing, of course, is that all members agree to it. Splitting an existing club is the easiest way to form a new club – no new member fees!
What’s happening as a result of the New Clubs Workshop?
The results of this workshop are already starting to show. Out of ten attendees, four are ready to start setting up a new club where they live or in their workplace. One of these is an advanced club near the borders of Areas 14, 21 and 53 but open to everyone. Another attendee is encouraged to help reinvigorate an existing pre-charter club that has had some trouble getting off the ground.
There are plans to hold another workshop in the London area, watch this space!
If you would like more information on new club please contact me (Vanessa) Click here to email or Andy O’Sullivan Click here to email
You can find out more information on starting new clubs on the Toastmasters International website