October 2022: Club Growth Wisdom

Are your club meetings memorable? Are your meetings fun?  Have you experimented with roles not used often such as the Hark Master?  Keeping your meetings fun and fresh is key for member retention and for guests alike.  If existing members are having fun, being recognized in meetings and celebrating each other’s achievements, then this generates an atmosphere of inspiration.

The Road to 5k

Firstly, a huge welcome to all new members of District 91.

As a reminder, 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 club officer role and enough members to make our meetings even more exciting through the diversity of viewpoints and speaking styles.  Did you know that if each member introduced a friend/colleague/associate to toastmasters, then we will hit this target straight away.  You can even be rewarded for your efforts!  Check out the incentives page here: https://d91toastmasters.org.uk/members/resources/incentives/

Winners of The Smedley Award will be announced in the next newsletter.


Consider becoming a mentor.  As a mentor, you have the opportunity to share your wisdom, knowledge, and experience with a new Toastmaster who wants to learn, grow, and achieve. Mentors provide members with help and practical advice, such as tips on preparing speeches and on club roles and responsibilities.  This can be a great experience for both mentor and mentee alike to engage with each other and watch the growth and development unfold.  There is also a mentor programme in Pathways.


Fellowship is another important factor in the Toastmasters journey.  Please engage with each other, and understand each other’s goals and aspirations, if you haven’t seen a member for a while then get in touch on a personal level to see if they are ok.  That personal touch really makes a difference and reaffirms the feelings of fellowship within Toastmasters.

Debbie’s Top Tips

  • Have a welcome pack for both guests and new members. Map out an onboarding process for new members including providing mentors.
  • Go and visit other clubs to generate ideas to bring back to your own clubs.
  • Conduct exit interviews for those non-renewing members, especially as many do come back after a short break.

Myth vs Truth

The biggest myth recently unearthed is that guests have to attend meetings at least 3 times before joining.  This is untrue and creates an environment of missed opportunities.  Invite guests to join at the first meeting.  Make it easy for them by having membership forms available at every meeting (this should be available regardless of whether or not your VPM is available), and make it easy for them to pay by having a contactless machine or a payment link where possible.  Encourage testimonials at meetings.  As a guest, someone gave a testimonial when I visited and I realised that I was in the right place.  I was invited to join and made to feel welcome and part of the community straight away.  The rest, they say, ….. is history!

Special Feature: Club Growth Webinar

The 9th October sees the first in a monthly series of webinars on Club Growth, and you are all invited to attend!  Equally, if you have a level 4 or level 5 path to complete and you would like to host a session for this series then please get in touch, I would love to accommodate as many Toastmasters as possible to give tips on best practices and what has worked for them.  Please register here to attend: https://tinyurl.com/467cjc8h

I would like to introduce you to our first host, Lucinda Brooks.

When a guest steps through the door of your meeting room, they have taken a huge decision. They need to feel immediately that their decision was the right one. They need to feel at home and welcome straight away.

At the first in a new series of D91 webinars on Club Growth, we will be discussing ways in which those hard-won guests can become members in a heartbeat, and once they are on board, we will be sharing tips on quickly getting them on their road to leadership and speaking success and be fully engaged with the club.

Four panellists will be joining me on Sunday 9th October, and we will be sharing some great ideas for getting the guests to take that crucial first step, converting them to new members, and keeping them at the club for years rather than just months.

I have been a member of Toastmasters for just over three years, and I just wish I had joined much sooner. I am semi-retired – having, among other things, owned and managed a company providing online training to translators – but I am still active as a freelance translator from German into English. In my time at Toastmasters, I have completed one level 5 and am close to completing a second. I am VP Membership at Worthing Speakers, my first club, and President of Sussex Online Speakers, the new kid on the block in Division H.

Sussex Online Speakers is immensely proud to have supported the District in achieving 3rd in the Club Building Video Contest in 2021-2022, competing against Districts across the globe to share successful strategies for building new clubs. Check out the video here:

Courtesy of Amy Jones