The online events and club meeting experiences are proving to be a winner. In the last few weeks, all seven of our Division Contests events were held. All had over 100 attendees at some point during the event, with one reaching the 200-attendee mark. Absolutely fantastic showcases for what Toastmasters offers.
The small thumbnails on a screen are now our windows to the world. Visiting clubs has never been easier. We are a global organisation and from the comfort of our own homes, we are travelling the world. Our members have shared their experiences of joining meetings around the world, from Vancouver to Lisbon, Lille to Qatar. Each member is hearing new stories, picking up tips on how other clubs run meetings and strengthening the Toastmasters community bond. And in turn, we have been joined at our events by guests from at least four other continents!
Back in September when I mooted the “30 is the new 20” about club membership, some clubs embraced the challenge. One of our newly chartered clubs, Didcot Speakers, which chartered during this period, has reached that target. At the time of writing, Burnham Speakers, with 23 members has just voted to charter, at this rate they will have 30 members by the end of this Toastmasters year.
Toastmasters International, I have heard it said, is the best kept secret for learning. Let’s share this secret and shout it from the roof tops. Now is the time to step up and seize the opportunity to embrace online webinars, demonstration meetings and open house meetings. As a District we have held a pilot demonstration meeting to test the format – it works! More of these events will be set up through May and June. If you are struggling for guests, hold an online open house meeting and invite all those people you know would benefit from the Toastmasters learning experience. It’s great when I hear the success stories from clubs, particularly during this difficult time, when they have guests becoming members.
To support membership growth, the +3 Challenge running from 1 April to 31 May, is simple. Sign up three new members and ensure they are registered, and the District will gift you £30. As we head into May and June the Toastmasters International membership campaign, Beat the Clock commences. Make sure you update your websites, social media and Easyspeak (if your club uses it), to let everyone know you’re meeting online.
Buddy up members to regularly contact each other and help each other out. If you haven’t heard from one of your members for a while during this period, pick up the phone, check in with them. A note of thanks for all those that joined and engaged so openly in the Survival to Online Interviews webinar, good luck with your interviews.
We are a community and we are supporting each other right now.