It is important at all times to maintain a strong membership of all clubs. There are two facets to maintaining healthy club membership:
- Serving existing club members
- Introducing new members
Serving Club Members
To maintain their interest and enthusiasm, it is important that club members are looked after, having their needs met, and achieving within Toastmasters to maintain their interest and enthusiasm.
A number of programs can help to ensure that is being done, including the Moments of Truth and member surveys.
Club officers and individual mentors should also notice and follow up with members who have not attended meetings. It is important to pay particular attention to feedback that suggests this was after a particular evaluation or incident, to notify the other club officers and to provide educationals as needed to ensure other members are not similarly affected.
Introducing New Members
There are many ongoing member initiatives that Toastmasters clubs can consider and employ to continually attract new members.
The first cover traditional forms of media –
- Local expos and fairs
- Local newspapers – especially with PR and photos highlighting members achievements, not just free What’s On ads. It is imperative that the VPPR builds a relationship with the manager of the local newspaper to ensure the club gets the best possible coverage.
- Flyers handed out at shopping centres and train stations – especially for Speechcraft
- Promotional flyers at the locations of the Toastmasters meetings
The second are newer media –
- A regularly updated club website
- An active social media presence – tagging members in photos, uploading great member speeches on video (with member permission of course)
- Listing the club meetings on meetup.com or other directory websites
- Building an email subscriber list and newsletter
- Through participation in District social media initiatives
The more members share the positive experiences of Toastmasters and invite people to attend, the more clubs will grow.
Looking After Visitors
When a visitor calls or comes to a meeting – ask them what brought them to Toastmasters.
Stand back and listen. Anything else you say should be selling the benefits of Toastmasters, as relevant to their reasons for attending, and introducing them to members with similar experiences and goals.
Ensure everyone in your club knows to watch for visitors, to welcome visitors, to introduce visitors to the club officers and is willing to sit and explain the meeting to them.
Where possible, if the club uses name place holders at meetings and there has been advance notice of an intention to attend – print the visitor a name tag too.
The more welcome visitors feel and the more fun visitors have – the more likely they are to continue with Toastmasters and join your club.