Nine Steps to Building a New Toastmasters Club

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1 Nine Steps to Building a New Toastmasters Club Author Allan Page, DTM Club Extension Chair, District Identifying a Target Audience 2. Building Sustainable Clubs 3. Developing Demonstration Teams 4. Advertising and Promotion 5. Conducting the Meeting 6. Concluding the Meeting 7. Follow-up 8. Q & A about legal issues 9. Club Officer Training and New Member Orientation Appendix - Charter and Membership Fees

2 1. Identifying a Target Audience Inquiries to Toastmasters International A request to start a club submitted on the Toastmasters International Website will generate a communication to the CGD. This will be referred to the Division Director for re-assignment to an Area Director. Corporate Clubs Understand their business and tailor the demonstration to it What do they do? What is important to them? How can Toastmasters benefit their company? Is/are HR and/or Training department(s) involved? The key to success in starting a corporate club is to gain the support of a decision maker within the organization, who can authorize the club formation. Schedule an appointment with the human resources director or other high-level executive. Prepare for the meeting. Be able to discuss the value of Toastmasters training. Ask for the company s support in forming the new club. Determine what portion of the club costs the company will pay, if any. Ensure a club sponsor and mentor have been assigned Help with getting interest for demo meeting Ensure follow-up meetings and charter activities are done University or Campus Clubs Schools may have special needs Do groups from this school compete in speech competitions? Is there support from the school s Administration department? Community Clubs A more varied audience, but some basic questions Who are the key people wanting the demonstration? What is important to them? What do they want/expect from Toastmasters?

3 2. Building Sustainable Clubs First steps in building sustainable clubs ask these questions: Why does the prospect want to build a new Toastmasters Club? What do they know about Toastmasters? Have they visited other clubs to see a meeting in action? Is their interest based on possible personal profit? If yes, decline! Start to form the club only if you are satisfied that the club can be sustainable. Build the core team including potential charter officers and a few more members. Ask these members to visit other clubs to gain Toastmasters Experience. Follow-up constantly Does the group want to proceed to form a club? Schedule a demo meeting several weeks in advance. Advertise. Build the demo team. Conduct demo meeting. Will the group proceed to charter? Assign club sponsors and mentors. Submit the Application to Organize (charter form #1) with charter fee of $125 USD. Begin regular meetings. Conduct Club Officer Training if there is no regular COT in the near future (see section 9). Conduct New Member Orientation (see section 9). Continue to build membership. Submit the remaining charter documents to the Club Growth team. When charter is complete celebrate!

4 3. Developing Demonstration Teams You know your people Choose your teams wisely You want Toastmasters who are committed You want Toastmasters who will be available You want a variety of backgrounds and personalities You want good Toastmasters, but not necessarily great ones Ensure the team members know all the meeting roles and can fill any role as needed Toastmaster General evaluator Speaker Evaluator Timer Ah-counter/grammarian Table Topics Master Depending on the number of people on your team and the time available for the demonstration meeting, positions can be combined or eliminated

5 4. Advertising and Promotion Corporate Demonstration Schedule the meeting two to four weeks in advance to allow plenty of time to publicize and promote. If needed, purchase or download promotional materials via the online store: How to Build a Toastmasters Club All About Toastmasters A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats Post notices on company intranet and bulletin boards Make use of corporate and calendaring systems Invite all employees and extend a special invitation to company officials University and Campus Demonstration Schedule the meeting two to four weeks in advance to allow plenty of time to publicize and promote. If needed, purchase or download promotional materials via the online store: How to Build a Toastmasters Club All About Toastmasters A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats Post notices on school bulletin boards or other locations where students will notice. Community Demonstration Schedule the meeting two to four weeks in advance to allow plenty of time to publicize and promote. If needed, purchase or download promotional materials via the online store: How to Build a Toastmasters Club All About Toastmasters A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats Publicize the demonstration meeting: Send personal invitations to colleagues and friends Submit announcements to local newspapers Post notices on community Web sites and bulletin boards.

6 5. Conducting the Meeting A demonstration meeting is your opportunity to show prospective members how a Toastmasters club meeting is conducted and what the Toastmasters program can do for them. Have a prepared agenda. Keep it short your goal is to gain interest! One or two speakers is enough. With one speaker, select a relatively inexperienced speaker who will be less likely to intimidate the prospective members and show them that Toastmasters offers something for everyone. With two speakers, a combination of Ice Breaker and advanced shows progress. No voting for best speaker(s). Sample Agenda Welcome Introduction/Explanation of Key Meeting Roles Toastmaster Table Topics Master Timer Ah-counter Grammarian Speech Evaluator General evaluator Speaker session Table Topics session Evaluation session Discussion of Charter Process Questions/Comments Provide a registration sheet and ensure that every guest signs in with name and contact information. Select a demonstration team that mirrors the audience s demographics.

7 6. Concluding the Meeting After the demonstration portion of the program: Conduct a brief question and answer session. Ask members to share Toastmasters success stories. If a club is being chartered: Introduce the sponsor(s) and mentor(s) and explain their roles. Explain charter fees, member fees and renewal periods. Announce the date, time and place of the next meeting. 7. Follow-up Often, prospective clubs meet several times before they can complete the charter requirements. Your goal is to keep everyone enthusiastic and charter the new club as quickly as possible. Remember to: Send a thank you to all attendees If a club is being formed: Have sponsor send a meeting reminder notice to all attendees and follow up several days before the next meeting. Have sponsor communicate with officers and meeting participants to confirm duties for the next meeting

8 8. Q & A about Legal Issues Is a demo meeting a one-time event to demonstrate Toastmasters (maybe two-times in special situations)? A demonstration meeting is an unofficial term to display the benefits of Toastmasters to nonmembers. An existing club may hold a demo meeting at an open house, or a club can have one as part of a Kick-off. Information on a demo meeting is included in the How to Build a Toastmaster Meeting beginning on page 12. However demo meetings are not meant to be in place of submitting the application to organize. On the application to organize it reads, "It is understood that such permission when granted will give this group the right to use the name, procedures and materials of Toastmasters International as a provisional club for twelve (12) months from the date received by World Headquarters." Can regular meetings be run without submission of the Application to Organize? No! To hold regular meeting and use the Toastmasters materials and brand, the application to organize must be submitted. Would members doing speeches without the club submission of the Application to Organize get credit for any projects done? No! Educational projects must be completed in the setting of a Toastmaster meeting and receive feedback on the project. If the Application to Organize has not been submitted, it would not qualify as being in the setting of a Toastmaster meeting. In the Competent Communicator manual it states, "Learning takes place in the club environment" There is a provision to allow two speeches per manual to be completed outside the club environment, but until the application to organize is complete, the meetings would not be in a club environment.

9 9. Club Officer Training and New Member Orientation Club Officer Training Officers should be chosen by the members in an election. If there is a district sponsored club officer training session in the near timeframe (before or after charter), have the officers attend, otherwise schedule a special training. Ensure each officer knows their role within the club. Include a presentation on Moments of Truth. Introduce Club Central for adding members, making payments and other functions. Make officers aware of their involvement in Area and District councils. Reference Material: Club Leadership Handbook Club Constitution Toastmasters International Website District 89 Members Corner New Member Orientation New Member Orientation can be conducted either within a regular meeting or as a separate session. Ensure that new members have their manuals. Review a CC project: Learn about objectives of the project. Look at the detail for the project description. The evaluation page is useful information for the speaker, not just the evaluator. Review CL projects. A single project may require completion of multiple roles. Show how a role such as grammarian or speech evaluator may appear in different projects, but with different requirements for each project. Attendees should be familiarized with all meeting roles. Reference Material: Toastmasters International Website District 89 Members Corner

10 Appendix - Charter and Membership Fees The fee required to charter a new club is $125 USD. This fee should be paid with submission of Form #1 Application to Organize a Toastmasters Club. After accepting the application and processing the payment, Toastmasters International will ship the New Club Kit which includes all the materials need to run a successful meeting. The New Club Kit includes the New Member Kit containing the CC and CL manuals. These New Member Kits should only be given to members who have paid the required fees. Individual member fees are paid to Toastmasters International when the club has reached the 20 member required minimum. At the time of charter, member fees are paid for a period of six months. The first 20 members must include at least 17 members who are new, transferred or reinstated. A maximum of 3 in the first 20 may be dual members. The fees payable at time of charter for members are: New members - $45 USD for the first 6 months plus $20 new member fee. Reinstated members - $45 USD for the first 6 months. If the member requires replacement CC and CL manuals an additional fee of $20 USD is required Transfer members. No charge for membership, however, the term is to the end of the currently paid membership period. Confirmation of paid membership should be received from the transferring club. If the member requires replacement CC and CL manuals an additional fee of $20 USD is required Dual members - $45 USD for the first 6 months. If the member requires replacement CC and CL manuals an additional fee of $20 USD is required Renewal Fees: Additional renewal fees are paid in March or September to bring the membership period in line with the standard membership periods (October to March April to September). Wire Transfer Fees: The most convenient method of payment is by international credit card (VISA or MasterCard), however, in some cases, corporate policy permits payment only by wire transfer, often with an invoice. If the club must pay by wire transfer, you should first obtain the wire transfer instructions by ing to Toastmasters at An invoice may be requested at the same time. Since banking fees or other bank information are subject to change this should be done each time. There are additional fees for wire transfers: The sending bank (the club) will charge a fee. The receiving bank (Toastmasters) will charge a fee as noted in the wire transfer instructions. There may be a charge by an intermediate bank. Neither the sending nor receiving banks can advise on this fee since it is outside their jurisdiction, but in recent cases it has been $15 USD.

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