Global Best Practices
The best meetings are the ones that the guests are welcomed and made to feel at home. A meeting that is well organized and starts and ends on time. Most important is that everyone will leave feeling that they had an exhilarating experience. And most important that the guests say they will be back.
Bums on Seats
- Run a Speakers Briefing before the meeting starts. In our club the sergeant calls the briefing. Speakers, evaluators, the Toastmaster and the Sergeant (duh) all attend.
- The Toastmaster writes down the names of the speeches
- The evaluators get the manuals from the speakers
- The evaluators ask the speakers if there is anything in particular the speaker would like comments on
- The Speakers brief the Sergeant on where they'd like the lectern or any other support they need (a table for props, a flipchart, whatever)
The "Ideal" Club questionnaire
We all have ideas on what we could consider to be the ideal club.
Most members might agree that enjoyable meetings, unlimited learning opportunities and a sense of belonging are what they look for in that "perfect" club. Well, they're right.
Here are fifty questions that can help determine if your club is an Ideal club. Take a moment to answer these based on your observations. Your answers, and the change that your club may make thereafter, will put you well on the way toward becoming an ideal club!
Give yourself one point for every Yes answer. (Adapted from The Toastmaster magazine. Click here to download the document in Word format or visit District 40's website at http://www.d40toastmasters.org/
Post your club's results by clicking on the "discussion" tab at the top of this page.
- Do club meetings start and end on time?
- Does the meeting follow a pre-printed agenda?
- Does every member wear a name badge and membership pin?
- Are all members greeted at the door and made to feel welcome?
- Are all guests greeted at the door and introduced to others?
- Do more experience members sit with guests to explain the parts of the program?
- Does your club have a guest packet that includes a letter of welcome, an explanation of Toastmaster Terms, a list of dues and fees prorated by month, and an application to join?
- Is your club meeting place easy to find, with signs posted?
- Is the business meeting conducted quickly and efficiently?
- Are meetings interesting and varied?
- Are meetings keyed to themes?
- Are speakers, evaluators and other meeting participants reminded of their responsibilities well in advance of the meeting?
- Are speeches well-prepared and based on manual projects?
- Are evaluations helpful and constructive?
- Is everyone given an opportunity to participate in the program?
- Are the best speakers, evaluators and table topic respondents recognized and given a token award?
- Are members recognized for achievements outside of the club program?
- Is there a friendly atmosphere during the meeting?
- Is the meeting environment comfortable, pleasant and enjoyable?
- Is your club free of members who disrupt meetings and have a negative influence on meetings and members?
- Are disruptions to presentations, such as cell phones, chatter, buzzers and bells, and unexpected questions eliminated or kept to a minimum?
- Does your club set a membership goal for the year?
- Does your club regularly have membership drives?
- Does your club actively publicize your meetings and member accomplishments?
- Are guests introduced during the club meeting?
- After the meeting, are guests invited to join the club?
- Are new members voted into membership?
- Are new members oriented to the Toastmasters program immediately after joining?
- Are club policies and procedures explained to new members?
- Are new members reported immediately to World Headquarters so that they may receive their membership materials?
- Are new members assigned a mentor?
- Are new members scheduled to speak soon after joining?
- Are new members formally inducted and given a membership certificate, pin and name badge?
- Does a member contact those who miss meetings and encourage them to attend regularly?
- Does your club provide opportunities for speaking outside the club?
- Does your club regularly conduct programs from The Better Speaker Series, The Successful Club Series and the Leadership Excellence Series?
- Does your club conduct SpeechCraft or Youth Leadership programs?
- Are members encouraged to visit other Toastmasters clubs?
- Does your club participate in area, division and district speech contests?
- Does your club encourage members to attend area, division district, regional and International conferences and functions?
- Do officers report on the club's progress in the Distinguished Club Program?
- Do members know the value of and requirements for the various educational awards?
- Does your club display a Member Program Progress Chart (Catalog No.227) for tracking members' manual completions and educational achievements?
- Are members encouraged to select advanced manuals to work on when they have only one or two more speeches to complete their current level?
Continuity and leadership
- Do you have a club newsletter or Web site?
- Do you have a formal and impressive installation for club officers?
- Does the club treasurer begin collecting October and April dues early and give members plenty of reminders about the due dates?
- Do your officers thoroughly understand their responsibilities and carry them out?
- Do your club officers regularly attend the Club Officer Training sessions run by the district?
- Are members encouraged to assume leadership roles in the club?
(This questionnaire adapted from an article in the January, 2004 Toastmaster Magazine). You can find it on the District 40 Web site at http://www.d40toastmasters.org/.
Please add your own questions by clicking “edit”, editing the page, and pressing “Save”.