Whether yours is a corporate or community Toastmasters club, you have probably noticed the membership numbers ebb and flow. Occasionally you have a full club with plenty of willing speakers; at other times, the club membership wanes, and finding enough members to take on all the assigned duties can be a chore.
The District can mobilise a diverse array of Toastmasters to help clubs navigate testier times. These are:
- Area Director
- Club Sponsor
- Club Mentor
- Club Advisor
- Club Coach
What Does an Area Director Do?
Toastmasters International sums up the Area Director role as serving clubs through visit. Of all district leaders, the Area Director is the closest to clubs and members and is a direct link between them and the division and district. The Area Director’s main purpose is to support the clubs within the Area. Liaise with your Area Director for any type of support you may require: the Area Director will listen, guide and follow-up.
What Does a Club Sponsor Do?
Supported by the Area Director, a Club Sponsor guides and assists a newly forming club until it receives its charter. This guidance and assistance includes the following:
- Show the group interested in forming the Toastmasters Club what they need to do.
- Serve as a resource person to the club for any questions they have about meeting procedures or Toastmasters guidelines.
- Assist the group in selecting interim Club Officers. Ensure that these officers understand their responsibilities.
- Work with the club to establish ongoing recruitment efforts.
- Assist the Club Officers in completing the charter paperwork.
- Keep District Officers informed of the club’s progress. Ask for a Club Mentor as soon as the club approaches charter strength.
The sponsor may become one of the 20 charter members of the club, but the sponsor must leave the club officer roles to others after the series of demonstration meetings are completed.
The measure of success for a club sponsor is if the club gets 20 members to sign up and have the club chartered.
What Does a Club Mentor do?
A sponsor will normally choose a mentor to take over once the club charters. 2 or more mentors is a better approach. The reason is that it is important that a mentor attend every meeting to the greatest extent possible. This goal is easier to achieve when there are 2 or more mentors.
- The club mentor should ask the club president to have 5 minutes at the end of the agenda so that the mentor can act as kind of a “General Evaluator”, giving specific advice on what went well, and what could be improved at the next meeting.
- Any specific advice to individual club officers rather than to the club in general should be given privately to those club officers, and not in front of the entire club.
The measure of success of a club mentor is following the club for six months or, even better, an entire year, with the club remaining at the same 20-member strength is started out as, or better.
What Does A Club Advisor Do?
It is an established tradition for District 80 clubs to appoint one or more club advisors. Club advisors are senior Toastmasters which the club may call upon for guidance, especially during the period of transition from one club officer team to another so to assist the junior officers in their journey of discovery of how to manage a club as a team.
What Does A Club Coach Do?
When a club membership strength is 12 or less members, a club coach (better: a pair of Club Coaches so they may take turn to attend every meeting) may be appointed by the District’s Club Growth Director to assist with rebuilding membership strength.
The first function of a club coach is to go in and observe. Just as a doctor cannot diagnose a patient without doing a medical examination and taking a medical history, a club coach cannot go in and prescribe any solutions without first making close observations of how the club is run and what the interactions are between club officers, between club officers and members, and between members and guests.
The measure of success of a club coach is whether the club rebunds from less 12 members to having 20 or more members and becoming a Distinguished Club through a maximum of two program years, including the program year in which the Club Coach is appointed.