As the saying goes, ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!’ . To make their club a successful one through the 12 months of their term, Club Officers are asked to work together as a team. As such, they need to focus their energy early on in the term on a couple of mission critical activities:
- Defining a vision, mission and value statement
- Creating a Club Success Plan, assigning ownership and due dates for completion
- Planning for engaging and diverse meetings
Define a vision, a mission and a values statement
First let’s defines mission statement, vision statement and how they are linked. A Mission Statement defines the organisation’s business, its objectives and its approach to reach those objectives. A Vision Statement describes the desired future position of the organisation. Elements of Mission and Vision Statements are often combined to provide a statement of the organisation’s purposes, goals and values.
Club Mission: it stands exactly as defined by Toastmasters International
We provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.
Club Values: they will be aligned with Toastmasters International Core Values: first Integrity, then Respect, Service and Excellence.
Club’s envisioned future: it’s all yours to define. Toastmasters fosters leadership through communication. Possibilities are endless. Be mindful that Toastmasters International’s envisioned future is “To be the first-choice provider of dynamic, high-value, experiential communication and leadership skills development.”
- For community clubs: will the club focus on servicing its members? Will it play a role in adding vibrancy to the neighborhood or the community of interest it serves?
- For corporate club: will the club demonstrate such value to the corporation that the people in charge of hiring will take note and possibly see club membership or club leadership under a favorable light?
Club’s purposes, goals and values: once more, it is all yours to define, within the framework of the club mission, club’s envisioned future and Toastmasters International’s Core Values.
Create a Club Success Plan
The Club Success Plan is a planning document for defining the goals of a club. Club officers should create a Club Success Plan for their club in order to help them focus their efforts and the efforts of the club as a whole during their term in office.
After the Club Success Plan is completed, including assigned due date and owner for each success plan item, the club’s executive committee is encouraged to share the plan with all of the club’s members and keep a copy of the plan in the club’s records.
Distinguished Club Program and Club Success Plan
Details about the Club Success Plan can be found in the Distinguished Club Program and Club Success Plan booklet which is available from the Toastmasters Store as a free PDF download. A summary of the Club Success Plan is also available from the Club Leadership Handbook.
How to Be a Distinguished Club
An effective tool to use to explain and promote the Distinguished Club Program to the members of your club is the The Successful Club Series module How to Be a Distinguished Club. The materials for this 10-15 minute presentation available from the Toastmasters Store (Item 299) and as a free digital download include a script, a PowerPoint presentation and a copy of Distinguished Club Program and Club Success Plan booklet.
Plan for Engaging and Diverse Meetings
Developing and maintaining a supportive atmosphere for Toastmasters members to improve their personal skills is the most important function of any Toastmasters club. This is key to delivering on Toastmasters International’s brand promise of “empowering individuals through personal and professional development.”
- To help your club fulfill this role, plan ahead. If your club meets once, twice or thrice a month, this means up to 12, 24 or 36 opportunities to deliver on the club mission
- Confirm the meeting dates and location for the next 12 months, and update your meeting schedule page on your club website and your club’s other social accounts. Draft a theme suggestion for each scheduled date to add fun to each meeting
- Invite a couple of Toastmasters from other clubs who will serve a General Evaluator, Language Evaluator, Table Topics Master or Project Evaluator, bringing fresh perspectives into fulfilling such roles
- To discover new ideas, visit other Toastmasters clubs or organize interclub meetings where speaking slots and functionary roles are split between the two groups. While Vice Presidents of Education typically schedule meetings, any member can chair this special event.
- Organise a 15- or 30-minute workshop, so to better equip club members and other Toastmasters with fitting skills such as how to evaluate to motivate, develop their listening skills, their impromptu speaking skills, etc.
- Organise contests: clubs can coordinate contests between their members… and even include other clubs! If you don’t compete, participating as an audience member or part of the organizing committee is still a valuable learning experience. Toastmasters provides planning kits for five (5) different contests:
- To help clubs fulfill this role, there are several special programs that clubs may use to focus on one or more specific topics. The Successful Club Series is one such program. Conducting one of these educational programs serves as a terrific training session for your club’s members and can add some variety to your meetings, thereby breaking out of a “routine” and increasing the interest level of your members.
Successful Club Series
The Successful Club Series is a set of 10-15 minute educational speeches focused on improving the quality of club meetings, with tips on attracting and maintaining members. Available as free downloads.
Select the items below to learn more about how that program may help your club and its members grow.
Note that you will need to login to the Toastmaster site in order to download soft copies or purchase hard copies of the series.
|Creating The Best Club Climate||Techniques for creating and maintaining a healthy club environment.|
|Finding New Members For Your Club||Ways to help you seek out those vital new members!|
|Closing the Sale||Exercise your powers of persuasion during those moments when a guest is deciding to join.|
|Mentoring||A mentor program offers many benefits for your club and its members. This program defines mentoring, explains benefits and discusses responsibilities of mentors.|
|Moments Of Truth||How to recognize and deal with situations critical to club success. This self-evaluation tool essential to every club’s success is described in detail here.|
|Keeping The Commitment||Discusses the 10 standards that comprise “A Toastmasters Promise.” Includes 25 promise cards.|
|Evaluate to Motivate||Give an evaluation that benefits the speaker and the audience!|
|Setting the Stage for Success: Meeting Roles and Responsibilities||Does your club involve everyone at every meeting?|
|Going Beyond Our Club||Find out about learning and leadership opportunities available to members in addition to regular club meetings and activities.|
|Distinguished Club Program and Club Success Plan||A manual which explains the distinguished club program, provides guidelines for club success, and the “how-to” in becoming a distinguished club.|