How do you take a club from 4 members to 14 and President’s Distinguished in one year?
It takes will, determination, diversity, enthusiasm and a LOT of team work. The Porcupine Toastmaster’s club did just that in 2017/2018.
The 2016/2017 President took on the role because there was no one else, he had no interest in the role but worked with the area director and found 2 new members who had been with clubs in the past and got them back into Toastmasters. In the summer of 2017 we had 4 members, but we met all summer anyway.
With 4 members we set out to recruit. Having Open houses, attending the “Welcome to Timmins” night a trade show type event for all the service clubs in the Timmins area. We showed up ready to go at every meeting whether there were 2 or all 4 of us in attendance (driving through potholes or winter storms to get there at times). We used the meetings to practice and plan for upcoming events to increase club membership. Determined to get us back on the area and division map one of our members even braved the 4 to 5 hour drive to compete in speech competitions.
In our original 4 members we were already diverse in career, management experience, country or origin, and religious beliefs. We continued that diversity while recruiting new members. We made sure that everyone who attended felt welcome and since we were such a small group we used each of their strengths right away. We had one member take over the electronics so that we could have members attend the meeting via skype. At times we had up to 4 members attending via skype. Now we had diversity in home town as well.
Even with only 4 people at meetings we found a way to keep it interesting. Some nights were all business and planning other nights were all table topics. We did our best to fill the roles but often there were not enough of us to do it, so we doubled up. The new member who helped with technology to bring people into meetings also took on the role of Facebook guru. Even our Area Director brought the enthusiasm. Joining our club for 6 months attended meetings in person and via skype (she lives 4 hours away).
No matter what we did everyone took part. Each task was made easier by splitting the work. Each new member was brought into the mix right away, offering to help in whatever way possible. We ended the year with our election for the 2018/2019 season, one member moved to the Area Director’s role and we had multiple people signing up for each positon on the executive. We even had to have a vote for one position.