People are attracted to Toastmasters because they see the opportunities to learn and grow in a friendly environment. At least, this was exactly why I was drawn to Toastmasters about two decades ago! Over the years, I have observed that, in order to retain, motivate, and excite our members, there are more that needs to be done by all members. We are engaged when we achieve our communication and leadership goals in a fun-loving and mutually supportive environment. While the club’s executives are tasked to foster an engaging club environment, it’s also our responsibility to help sustain a club culture that is fun and achievement oriented.
The good news is that Toastmasters does offer a time-proven structure that works. In other words, when we stick to the 'game plan', we will be on track to promote achievements (via prepared assignments and evaluations, etc.) and fun (table topics, quizes, humor, etc.) in our meetings. As such, we need full cooperation of our members, whose actions could be summarized as A.S.A.P. below:
A-ttend and fully present in meetings
S-ign up meeting roles in advance
A-ssist one another as necessary
P-repare speaking assignments
For most clubs, A.S.A.P. is exactly what they would need to succeed. On the other hand, for the more established clubs, there are actions beyond the basics that could be considered to further enhance the members’ experience given 'achievement' and “fun” have no real end point. There are always more challenging projects to be achieved as Toastmasters, and more “fun” in the meetings is always welcome!
In closing, I would like to encourage you, my fellow Toastmasters, to do the A.S.A.P. asap! At the same time, think of one additional specific action that you could take to help you achieve more and have more fun in your Toastmasters experience. After all, Toastmasters is not a spectator’s sports!
President, Port Credit Toastmasters Club (1474)