Conversion Rates – The untapped metric

What is a conversion rate?

The conversion rate is the number of conversions to new members divided by the total number of visitors.

• A conversion rate is just a number but it can help you to drive meaningful changes in your club meetings, visitor follow-up, set goals for the VP Membership and impact your member retention rates.

Why is a conversion rate important?
It is an efficiency metric! If you can convert 80% of your guests to members then you are doing a much better job than is you convert 30% of your guests to members.

How can you use this?
Start by tracking the number of guests for a one month period of time.
How many became members?
How long did it take for them to become members? (Right away, after their 2nd club visit, after their third visit?)

What if you are not happy with your conversions?
Define the issue first!
a. Not enough members come to the meeting – Attraction issue
Open houses, awareness building, Executive/HR support (Corporate Clubs)

b. Lots of members but they never come back – Engagement issue
Complete a Moments of Truth session to help uncover gaps

Suggestions to improve conversions:
• Do you have a greeter role?
• Are guests invited to introduce themselves or participate in Table Topics
• What happens to your guests during the meeting break?
• Guest Packages?
• Do you invite them back?
• Are they emailed or phoned after the meeting?
• Do you know their goals so you can refer back to them during your follow-up?

Issue defined?
Now you can work with your team to come up with a plan! A good Toastmasters plan is not complete without timelines, targets, accountabilities and happy celebrations once the goal is met!

How to use the Conversion Rate for planning purposes:
• Where are you right now?
• Where do you want to be? Growth goal or flat line retention? (Hint: our goal is growth!)
• Keep in mind we have a 30% churn rate in Toastmasters! A churn rate is the number who do not renew. What is your rate? Are you better or worse than average? Sometimes factors beyond your control can be a challenge especially in a closed corporate club going through layoffs! Remember a churn rate is just a number. What is important is what the number is telling you and what you are prepared to do about it!
The numbers in action!!!!

Example A:
Super Duper Toastmasters Club
Members as of June 30: 50
Churn rate at renewal: 40%
Number of members to be replaced based on churn rate of 40%: 50 members x 40% churn rate = 20
Conversion rate: 70% Wow that is high!

How many guests does Super Duper Toastmasters Club need?
The math: (20x100)/70 = 28 guests are needed

Example B:
High Achiever Toastmasters Club
Members as of June 30: 35
New Member Growth Goal for the year: + 15 new members or 50 members by year end
Churn rate at renewal: 30%
Number of members to be replaced based on churn rate of 30%: 35 members x 30% churn rate = 11
Conversion rate: 60%

How many guests does High Achiever Toastmasters Club need?
They need 11 to replace those who do not renew + 15 new members to meet their club goal. They are not called High Achievers Toastmasters Club for nothing!!!! They need 26 new members!
The math: (26x100)/60 = 44 guests are needed

Now you have calculated how many new members you will need!
• Should you start now or wait until June 1st?
• Should you aim for higher than what the math suggests? (Yes! “Averages” are not the same as an “actual” so we suggest you bump up the number of needed guests!)
• Should you work to reduce the number of members who don’t renew? How can you engage members? (Always a good strategy!)
• How many open houses can you schedule? Are they on your planning calendar?
• Does it make sense to schedule Open Houses with Toastmaster Membership drives? (Yes! There are club incentives tied to Smedley Award, Talk Up Toastmasters and Beat the Clock!)
• How many “bring a friend” nights can you schedule?
• Are you leveraging Meet-up, local media? For corporate clubs are you able to use bulletin boards, company intranet sites, company onboarding or performance management initiatives?

Knowing your conversion rate is a handy planning tool! Have fun planning but have even more fun doing! Good luck!

Leona Wilson
Club Quality Chair
District 86


Guest Kit Checklist

Guest Kit Checklist
District 86 July 2018

Mandatory Items
 Toastmasters Application Form
 About the Club Welcome letter
- history of TM Club / Toastmasters International
- About weekly meetings
- About meeting roles
- About Membership Dues
- How to contact Club Officers
- Reasons to Join Toastmasters
 Pathways -- Overview of 10 Paths
 Features/Benefits/Value Chart
 Brochures: Find your Voice and Confidently Speaking
 Benefits of Toastmasters Membership

Optional Items
 a copy of the Toastmasters monthly magazine
 List of Fees
 Ice Breaker: Speech outline
 Ice Breaker: Evaluation form
 Welcome letter from Club President
 Testimonials from Membership


Club Growth Team | District 86

Open house - A perfect match to the Smedley contest

Dear Members,

The Smedley Award Membership contest is the perfect time for you to have your first Open House of the year.
Find attached a checklist to help you plan the perfect Open House. Once your team is in place have fun with the planning. Treat an Open House as a party.
Who would you invite to this party?
What would be the entertainment?
How would your guests know where to go?
Will you serve food?
Do you have a take away for your guests such as a “Guest kit”? (See checklist attached)
How will you follow-up with the guests after the Open House?
How would you know if your Open House was successful? (See attached conversion rate)

If you have guests interested in becoming members, sign them up for a year not just six months. Think about it. If you sign them up for a year:
You won’t have to worry come April.
You won’t have to chase them for their dues in April
You will know which members are “for sure” in April
You won’t have to worry about losing your DCP points because you don’t have enough members.

For those reasons, you should also consider signing your existing members for a year. I know, not all of them might want to sign for a year or be financially able to, but if you can, you would save yourself so much stress and anxiety come April.

Give it a try. You might be surprised how many members will like the idea of having their membership secured for a year.

To your success,

Jocelyne Vezina, DTM
District 86 Club Growth Director 2018-2019

Contest Winner Announcement


Our Spring Conference on April 27-29 2018 was filled with fantastic speech competitions. On Friday night we had the Evaluation chaired by Clinton Springer and on Sunday morning we had the International Speech Contest chaired by Jose Alejandro Vivar (2017 District International Speech Winner). The competition was fierce and every competitor did an amazing job. The room was filled to capacity for each contest and the energy in the room was infectious.

A big thank you goes to the Contestant Chair Nancy Parkhill, the Judges Chair Dragana Vulpic-Bork, and our Chief Judge Deborah McGrath for coordinating the contestants, judges, and all the volunteers. A big thank you also goes to all the ballot counters, timers, judges, and SAAs who helped.

The winners of the contests were:

1st: Ross Cunningham, Division S | 2nd: Roger Caesar, Division B | 3rd: Greg Lewis, Division L 

Evaluation Contest 2018

International Speech:
1st: Roger Caesar, Division B | 2nd: Jonathan Richardson, Division M | 3rd: Ross Cunningham, Division S

International Speech contest 2018

Distinguished Toastmasters Award Recipients

Distinguished toastmasters

Congratulations on all those who achieved their Distinguished Toastmaster Award from the 2017 Fall Conference to the 2018 Spring Conference. There were 24 people who earned their medal during this time. The medals were presented at the Friday DTM Dinner. Each recipient then celebrated their achievement with the High 5 line.

 Albert Chang  Leona Wilson
 Carl J. Naus  Lorna Miller
 Cher Cunningham  Mary Lou Di Paolo
 Daniel Canelea  Michael Proudlock
 David Jeremiah Speicher  Michael Whitehead
 Dennis J. Bartel  Mikael Gatje
 Diana L. Parker  Patricia Burness
 Diane P. Gordon  Richard Kitney
 George How Pak Hing  Satinder Chane
 Gloria Carol Schimmel  Sue Faludi
 Jean E. McAllister  Suzette L. Leeming
 Karim Premji  Tracy Chan

D86 2018 Members Making A Difference Award

This award is awarded to a District 86 Toastmaster member who volunteer their Toastmasters communication and leadership skills to better the lives of those in their community in a significant and notable way. Here are this year's recipients:

ShishirLakhaniDTMShishir Lakhani DTM

Shishir Lakhani, a Distinguished Toastmaster and a serious heart patient, volunteers as a member of the Board of Directors at the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Lakhani uses his Toastmaster skills to raise awareness, improve education and wellness as well as fund-raise for a cause that is dear to his heart. He received the Heart and Soul Award, in 2009 and the Heart of Gold Award in 2014. He is also a recipient of government awards for this contributions in his community, including the Ontario Volunteer Services Award in 2013 and the Canada Governor General Sovereign Award in 2018. He is a long standing member of Destiny Toastmasters Club, Markham. 

LenaShawDTMLena Shaw DTM

Lena Shaw, a Distinguished Toastmaster, member of Brampton Toastmasters and Raising Champions Advanced Toastmasters in Brampton, is recognized for her contributions in helping youths develop their communication and leadership skills over the past 6 years in the Youth Leadership Program. Shaw spent 13 years in the non profit organization Knights Table helping the less fortunate within the Brampton Community. Shaw uses her Toastmasters skills to meet, great and recruit volunteers, she manages over 200 volunteers a month.  Shaw helps clients with their resumes, cover letters and help them to find a home. She uses her event planning skills to outreach and help raise awareness and funds to further support the homeless in Peel Region.

HuldaMullingsDTMHulda Mullings DTM

Hulda Mullings, a Distinguished Toastmasters, a Business Executive and a  Registered Chaplain of Canada, has been using her Toastmasters skills helping Inmates and Residents in the Ontario Correctional Institute improve their communication skills. In 2017, Mullings was presented the Community Award for volunteering 17 years at the OCI Toastmasters (Ontario Correctional Institute) in Brampton. Her volunteer work also includes providing Free Income Tax services in Mississauga and Brampton for 7 years under the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program and the delivery of Health related presentations with the Heart and Stroke Foundation for 6 years. She is a member of Hershaw Toastmasters and Raising Champions Advanced Toastmasters in Brampton, Ontario.

CandiceKirkbrideCandice Kirkbride

Candice Kirkbride a member of Greater Sudbury Speakers Toastmasters Club since 2006 was a victim of an impaired driving accident in March 2001 that left her with a catastrophic brain injury. She currently shares her experience to teenagers across North Ontario and the importance of forgiveness. Kirkbride actively delivers presentations and delivered speeches on the risk of drunk driving and surviving from brain injury and stroke at many organizations across Ontario including the Ontario Provincial Police, The Red Ribbon Campaign, The PARTY program (Prevent Alcohol Risk Related Trauma in Youth and the Timmins Brain Injury and Stroke Clinic survivors. She is the recipient of the Rolly Rousseau Award at ACTION Sudbury and authored a book entitled "Changed by the Rain, Life after a Brain Injury".


Wali Shah wins 2018 Toastmasters District 86 Communication and Leadership Award

Wali Shah, renowned spoken word poet and public speaker from Mississauga, Ontario will be honoured by District 86 Toastmasters for his achievements in the field of communication and leadership. The event will be held at the Communication & Leadership (C&L) Luncheon on Saturday April 28, during the 2018 District 86 Spring Conference at the Hilton Meadowvale Mississauga, ON, Canada

wali shahThe Communication and Leadership Award is awarded by the District to a non-Toastmaster in the community who is an outstanding communicator or leader - and who best exemplifies Toastmasters values.

Toastmasters District 86 recognizes Shah’s numerous contributions in improving the lives of people in poetry and social change in Ontario and across Canada. He has delivered many poetry workshops to schools across North America and has performed at poetry events for many corporations including Microsoft Canada and the Canadian Football League.

Wali Shah is a South Asian spoken word poet and public speaker and an alumni of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20. His experiences range from being a TEDx speaker to performing poetry for 15,000 Microsoft Partners at the Air Canada Centre. Wali focuses on youth engagement and has conducted poetry workshops and keynote assemblies at hundreds of schools across Canada. His work has been featured in media outlets such The Toronto Star and MTV.

Toastmasters District 86 Director Cathy Herschell congratulated Shah for winning the award. “His communication and leadership skills as a poet and an advocate for social change resonates with Toastmasters International’s values: integrity, respect, service and excellence”, she mentioned.

He is currently studying at the University of Toronto Mississauga and advocates for social change through his work.

Please visit to know more about Wali and his amazing profile.

Rose City Toastmasters 20th Anniversary


On Thursday February 8, Rose City Toastmasters celebrated their 20th Anniversary. Established in 1997, Rose City Toastmasters has proudly served the city of Welland and South Niagara. Current and past members celebrated with some of the founding members Dianne Yungblut, David Smith and Charmaine Grace. President Greg Lewis DTM led the meeting with aplomb culminating in a General Evaluation by Area Director, Eve MacDonald. Rose City is looking forward to another 20 years of promoting growth in communication and leadership in Niagara.

Charlie Kennedy ACG, ALB
Rose City Toastmasters

Toastmasters International Values:  Respect • Integrity • Service • Excellence
Our Principles:  Lead By Example • Work / Play as a Team 

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