5 Ideas For A Great Open House

When is your open house? Start planning early for the best results. Here are some ideas to help you have the best one yet:


1- Organize a committee:

Find out who in your club needs a CL project
Organize or Help organize club special event
PR campaign - chair or help with
Membership contest
Befriend a guest at a meeting

2- Get all members involved

Share the plan
Review the moments of truth standards - these are found in your Club Leadership Handbook
All members greet guests
Arrange a fun themed meeting – all meeting roles filled in advance
Invite a guest speaker 5-7 minute manual speech with evaluator

3- Promote the event

Flyers - distribute to members to post in the community or at their workplace
Social media, Eventbrite, MeetUp.com
Local papers- press release, article
Community calendar, SNAP

4- Arrange for greeters

Have lots of guest kits made in advance
Ask guests how they found out about the meeting
Introduce both guests and members (30 seconds why they joined)

5- At the meeting

Have an easy fun table topics session, invite guests to try (ask them first)
Have an experienced member deliver the open house Powerpoint (download below)
Hold a special session for guests (VPM) during the break – explain the benefits of joining your club and answer questions

Measure your results

Process memberships promptly
Follow-up with guests
Invite guests to future meetings by phone or email

Open House Checklist

Timeline

Task

 

6-8 weeks

Assign a committee & set budget

Club Executive

     

6-8 weeks

Set date with VP Education, VP Membership & VP PR

Committee

Communicate date to Club Members

Plan Public Relations campaign - The key to your success!!!!

Invite local politician if appropriate

Arrange for Guest Speaker - creates buzz and excitement!

Approach experienced members for key roles - put on a good show.

Invite Area, Division & District dignitaries & put on agenda

Invite Past Members to attend - they might re-join

Invite Founding Members, Club, Sponsors/Mentors/Coaches

Ask Club Members to "Bring A Friend"

Pick an appropriate theme for the meeting (new beginnings, achievement etc.)

Pick a Word of the Day that matches the occasion

Prepare a suitable Table Topics session

Select speakers who will represent the club effectively

Prepare Open House packages/New member kits

Consider an incentive to join the day of Open House (with club approval)

     

2 weeks before

Name tags purchased/prepared

Committee

Finalize Agenda

Decorations? Make it fun & festive!

Cake? - (Yellow & Blue theme)

Food? (Consider dietary restrictions when planning)

Supplies for food (plates, forks, napkins, cups)

Finalize incentive if using (gift card, draw, slight discount to fees, etc.)

Print ample supply of "Agenda's"

     

1 hour before

Set up room theatre style & test AV equipment

SAA

Committee & Club Executive arrive early & set the welcoming tone

Guest Greeters to arrive early & set up welcome area

Guest Book, Open House Packets available

     

During Meeting

Welcome guests

Allow guests to participate in Table Topics

Explain all parts of the meeting and the purpose of it

Thank the guests and dignitaries

Thank the organizing committee

Invite everyone to sign up or come back (Call to action is needed)

     

 

Resources from Toastmasters:

Download Open House PowerPoint from TI
Consider Demo Meeting format
Digital brochures to put in Open House Packet
Digital Posters to promote event

Jocelyne Vezina, DTM
District 86 Club Growth Director 2018-2019
District 86 Toastmaster of the Year 2016-2017

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

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

 

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

Toastmasters Member Supports Nipissing Voters

Arlene Phillips, North Bay OPS Toastmasters incoming Secretary, used her Toastmasters leadership skills to organize a very impactful all candidates debate in North Bay in the week prior to the provincial election.
The event was sponsored by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union’s (OPSEU’s) Vote Better Campaign and the target audience was OPSEU members and their families. Ken Steinbrunner, OPSEU local 642 President, provided opening remarks.
As the Vote Better Campaign Mobilizer for North Bay, Arlene’s challenge was to host a public debate with the riding’s provincial candidates that included an opportunity for each candidate to speak, respond individually to audience questions asked by moderators, and debate issues with one another. Moderators were Natalie Rondeau, Vote Better Mobilizer, Sudbury and Jamie Kensley, We Own it Mobilizer. Melanie Alkins, North Bay OPS Toastmasters incoming Sergeant-at-Arms, played an important role as timer and also photographed the event. Five of the six local candidates accepted the invitation.

Nippising Voters
Nipissing candidates Vic Fedeli -Conservative Stephen Glass - Liberal, Trevor Holliday - Northern Ontario Party, Kris Rivard – Green Party, Henri Giroux – NDP, absent Bond Keevil – Libertarian

Candidate questions focused on public services and were specific to North Bay and Northern Ontario concerns. This was a one-of-a-kind event for the city where local voters could hear directly from most candidates in the Nipissing riding.
The event was a runaway success with about seventy people in attendance, almost double the number expected!
With four media outlets participating, the debate had print, TV and radio coverage. To quote the North Bay Nugget, Arlene explained “What we’re trying to do is get a higher percentage of our members out and voting. From my point of view, I get to vote for my employer. This is such a unique opportunity. When I go to the polls, I want to make an educated vote. And that’s important for the people of Ontario as well as the people across OPSEU.”
Despite an exchange described as “heated” between several candidates, Arlene is to be commended for her role in running a very informative, orderly and respectful event!

Submitted by Sandy Bell-Murray
Photo credits, Mel Alkins

Mots du Midi 5e anniversaire/5th Anniversary Celebration

Le club Mots du Midi invite les membres, amies et amis de Toastmasters à une réunion portes ouvertes afin de célébrer dans la convivialité son 5e anniversaire le jeudi, 21 juin 2018 de 12 h à 13 h au bureau du Conseil de la Coopération de l’Ontario, 10 rue Elm, salle 604.

En plus d’un discours d’un invité d’honneur surprise, des improvisations amusantes dans une ambiance amicale et accueillante, les invitées, invités voteront pour le meilleur gâteau froid sans cuisson. C’est l’occasion idéale des retrouvailles et de faire connaissance des gens dynamiques.

5th anniversary celebration will be held by Mots du Midi on June 21 2018 in the office of Conseil de la coopération de l’Ontario, 10 Elm St., room 604. Toastmaster members and friends are invited at this special event.

What’s Next?

Post Election News by Steve Elliot Area 83 Director 

The club election is over! I know what most of you are saying to yourselves…” Whew my work here is done.” Not quite done yet. There is more important work that should be happening post election that will set the new incoming executive up for success. In this blog I will share what next steps clubs should be taking post election.
First up, I always find it a nice touch if the current President sends a mass email to the club members and notifies of them of the new officers and offers to support them in the transition period. This will also put members who didn’t make the election an understanding of the new executive of the club.
Next, I would suggest that someone from the current executive team notifies Toastmasters International of the incoming officers. Head to Toastmasters.org and login to Club Central. Once there scroll to Club Administration you will select Club Officer Assignment. Enter in all the new officers for your club. After that you will be asked to provide the incoming President address. Why? Toastmasters will mail out the Distinguished Club Program manuals for the new executive to create their Distinguished Club Plan. By doing this work you are earning your club a point on the next year Distinguished Club Plan.
If your club uses Easy Speak, don’t forget to update the officer list for the coming year. Otherwise the officers won’t have the current access to Easy Speak. If your club uses the VP membership as the contact info of the club make sure that is changed once the new group takes over.
The incoming President should be reaching out to his/her incoming fellow executives and making them aware of the wonderful Officer Training. Encourage as many to attend the Toastmaster Learning Institute as possible. This is organized by the district and is the most comprehensive training. If your club budget or company budget (if you are a corporate club) can afford it all officers attending the training should be compensated for their ticket. The officers are giving up their time to attend the training and it will benefit the club greatly. Obviously, this can only occur if the club can afford to do so. By the way, every Division should have make up training if any officers can’t make the TLI on May 26th. Reach out to your Area Director for more details.
We now need some team work! The reason the elections are held in May and the new officers don’t take their positions till July is so that job shadowing can happen! It’s a great idea for the next few weeks if the incoming and current executive work together. For example, the current SAA can have the incoming SAA help with room set up, show the person where supplies are stored, etc. The current and incoming and current Club President should also schedule a joint executive meeting. This is a great way for the current group to share status updates and any other relevant information.
One of the final duties of the current President is to arrange the installation of the incoming team and discharge of the current team. This will usually happen at the last club meeting in June. Make sure you have ordered new club officer pins for the new team (if club finances allow), or make sure the current officers provide their pins back before the installation so they can be handed to the new executives. There are lots of sample scripts on the internet that you can use for the ceremony. This is also a great time to recognize the hard work of the current executives and thank them for their service to the club.
There are two administration tasks that require a good deal of diligence and time. First up the club bank account will need to be updated. The current President will need to arrange for the out-going President, Vice President of Education and Treasurer signing authority removed and then the Incoming President, Vice President of Education and Treasurer added. Having been involved in this process a few times I can say it can be time consuming and difficult to arrange. My suggestion would be to reach out to the bank and ask what will be required. Some questions to ask…who needs to be present when adding or removing signatures from the account? Can it be done at the same time or over time if not everyone can attend? What if any paperwork will be required? For example, our club bank requires the document be on Toastmaster International letter head.
The second task that should be undertaken is an audit of the club books and finances. This will involve the out-going President and Treasurer and the Incoming Treasurer and President. The current team should get someone to perform the audit. This person doesn’t need to have an accounting background, but it would help. The “auditor” shouldn’t be anyone on the current executive. It can be a current member of the club, it can also be someone from outside the club. The process is to just review the bank statements, balance sheets and expenses from the previous year. Looking for proper accounting processes are followed. Once they sign off the new team takes over.
I find this step can take time. First you need to find a volunteer to go over the books. Then you need to co-ordinate this with all the people that would be involved. It’s a great way to make sure that nothing has fallen through the cracks and that all expenses have been properly accounted for.
Now the work is almost done! The end is in sight for those that have served their clubs! An excitement builds as the new team is ready to assume office. It’s a great time of year and a busy time of year for Toastmasters! Which ever side you find yourself, enjoy the process!

Why all Toastmasters clubs should hold a speechcraft

speech craft(left to right) Speechcraft Coordinator Matthew Ogbulafor | Brampton Talks Members Claudia Garraway and Madhukar Shahi giving feedback after first meeting | Club Member Maheeza Mohamed presenting how to give effective feedback for the Successful Club Series

Brampton Talks Toastmasters is presenting a speechcraft which is a win for the club, a win for it's members, and win for the community!

The speechcraft is sponsored and hosted by Real City Realty Inc. in Brampton. Over 50, from various professions wanting to improve their speaking skills, signed up for the 10 spots in the free 6 week workshop.  Matthew Ogbulafor is the coordinator of this speech  Speechcraft filer imagetraining workshop from the Success Communication Series, which completes a requirement for his ACG and bringing him closer to achieving his DTM. 

“Toastmasters has changed the way I do business and believe this workshop will help anyone interested in improving their personal and professional lives.” – Kelechi Amadi, Broker of Record, Real City Realty Inc.

There is no better feeling then watching people that are scared to speak in public, stand infront of strangers, feel nervous but still do it; because of the support and skills they receive. In the 6 weeks, each one will have the opportunity to give 3 speeches, two evaluations, introduce a speaker, participate in Table Topics and take on a various meeting role. All while having the support of advisors and the skills from many educational presentations. Speeches are recorded so the participants / speechcrafters can watch their progress! Not only are the speechcrafters improving but so are the Toastmasters who get a chance to challenge themselves outside the club. Toastmasters in this speechcarft are giving their first evaluations, presenting on of the educational series for the first time, learning how to mentor and teach, and getting the satisfaction of helping someone. 

  Some Keys to Success

  • Have a marketing and PR plan, start early. If sponsored use their resources as well.
  • Order materials early and before promoting to follow and set up program. See more here.
  • Name Tags for all of the Speechcrafters and Toastmasters
  • Video Tape the speechrafters and educational presentations, send to the presenter as a learning tool and to montior progress.
  • Pressional agendas easy to follow and branded. 
  • Minimum of 1 Toastmaster per 2 participants - not only hep at meeting but through email and phone calls as well. 
  • Reach out to the District 86 Speechcraft Coordinator for help and support.

speech craft2(left to right) Dennis Bartel DTM preparing | Agenda and name tag with Toastmasters branding

With such an overwhelming response, Madhukar Shahi club member, emailed each one and then called them days prior to the event. Everyone on the waiting list was asked if they would like to be notified of further events and encourage to visit the club. 

   Promotion

speech craft3(left to right) Facebook event  over 600 reached | Eventbrite event with over 300 views

   Why Hold a Speechcraft?

Speechcraft will increase your membership, before the event even began a participant who signed up for the speechcraft, came to Brampton Talks as a guest and then joined the club. It will help non-Toastmasters in the community learn the fundamentals of public speaking, promotes Toastmasters and the club, and gives members an oppuritinty to use their skills outside the club. It is a win, win, win!

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

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