Make Your Game Plan
- Build a Team: Identify key motivated people willing to serve as sponsors and mentors, as both of these roles are critical to a new club’s eventual success. In addition, a sponsor can charter a new club as a project, and then mentor the new club to make sure they get off on the right foot.
- Plan Your Demo Meeting: A Demo Meeting will include an overview of the organization, the benefits of membership, and how to start and operate a club (including information about fees).
- Develop and Implement a Promotion Strategy: If the club is going to be an open community club, get the word out – use flyers, newspaper ads, social media and phone calls to let the community know about the Demo Meeting. For closed clubs, email is effective as well as corporate newsletters.
At the Demo meeting
- Focus on What’s in it for Them: Don’t talk about features, talk about benefits! Features tell, but benefits sell. Emphasize why it is worthwhile to join Toastmasters. For example, the demo meeting speaker could tell a story about how Toastmasters gave them better communication and leadership skills that helped him/her in their career or in other areas of his/her life. Involve your demo team members, and get their testimonials about what Toastmasters has done for them. Keep it upbeat, positive, interactive and not too technical.
- Take a Social Break: Allow some time (if available) for socializing to get guests talking and interacting with one another.
- Plan the Next Steps: It’s a good idea to develop options for next steps in advance of the demo meeting. Make provisions for the full range of possible outcomes (i.e., from slight interest to enthusiastic, “when-can we-start” commitment). Once commitment is confirmed by the attendees, be ready to suggest a suitable course of action. If fewer than 20 people sign up at the demo meeting, then you need to decide together whether to keep holding weekly demo meetings and get the word out to get more members.
- Identify the Future Leaders: Gauge which of the attendees come across as likely leaders of the future club and enlist their involvement as soon as possible for positions of President, VP Education, VP Membership, etc.
After the Demo Meeting
- Follow Up: Keep your new-found goodwill with the group intact by honouring your commitments.
- File the Paperwork ASAP: Make sure you have everything filled out properly, all the dues are in, that you have the correct number of members, and file that paperwork ASAP
Source: Toastmasters magazine and website
Created by Jayapriya Muthukumar DTM Club Growth Director 2022 – 2023