Determine your club status with honesty
A club with a membership below 12 is generally a club in trouble. Club officers are wearing more than one hat and meetings are such that members are performing multiple roles. After a period of time the situation spirals downward with officer burn out and member retention disintegration, as the club fails to provide what individuals were looking for. It seems regardless of what the remaining members try nothing is attracting new members. Regretfully it is too often at this point individual emotions by those left “at the helm” boil to the surface, exacerbating an already poor situation.
It is time that a club in this situation needs to stop, think, plan then act!
All the members (not just the executive) need to realise that a Club Coach is required. A coach is generally an outsider with no emotional or political attachments to the club. Their role would be to analyse the club status, its members and the general demographics. Based on member attitude, capacity and demographics they would derive a plan to rebuild the club back to charter.
If your club is in a city area, you would request a meeting with and brief your Area Director on your club situation. The Area Director would then make a request to District for a Club Coach.
There is a Toastmaster manual on club rebuilding as well as additional document by Roger Denno, “A Guide to Rebuilding a Club.” Both documents are worthwhile reading and they give great support information that needs to be understood. However, on occasion more practical solutions need to be provided, particularly to those clubs where a Club Coach and/or club mentor is not available.
This blog is designed for clubs where a club coach is unavailable but may provide a strategy a coach may choose to apply.
Toastmasters International advocates the “Moments of Truth” process. This form of analysis is designed to strengthen a club. This blog is directed at the club beyond a “Moments of Truth” analysis. The moment of truth has arrived where the members know to save the club they need to adopt a recovery strategy and an injection of new members.
For a meeting re a clubs status, the Area Director should be present, as they may have access to resources that the club is unaware of. If an Area Director is unavailable the club should not use this as an excuse not to take independent steps. All clubs need to be reminded that they are independent entities with an allegiance to Toastmasters International. They have a signed agreement to conform to the Toastmaster International Club Constitution by charter so initially they have a responsibility to heal themselves. They however, have an alliance with their District whose role it is to provide training and support. For some clubs due to logistics, this support is unavailable.
Firstly your club needs to be brutally honest in its self-assessment.
It needs to consider:
OPEN HOUSE (Demonstration Meetings)
IN-HOUSE SPEECHCRAFT COURSE
Not so Traditional Speechcraft:
Non Traditional Speechcraft course:
For those clubs interested in using any of the above strategies and require guidance or a course templates, contact me on 0418 111 309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org