How does an average fortnightly club become a best performing club in D17?
In the past 6 months Bunbury Toastmasters has gained 9 DCP points- 6 CC’s, 8 CL’s, 2 ALB’s, 2 ACB’s, 2 triples, and more to come. That’s not possible? This club must be taking short cuts, I hear you say.
It is possible, as our achievements and increased membership show. By thinking outside the box Bunbury now provides more opportunities for members- it’s as simple as that!
With an increase of younger members keen to participate and move through their projects we needed to increase speaking opportunities from the “normal” 3 per fortnight. As speechfests are normally one off we wanted something more permanent, that would provide ongoing benefits, for a maximum number of members.
That Bunbury was a fortnightly club was our major advantage. The gap week became the obvious time to conduct “our project”. We also wanted something more structured than speechfest that included the disciplines of a speechcraft course. We arrived at a formula that has now stood us well and is the foundation of club achievements.
The gap week meeting is classified as a “Special Meeting” called Fast Track. Fast Track is defined as 6 sessions with a co-ordinator appointed (CL) to set the agenda and promote the meetings. There is no defined number of speakers (more than 8 is too lengthy). All speakers evaluate. Speakers and evaluators are paired off in the agenda. There are 2 speaking slots and 4 evaluation slots on the CL that a member can achieve. If the speaking number is around 4-6 one of the older heads jump in with an educational which in turn goes toward another CC, again helping the club towards its DCP. Speaker times are according to the manuals the speakers are using. Formal roles are Toastmaster, GE and timer (CL).
After the initial Fast Track 6 sessions members voted overwhelmingly to continue so it is now a permanent feature.
Benefits are absolutely positive. Members have a club of two dimensions where they progress at their speed, slow or blitz. Fast Track has rekindled the flame of achievement in our older members.
Venue proved very important. We wanted a more social environment. Originally in a private house and now held at the Bayview Tavern we found members developing closer bonds. The buzz is loud at all our meetings. Our members have the best of two training worlds- the disciple of a club meetings and the relaxed atmosphere of Fast Track.
For Bunbury Toastmasters Fast Track is a winner. Now that our secret is out of the box you too can have a go. For smart clubs and Area Directors looking for a way to boost morale, membership, and speaking opportunities, this strategy has been well and truly proven and could well be part of your clubs success formula.
For any additional information or agenda, call 0418 111 309 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.Olaf Schubert President Bunbury Toastmasters and Club Coach Mandjar Toastmasters. (At the time of this post)