Speechcraft is a tool gifted to every individual toastmaster club by Toastmaster International. If used correctly a speechcraft course will generate revenue and increase a clubs membership. Speechcraft can vary in design and application. It may be used by a struggling club to bolster membership or a healthy club to earn additional revenue but the trick is knowing how to define the appropriate Speechcraft course to fill your specific requirement.
Over the years I have applied speechcraft in three differing ways:
c) Non Traditional
IN-HOUSE SPEECHCRAFT COURSE
This is an excellent strategy for geographically isolated and struggling clubs, that is, clubs that do not have other clubs close by to help in rebuilding using techniques such as Demonstration meetings . A Speechcraft course not only provides new members, but also capital funds for the club.
“In-House Speechcraft Course” description:
This is a recognised Speechcraft course, conducted over 6 weeks, with the venue being your club premises and conducted on the same day as your regular club meeting (but instead of). The impact to your club and members is:
Over the 6 weeks, Speechcrafters will have been conditioned to attend your Toastmasters club meeting on your premises and with your current members. You will find if your members have offered a positive and welcoming environment plus provided good educationals conversion of Speechcrafters will exceed the minimum retention of 50%..
Costing considerations for an internal Speechcraft course:
Profit is never great. This is generated by those attending the course and those electing to not to join the club. Their inbuilt joining fee is your clubs gain.
Do not accept more than 12 applications. It becomes a planning nightmare to run the course. Experience shows if you accept 12 applications, 2 will pull out before the start of the course or early in the course.
For those clubs interested in using this strategy and require guidance or a course template and educational handouts contact me on 0418 111 309 or email email@example.com
Gaining additional members to strengthen your club (and generate revenue).
Outside of the traditional sources of recruiting, a club may wish to consider strategies to generate additional revenue and in doing so attract new members or at the very least seriously attract new members and generate some revenue. To do this a clubs only strategy is a traditional speechcraft course.
Conduct a Speechcraft course in the traditional way. Determine a venue the dates of running the course for 6 consecutive weeks, promote etc.
The result will be revenue for the club between $1000-$2000 for the 6 weeks effort, plus a possible 10-15% conversion rate to new members. Predominately a traditional Speechcraft course will raise revenue as it seen by the Speechcrafters as a quick fix to their public speaking requirements however do not count on a great member gain.
Not so Traditional Speechcraft:
Before the revenue type of Speechcraft course you need to be up front and include 6 months membership of the club. This allows the Speechcrafters the option to continue to practice the skills they have acquired through the course. Ensure the course is stacked with enthusiastic members to perform the roles of mentors, timers and trainers. Thus building a bond between current members and future members.
Non Traditional Speechcraft course:
In 2008 a need arose for a weekend Speechcraft Course.
A Speechcraft course consists of 12 hours of training, where the Speechcrafters perform in the traditional way of preparing speeches over the week and delivering them the following. A weekend course is a more intense environment where speeches are written, delivered and evaluated during the course. Graduation is by way of a Sunday evening session of speeches and Table Topics conducted by the Speechcrafters, with an audience of family and friends. Be warned, the Table Topic targets are usually the trainers! The presentation of certificates closes the evening.
What benefits are there to a Toastmasters club for running a weekend Speechcraft Course?
This type of speechcraft originated by flying in on a Friday. The course conducted Saturday and half day Sunday with a BBQ on Sunday evening a final session conducted by the speechcrafter’s, presentation of their certificates and Fly out Monday.
For those clubs interested in using this strategy and require guidance or a course template and educational handouts contact me on 0418 111 309, or email firstname.lastname@example.org