Here are the tips for treating your members well

Many club members underestimate the importance of retaining current members. There are several reasons why focusing on retaining members is critical to your club’s success. Here are a few.

Tenured members:

  • Serve as important role models for newer members.
  • Provide incentive to guests that the club has quality and experienced members that they’ll be able to learn from.
  • Prove that Toastmasters is not an overnight process but an ongoing process for continual self-improvement.

Here are several tips for how to retain your members past the first year:

  • Recruit them to be mentors for new members.
  • Publicly award members for their educational achievements.
  • Encourage their participation as a competitor in Toastmasters contests.
  • Encourage full-length advanced manual speeches. If advanced members need to perform longer speeches to continually improve their skills, you must encourage them to do so. Maybe have an advanced manual speech day every couple of months where multiple longer speeches are expected. Be creative. The important thing is to accommodate!
  • Encourage leadership outside the club. Suggest that your more experienced members serve the district by becoming an Area or other district officer. Many seasoned Toastmasters continue as members just to help others. Serving in a district capacity does just that on an even higher level.

More Ideas for Retaining Members!

These ideas for retaining members are not in any particular order. Take a moment to think about each one, and choose those that you think will work for your club, adapting them as you wish. We hope that they will help your club grow and become strong!

  • Send a thank you note EVERY time somebody comes to visit!
  • Include networking tips in newsletter or new member pack. Networking is a primary reason for joining and one of the most important benefits to offer. Produce a short article or checklist on how to use these networking opportunities more effectively. Add to a meeting or convention brochure. You could email the list (with individual member’s permission) to pre-registered attendees shortly before conference.
  • Use testimonials from some members who aren’t active but still feel membership is valuable. If members feel we understand and are trying to help them cope with challenges they are more likely to renew. Ask those who are not active but continue to renew to contact other inactive members.
  • Use Jeopardy marketing putting it in the form of a question. “Wouldn’t it be great if someone were working everyday to tell the public about….?” Or “Wouldn’t it be nice if every month someone brought to your door another form of continuing education and a place to find out about job openings?”
  • Conduct focus groups by phone. Members with varying years of experience focusing on the needs of a small segment. New member focus group. Send all participants an agenda and set of rules. Take attendance; let everyone know who is attending. Make a list of who speaks so you know who to ask for input.
  • Give an incentive, such as a free gift, to members who renew by a certain date.
  • Have a renewal lottery.
  • Generate segmented and targeted renewal notices. Tell each segment how membership benefited them this year.
  • Send a special certificate of thanks to first-time renewals. The first two years produce the most drops. Focus hard on the first renewal.
  • Identify and recognize members with the most tenure. Sends a message that people stay a long-time.
  • Identify at least four specific contacts to make with first year members that are above and beyond the normal. Phone, fax or special newsletter.
  • Develop a written retention plan. Incl. Retention goals (retention rate, retention rates by category, % of drops that were first year members, activities to be undertaken, resources available to help, etc.
  • Do an e-mail survey of important questions and issues as they arise.
  • Establish an involvement committee. Purpose to get members to participate in some way.
  • Involve the board in retention efforts. The health and growth of the organization is already among the board’s responsibilities. Divide the membership among the board and devise a retention system that awards points to board members for each member of their “team” during the year. i.e. 1 point if they attend a meeting, 25 points if they renew, etc., etc. Get commitment from the top volunteer leaders to not only talk about the importance of member participation and retention but also do something about it.
  • Colour code correspondence so members can quickly identify types of information. Such as one for educational info., one for legislative, etc.)
  • Institute a “thank you” column in publication to recognize members for involvement and leadership.
  • Send a member profile form to new members to gain information.
  • Have a special edition of your publication focus on how your organization is helping members prepare for the next century.
  • Be sure your Web page has hot links to individual members for business referrals and networking purposes.
  • Keep experienced members active through targeted involvement. Need to keep older members and new ones interested and involved. Keep the activities meaningful.
  • Produce materials that clearly show what the company/employer gains by joining and participating in your organization.
  • For members recruited during a membership drive, ask them to add at least one extra contact during their first year of membership.
  • During functions, suggest that officers look for new members and spend time with them. Make sure new members’ name tags indicate their status.
  • Scan industry, professional, and community publications, as well as the Internet, for ads by members. Try to get them to use the association logo or some sign of affiliation
  • Recognize best practice traditions in your club and recognize those that uphold them.
  • Put individual e-mail addresses of key leaders on your Web site.
  • Over the hump ceremony when the sixth speech is given
  • Induction ceremony – include sponsor
  • Be more open to new ideas
  • Comfortable meetings
  • Listen
  • Use each member’s specific skills
  • Be warm and smile a lot
  • Get to know each member individually
  • Use humour – “Don’t quit or we will die!”
  • Learn to laugh
  • Foster a social, yet learning, atmosphere
  • Executives delegate to members
  • Have well-organized meetings
  • Show that you care
  • Give the members responsibility
  • Don’t pressure new members
  • Always insist on manual speeches
  • Change of pace in the meetings
  • Continuity
  • Re-invite inactive members
  • Make them feel important
  • Get them working on a goal
  • Use them as mentors. Talk up the benefits of toastmasters
  • Be an audience
  • Annual award ceremony or recognition day
  • Send out postcards
  • Have an orientation meeting
  • Praise them
  • Treat others with dignity and respect
  • Encourage growth
  • Have a mystery night
  • Non-threatening atmosphere
  • Break up the routine
  • Encourage members to achieve educational goals
  • Get them to attend a district conference
  • Use the successful club series
  • Use the better speaker series
  • Use the moments of truth
  • Plan ahead four to six weeks
  • Have a backwards meeting
  • Have a brainstorming session if you’re short a speaker
  • Positive and encouraging environment
  • Call them when they’re absent
  • Put the member on the agenda
  • Recognize each member
  • Reward achievements
  • Fun meetings
  • Theme meeting
  • Find out the individual needs of the members
  • Attend officer training
  • Have educational sessions
  • Have a strong mentoring program
  • Have guest speakers
  • Have interclub meetings (do a banner raid!)
  • Have social activities
  • Variety in meeting format
  • Individual name tags or place cards
  • Executives speak to members personally
  • Recognize progress
  • Make friendships
  • Senior members set good example
  • Present toastmaster pin when the icebreaker is delivered
  • Encourage commitment
  • Solve conflict promptly and fairly
  • Motivate and teach
  • Thank-you notes for special jobs
  • Give awards for attendance
  • Send an audio file as an informal annual report.
  • Establish a  Member Service Centre for “one stop shopping,” a website or website page where they can receive all information and products/services they need
  • Ask their opinion
  • Incorporate activities outside of toastmasters
  • Have them write down their goals
  • Encourage them to work on the leadership track
  • Establish standards for responding to members
  • When conducting focus groups at meetings, invite attendees who are not leaders to participate.
  • Send mini-surveys that can be done quickly (via fax or email).
  • When a new member joins, e-mail congratulations from an organizational leader that same day.
  • Post results of meetings and conferences on social media
  • Increase meeting attendance by featuring an interview with the meeting’s keynote speaker in the publication that comes out a month before the meeting.
  • List new members on your Web site.
  • Combine and coordinate all forms of member communication to support membership recruitment and retention efforts.
  • Have a special list serve and/or special section of the Web site for first year members.
  • Partner-up members for progress
  • Give members points when they participate in any activity, like frequent flyer points. They can spend their points in the District bookstore or for another award.

Want more?

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Take Care of Your Current Club Members

Many clubs underestimate the importance of retaining current members. The attached document (PDF) has a wealth of useful ideas for how to retain both your club’s newer and its longer-tenured Toastmasters.

Take Care of Your Current Members

(Courtesy of District 23, and Lark Doley, DTM, Second International Vice President, 2015-2016. Updated by S. Berglund, DTM)

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Sure Signs of Spring

 

When the snow starts to melt and the puddles grow,

When the sky seems ever blue and the gutters do flow,

When Toastmasters everywhere reap what they sow,

When the TI emails say it’s pay time, you know.

Let’s make all our payments early this year!

Maybe earn four CC’s so those points are clear!

To charter strength numbers you can persevere,

Because new people help out club atmosphere!

(Sheryl Berglund, DTM)

Membership renewals and rowing to distinguished are sure signs of spring. Toastmasters International is not springing this on you!  Your club officers received an email reminder and instructions  when the bitter winter winds still howled and the days were very short.

But…Why pay your renewals on time?  Why,  so your world doesn’t come to a crashing end, of course!

You want your club to be a club in good standing.

You want your members to be able to compete in Club contests and they should be paid up with TI  to be members in good standing.

You want to get used to the loss of the grace period.

You want the point for the Distinguished Club Plan Goals.

Most  importantly, paying bills on time is the right thing to do!

And District leaders need the facts.

In order celebrate healthy clubs and help those with low or declining members, we need those facts.

The facts come from the reports on the Toastmasters International District Performance Reports. The information comes from the clubs who submit their payments on time.  Early is even better.  Did you know that the process is amazingly quick if done early as opposed to waiting for the deadline, or trying to put them in after April 1? I know you may be waiting for a better exchange rate.  I understand but don’t wait too long!

Do some spring cleaning, too.

Try for that new club smell! Freshen your meetings. Use up or toss older materials. Try something new to attract new members, attract guests and encourage them to join by looking the part. Have a fundraiser to purchase a new banner (one club is collecting fees for grammatical errors). Use properly branded and professional looking agendas, guest materials and new member kits. Encourage your members to dress a little more “formally” for a while if it’s not their habit, or if they typically do dress at least business casual, have them try “relaxed” to see the difference.

Try to experience new club joy.  I saw this at the charter parties for Quill Masters and Prairie Mountain Excellence  – be excited about the program, wear sincerely happy faces, brand your materials and keep them professional looking, take care to do things the Toastmasters International recommended way. After all, there are 91 years of experience in this organization.

Successful clubs have many practices that keep them vibrant and successful. New life is brought with new members. Useful but not overwhelming guest kits are one such practice.  New member kits (as a benefit to being a paid member), inductions and mentor programs make stronger members and stronger clubs. Bringing guests and asking them to join and to explore their potential is the best way to get new members.

When your Directors see clubs complete educationals, we rejoice for you.  When we see administrative goals being met, we know your club officers are doing their jobs, and we rejoice! When we see your club officers attend training, we know your clubs have a better chance of being quality clubs and we rejoice, but when we see new members being added, we break into song,

Because you know we’re all about that growth,’bout that growth, no shrinking!

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Speakers Bureau Opportunity

The District 64 Speakers Bureau has received a request for a speaker.

In order to qualify for this opportunity you must:

Be a Toastmaster of good standing in a club of good standing
Achieved a Competent Communicator designation or higher
Event Details:

Date April 28, 2016. Event is in the evening.

Organization: Nigerian Professionals in Manitoba

Audience Size: 30

Length of Presentation: 30 minutes

Topic: They want to improve their verbal communications skills. Specific requirements are to identify “mistakes” during job interviews. They also have a need for networking skills. You will be expected to promote Toastmasters as part of your presentation.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email Michael Bayer at michael@qapi.guru with the following information:

Name

Highest Toastmasters Designation received

Home Club

Phone

email

Topic Title

Short description of your speech

We will forward the information to the client. When a decision is made, we will contact all speakers advising them of the client’s decision.

If you want to be a permanent member of The Speakers Bureau and be included on or website which will launch in the next month, please complete the attached form and return to michael@qapi.guru

For Word users: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/e2b1e1f411050b4e80a2cd088/files/speakers_bureau_agreement.docx

For Pages Users: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/e2b1e1f411050b4e80a2cd088/files/speakers_bureau_agreement.pages

PDF for Everyone else. https://gallery.mailchimp.com/e2b1e1f411050b4e80a2cd088/files/speakers_bureau_agreement.pdf

We will forward the information to the client. When a decision is made, we will contact all speakers advising them of the client’s decision.

If you have any questions please call Michael Bayer at 204-237-9257

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