Great Ideas for Toastmasters from Toastmasters
While visiting 24 of the clubs in Division A this past year, I learned that different Toastmasters clubs have different approaches. Some of these were what I took to calling Great Ideas.
After my first visit, my goal was to find one new great idea from each club. I found far more than one per club.
Not all of these can be implemented in every club, but all of them improved the functionality of the meetings in which they were demonstrated.
Small changes can make a big difference to a club and the club meeting.
- Combine the Grammarian and Ah Counter, particularly in smaller clubs.
- Address everyone as Toastmaster LastName, leveling the social status of members. This is particularly helpful in military and university settings, but also is relevant in community and corporate clubs.
- Having too big a space is fine; arrange the seating to fit the club’s needs.
- Find another club to switch speakers with one time a month or once a quarter. This gives everyone a chance to hear and evaluate someone they are not as familiar with.
- After the meeting ask about accomplishments of members and celebrate those—whether related to Toastmasters or not.
- Begin with the end in mind and start the new Toastmasters year focused on the DCP goals.
- As in the contests, provide one minute of silence before each speech.
- VPEs (or individual members) can bring CC manuals and extra evaluation page copies with them to meetings, in case someone does not have a manual for their speech.
- Pass out the schedule one month in advance, so that everyone is reminded of their roles in the future.