“Toastmaster club meetings in Dubai are called a SUCCESS when they are attended by no less than “30” members throughout the year” ……… Vinod Mehra. And mind you, I said “30” members excluding guests and Toastmasters from other clubs. Some clubs might say that we do not have 30 members; my answer to such clubs would be, “Set your membership target to “50” members this year.”
Successful meetings reflect that members perceive value in the club meetings and believe that club meetings do provide better value for their time than any other activity at that period of time. So my next questions is, “How do you plan successful meetings ?” But before we go into how to plan successful meetings, let’s evaluate the elements that disappoint club members or what are the hygiene factors?
- Meeting starting late and ending late.
- Guests and members not welcomed.
- Poor room arrangements and infrastructure
- No agenda for the meetings or poorly prepared agendas.
- Unenthusiastic opening remarks by SAA and the President.
- No discipline during the meeting, i.e. cross talk during the meetings.
- Role plays having not practiced their delivery, such as Project speeches and evaluations.
- Project speeches content not in line with audience taste.
- No humor and surprises.
- No audience engagement; mental and physical
- No member recognition for the good work done
- Run of the mill role play delivery
- NO mentors assigned hence members do not see visible improvements in their performance.
Now to plan successful meetings DO EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. But what if everything does not go as planned, there are set backs, failures and there are other reasons…err excuses. So what? Have a Plan B kept ready for the meeting, have a plan B for the month and have a plan B for the year.
What is a Plan B.?
- Longer Table Topics sessions [Have an interesting ever ready pool of Table topics]
- More than 1 member evaluating one project delivery.
- Conduct a verbal evaluation for the CL manual.
- Run videos of world champion speakers and let everyone evaluate them for 1 minute or 30 seconds, as your time permits. You can decide on the format but be creative.
- Conduct impromptu debate sessions on the current topic. The trick is to create two or three balanced teams that will create emotions.
- Assign members to introduce every role play in a creative way, sharing their relationship story with the role play.
- Visit this URL for more ideas… http://toastmasters.vinodkmehra.com/toastmasters/
Before I conclude I would like to add that times are evolving and members have their eyes set on many valued activities outside the toastmasters, hence, it is imperative that the excom and district leaders take periodic feedback from members. Because, feedback is a great mechanism to explore members sentiments as well as to reaffirm their commitment.