Establishing Schneider Calgary Toastmasters Club
Several years ago, as a member of the Kalamalka Toastmasters Club in Vernon, BC, I witnessed firsthand the transformative power of Toastmasters in fostering personal and professional growth. The experience left me convinced that establishing a dedicated Toastmasters club for our Calgary office staff could yield similar benefits. In this article, I will outline the steps taken to create and charter the Schneider Calgary Toastmasters, emphasizing the importance of executive support, budget planning, and the critical role of a successful demonstration meeting.
The initial step in bringing this vision to life involved garnering support from our executive leadership team and local managers. I believe a company-sponsored and closed Toastmasters club, such as the Schneider Calgary Toastmasters, would provide our staff with a positive and inclusive environment to enhance their public speaking and leadership skills. With the backing of key stakeholders, I set out to create a robust plan.
Creating a budget was crucial to ensure the successful establishment of the Schneider Calgary Toastmasters. This budget needed to cover the costs of chartering the club and provide enough funds for the first 20 new members. Careful consideration was given to potential expenses, including meeting materials, venue costs, and promotional activities.
Promoting the Club
The cornerstone of our efforts was the promotion and hosting of a demo meeting for the office. We strategically advertised the meeting internally, generating interest through word of mouth. The meeting, scheduled a month in advance, drew an impressive attendance of approximately 30 employees. Notably, John Reeve, a member of our leadership team overseeing Sales Operations, spoke at the event, sharing his journey of overcoming public speaking anxiety with the help of Toastmasters.
Chartering the Club
The success of the demo meeting paved the way for the chartering process. We managed to recruit 18 new members and welcomed 2 transfer members, meeting the requirements for establishing our Toastmasters club.
A significant part of this phase involved diligent follow-ups with prospective members, collecting member dues, and completing membership forms. From start to finish, the chartering process took approximately 1.5 months.
It is essential to express gratitude to those who played pivotal roles in this process. Members of the D42 team, including Brian Fegan, provided guidance and assistance throughout the entire process. Special thanks go to Vesna Ivkovic, Laura Chambers, and Shelley Hoye for their unwavering support as sponsors and mentors of the Schneider Calgary Toastmasters.
The establishment of the Schneider Calgary Toastmasters stands as a testament to the belief that investing in the communication and leadership skills of our staff reaps long-lasting benefits. Through careful planning, dedicated promotion, and the support of our leadership and mentors, we have created a space for growth, learning, and camaraderie. As we celebrate the chartering of our club, we look forward to the continued development of our members and the positive impact they will undoubtedly have on our organization.
President of Schneider Calgary Toastmasters