Hah! Nothing goes like clockwork! The difference is whether or not that is obvious! On June 15, the part that did not work was pretty obvious, right off the start! Fortunately, or not, that first big presentation was about leadership, and how we all drop the balls at some point; it is a question of picking them up and getting back on track! Thank you, Lucas! That is exactly what we needed to do. Pick up the balls and get back on track! And we did.
That “dropping the balls” was about communication. So many moving parts in a training: Presenters, trainers, moderators, facilitators and panellists, an MC, a tech team, timers, WOW! Who needs to be a co-host? When? Lots of questions!
Here are my big learnings:
- Interested in a speaker? Ask! If you are online, they can join from anywhere if the time zone and their schedule fit the training schedule. Some amazing presenters just said yes to us!
- Two trainers per officer session is really nice. Experienced Toastmasters enjoy collaborating with someone else and new officers get to hear more than one voice. It is an engaging officer training session. When one trainer has less experience, they can be supported by the other as a mentor.
- Get going with your planning early, and plan a meeting with all speakers to present your theme and key messages. This will create unity in your training and support the officers being trained.
Consider what clubs are dealing with right now and address that. Right now: Meeting Format questions are front and centre. We realized a way to address that was with a panel. Four excellent informed speakers to present different points of view, plus a facilitator to keep things on track. Clubs make their own decisions.
- Have a dry run! Decide on key tech decisions and roles and stick to that. Remember this is a really big meeting. Many officers are experienced and others are brand new; consider all. Have a plan for chaos and a way to maintain some control (no one shares the screen except co-hosts).
- Some people do not like to communicate too much. I would much prefer receiving too much information than too little, so I am learning to communicate more rather than less.
- These are all volunteers! Always say, and show, Thank you!
Mary Schoendorfer, DTM
District 42 Administration Manager