Alisen Dopf experienced information overload when she joined Toastmasters. As a new member she relied on in-person meetings to learn about Toastmasters. However, when the pandemic hit, it became a challenge to transition from in-person to online meetings. Alisen realized her situation was not unique. As a result she decided to create the New Member Boot Camp.

The Conundrum of being a New Member

  • When new members don’t know how to access information they get frustrated.
  • They don’t understand the roles during a club meeting.
  • They don’t know their way around Pathways, or how to sign up for meetings.
  • By using ZOOM a barrier is created between the new member and their club.
  • The bridge of communication collapses when we don’t see each other in person.

Opportunity to serve

Alisen researched her options of how to serve. 25 years of marketing and communication skills came in handy. To be a Toastmaster is to be part of a Team. Alisen saw the opportunity to educate new, as well long time members. Above all, as VP of Education for Calgary Pace Setters she could:

  • Help familiarize new members with Toastmasters.
  • Keep track of accomplishments.
  • Help members move forward on their paths with a nudge (or two).
  • Celebrate achievements.

The New Member Boot Camp

The Pacesetters club membership is multi-national. As a result members join to improve their English speaking skills. The purpose of the Boot Camp is for new members to communicate with each other. They exchange emails and texts, and meet online. Alisen believes there are three layers in Toastmasters. Firstly, you are on your own, individual path. Secondly, you have your roles at club level. Thirdly, you learn TurbobaseEasySpeak, Zoom, and many other skills.

The Team

Jesse Thomas, Natasha Kutryk (VP Public Relations) and Tzonka Bouklieva volunteered to help. Together they divided the roles. As coordinator and moderator Alisen helps with life skills. They created a program that educates and strengthens. But beware, you will get homework!

Do you want to help your New Members?

This program could be incorporated within District 42. Contact Alisen to discuss how she could help your new members. Above all, she created a gem that could become a powerful tool to retain members. On a side note, look at the club’s Facebook page for more ideas.

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