Through Dreaming, Planning & Changing

Perhaps you find it interesting, as I do, how quickly time seems to pass when we are adults as opposed to how slowly it seems to go by when we are younger. Remember how Christmas always seemed so far off no matter what month it was. Now in the blink of an eye we are already more than 6 months into our year. Christmas & New Year’s celebrations are behind us. January tends to be the month of reflection as well as ‘re-inventing’ ourselves through dreaming, planning, & changing.

We’ve already started off with a bang by having exceptional Club Leadership Training. The sessions held by Divisions C & E on January 19 which concentrated on Best Practices. The sessions certainly gave us much to think about & to try over the next few months to help our clubs.

Divisions B & D provided the opportunity ‘Be Part of the Symphony’–to gather information, identify resources, and learn strategies to make our Toastmasters journey more beneficial. All of us are here to improve & develop our communication & leadership skills. This session helped us do just that.

Upcoming is the final mid-winter training session hosted by Divisions A & F. This is your last chance to tap into valuable ideas for you & your clubs. Remember your club needs at least 4 officers trained to complete the training ‘point’ for the Distinguished Club Program. If all 7 officers are trained, you get a virtual gold star from me! How cool is that?

Sometimes clubs seem to get into a lull with just a few people infusing energy & enthusiasm into the meetings. How about if we all get into the mindset our meetings are going to be one of the best hours of our week? Here’s a few tips to help us revive the energy & enthusiasm clubs need to give a stellar experience for members & potential members:

  1. Have your room (virtual or live) set up at least 15 minutes in advance.
    1. Ensure a professional-type environment
      • Live meetings need to look inviting (music playing, tablecloths, lectern, banner, etc.)
      • On-line meetings need to look organized as well (music playing, cameras on & ready, housekeeping instructions given, appealing background)
    2. Have roles filled prior to meeting starting.
  2. Make everyone (members & guests) feel valued as soon as they enter.
    • Have a guest package ready (both in person & on-line
    • Have someone to greet & chat with members & guests who enter the room
    • Pair guests with someone who can chat with them & explain what is happening
  3. Keep your meetings moving. If glitches happen, have a Plan B. Remember peripherals & props are only meant to supplement & enhance a presentation. If there is a problem, just give the presentation. It should always be able to stand alone.
  4. Offer the opportunity for everyone to stay & chat after the meeting—to ask questions they may have.
  5. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. Be sure to ask guest for their contact information. As well, write a brief re-cap of the meeting & distribute it to everyone. Be a drip but not a flood. Drip on people with short but interesting notes about your meetings. Keep people on your contact list until they ask to be removed.

Do you have suggestions which help propel your meetings to excellence? Please share them with me & we’ll have them posted on-line.

Take care, remember to make this a good day.

Bev LeBlanc, DTM
District 42 Program Quality Director

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