Club Protocol

Archive for the ‘Club Protocol’ Category

By Alison Tozier

While it was over 100 years ago that John C. Crosby defined good mentoring as “a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction,” it still rings true today. We continue to rely on the experiences of others, who have gone before us, to act as guides as we pave our own path for growth. For those who join Toastmasters, the primary goal is to develop public speaking skills. Who better to ensure the success of new members that someone who has already started this journey?

Clubs set their own guidelines as to who may become a mentor. Some require a Competent Communicator or Competent Leader award while others allow a mentoring relationship with any club member in good standing. For first time mentors and even those more seasoned to the role, the president of Sales and Marketing Toastmasters, Jeff Shaw, has provided three key actions, every mentor should follow to ensure new members are set up for success.

Engage with new members

Begin by setting time aside with the new member every other meeting. Initially a 10-15 minute chat before or after a meeting should suffice. Be sure to include one on one feedback. Often a mentor can provide insights one on one that are very helpful and sometimes don’t come out in the meeting evaluations.

Be a cheerleader

It can be scary and lonely in front of a group of unknown faces. Knowing that someone is in your corner really helps. Be on the lookout for the new member at meetings. Attendance is critical upon first joining the club, when they may be inclined to slack off due to anxiety. Roles like timer or grammarian help to keep new members involved. Check the sign-up sheet and suggest opportunities when needed. Guidance is key. Engage new members when they first join to and it will go a long way.

Set goals

Goal setting helps new members achieve what they set out to accomplish. Meet with the new member to understand their goals and work with the new member to develop a plan to accomplish them. Earning the Competent Communicator award is a major accomplishment for those new to Toastmasters. Set a date and work out a schedule.

The key is to be an active mentor. Engage with your new member and work to make them a success.

By Dave Gilman

If you are familiar with a vineyard, it takes a dedicated team to keep it well maintained in order for it to grow. The land needs constant tending, the fruits need to be cultivated, and the bad elements need to be kept out. By doing these things it produces the best fruit.

In the bible there is a scripture in Song of Solomon Chapter 2:15 that states:
It’s the little foxes, that spoil the vines.

Often in life it’s usually not the big things that disrupts our life, rather it is the multitude of many small things over a period of time that causes us the greatest difficulties.

Our club is very much like the vineyard just mentioned. It takes a dedicated, committed team to keep it well maintained and growing. Also, it takes some effort in order to keep the little foxes out. As you know our club is certainly well maintained and were always growing new members. They are the fruit of our club.

If you’ve been a member for any length of time, you’ve probably heard it stated from a multitude of guests that they’ve searched the land far and wide, visited many clubs, and that they often find their way back to our club due to its bountiful harvest of professionalism, organization, and entertaining meetings.

They are right, our club is unique, and although we have a terrific club there are things that we can do to make our club and our vineyard even greater. Currently we have a few little foxes that are spoiling our vines.

At a recent meeting when I was the General Evaluator our club President Jeff Shaw heard me state a reminder at the beginning of the General Evaluation portion of the meeting. Jeff asked me if I could expand upon the list of reminders and discuss club protocol. Listed below are ten of the most common little foxes that spoil our vines. In addition a solution is offered so our vineyard can flourish and grow.

The 10 Most Common Little Foxes:
1. Leaving the Lectern Empty – When you finish a speech end with Mr. or Madam Toastmaster and wait for the Toastmaster or General Evaluator to shake your hand before you leave the lectern.
2. Ending a Speech with a Thank You – At the end of your speech, simply end with Mr. or Madam Toastmaster.
3. Showing up After 6:30 p.m. – Please allow adequate time to arrive before the meeting starts.
4. Addressing only your Assigned Prepared Speaker – When giving a speech evaluation, be sure to address the entire room and speak about your assigned speaker in the 3rd person, this gets everyone in the room involved.
5. Table Topics – Give priority to members that are not on the agenda, this permits all members to make a contribution to the meeting and makes it worth their trip.
6. Misspelling of Member Names on the Agenda – Copy and paste any names on our membership list, without doing so it often leads to misspellings.
7. Missing Elements on the Agenda – Be sure to include speech number, purpose, manual, and speech title on the agenda when you are the Toastmaster.
8. Talking During the Meeting – Sometime it is absolutely necessary to discuss club business while someone is delivering a speech, if so whisper with caution, otherwise wait until between speeches.
9. Distracting Noises – This one is speaking to your subconscious. Sometime members continually click a pen, play with a candy wrapper, or make a continual distracting sound. Please be aware of any tendency to do so and stop.
10. Not Ending the Meeting on Time – We all need to be mindful of keeping each and every speech within the time specified on the agenda.

I hope you will keep these reminders in mind so we can make our club even greater, continue to help it grow, while keeping the bad elements out. Remember, it’s the little foxes that spoil the vines.