Roundtable Talks – How to Increase Membership?

Dear Club Leaders,

We have had 2 fruitful rounds of discussion on 13th and 19th May 2020 with club leaders on how to add a few more members as needed by some clubs during this challenging time.

On behalf of the District, I would like to share some humble opinions here for your consideration.

3 E’s on Membership Building – Embrace, Enhance, Execute

(1) Embrace Online Meetings

Online meetings are here to stay, at least for a few months to come. These meetings might not be as good as what we experience in face to face. But it’s a fact-of-life now that we will be better off accepting than resisting.

I suggest we embrace online meetings as part of our Toastmasters experiences. Speaking on video might even be one major communication skills in years to come. We can take this opportunity now to brush up our skills to look good and speak well on video.

I even challenge some people to imagine a hypothetical situation. If Toastmasters is only online, how are we going to do the same things as we have done before in physical meetings, even do it better?

It might not be possible. But this mental exercise can force us to think of new interesting ideas. How to create and deliver value to our members with online meetings?

(2) Enhance The Guest Experience

I suggest we deliberately enhance our online meetings to be geared towards our guests. We can make our meetings more friendly and understandable to them. It’s ok to use Toastmasters jargons such as SAA and TME but we can explain them.

More importantly, we can make our meetings so positive and energetic that the guests are energized and can feel the difference in Toastmasters. People no longer need to be reminded of Covid-19 or any gloomy situation. We can give them joy and positive vibes.

I even suggest we redesign our meetings to be “guest-first”. If guests can understand us, members will have no problem too. If guests can enjoy the meeting, members will enjoy also. Let each regular meeting be a great demo meeting for guests.

(3) Execute Toward Membership Building

Given limited time now before the end of our term, we need to take deliberate actions to build club membership. We can review our activities to make sure we don’t waste time on unnecessary efforts. We need to focus our efforts toward building membership.

We can think out of the box and come up with innovative ideas. We don’t have to have just regular meetings. We can have other activities such as online interviews, education workshops, fun activities online. We can have members share testimonials during regular meetings.

We can take massive actions to execute our plan. Have some activities every week. Be visible online. Follow up with guests intensively. Double and triple our efforts.

3 Levels of Membership Recruitment

Level 1 – Carry out our basic PR activities such as social media marketing well. This is regardless of whether there is MCO or not. Refer to basic PR resources below.

Level 2 – Do something innovative on top of basic PR activities to cater for the guests during this lockdown period. Refer to 3 E’s above.

Level 3 – Use personal selling skills to promote Toastmasters one-on-one. Some successful salespeople can sell their products and services even before the prospects try them out. Why not Toastmasters too?

Useful Resources

Outside In – A presidential opening speech on focusing on the needs of guests.

Basic PR – The Why & How of PR

Basic PR – Poster Design

Basic PR – Web Design

Basic PR – Social Media Marketing

Membership building event on 22nd May 2020: Build a Better You!

Membership building event on 7th June 2020: Speaker Fest / 讲演盛会 / Pesta Pidato / பேச்சாளர் விழா

Together let’s grow our clubs to excellence!

Ricky Soo, DTM
District PR Manager