Training for club officers

by VP Public Relations Dale

Today (6 August) I attended training for club officers in my role as Vice President Public Relations which was held online by the District 72 training team. It was a very interesting and professionally run event.

I found out that District 72 (Greater Wellington region and the South Island) has 97 clubs, but only 20% of these clubs have more than 20 members. So the goal for this Toastmasters year is to move from “surviving” to “thriving” – building quality clubs that thrive in the post-pandemic era. Spinnaker has 12 members at the moment, so we have some work to do to increase our membership up to the optimum number of 20 to create a dynamic club.

The training consisted of looking at the Toolbox for Committees, the Moments of Truth club success module, and how to set your club up for success. Finally we had breakout rooms for our specific Committee role.

In the Toolbox for Committees, the training team led us through the Toastmasters International website areas of interest such as Club Central membership and administration features, the Distinguished Club Programme, and Base Camp for Pathways administration and reporting. This was very useful in learning where all the information is located that club officers need to perform their roles.

In the Moments of Truth module, we looked at how we can improve club quality standards, what people are looking for in their first impression of a toastmasters club, and how we can focus on making a good first impression with our visitors. Clubs can run the 2 hour Moments of Truth workshop and look at specific areas of challenges the club faces, causes of these challenges, and potential solutions to address the issues. This is a great team building exercise as it provides a snapshot of where the club is at and where it wants to be. All clubs should run this workshop at least once a year.

To set your club up for success, you need to set goals and be energised in delivering them. The goals need to be S.M.A.R.T., and the Club Success Plan is a great tool to work through some of the issues that clubs have, and look at how to work together as a team to learn and grow, both personally, and the club generally. We specifically discussed how to deal with differences of opinion within the group, and why it is important, such as building harmony within the team, staying on track, avoiding conflict and treating people fairly. At our club, we want to make sure everyone is heard, address any issues early on, avoid stress, be kind to each other, and promote a safe environment for all.

The last activity at the training session was to go into breakout rooms for our particular role to discuss some key ideas. For my Public Relations role, we looked at how social media is impacting on the club’s visibility in the community, how letterbox drops may not work so well any more, use of posters in shop windows, and taking part in community events and expos to promote the club face-to-face. Spinnaker recently attended the Love Local Porirua 2022 Expo, and you can read the blog posts about this here. The goal of attending the expo was to generate leads to follow up and invite people to our Open Meeting where we’ll showcase Toastmasters and our club, and we’ll report back on how successful that was after the meeting.

Thanks to the District Training Team for organising and running an interesting and useful training session, and it was nice to do it from the comfort of our own homes.

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