Archive for the ‘Toastmasters meeting’ Category
Yesterday I was at Area contest – 57 with the most simplistic role play of Chief Judge. Simple off course that’s what I believe; until I found a detour.
I believe every role play is simple and straight forward until you find a detour. Because in times like these is the test of your capacity to extend justice to the role play. And yesterday was the day I found two detours. Having said that incidences like these bring in the learning and maturity.
Yesterday I learnet few things:
- When briefing don’t assume your team knows or would remember everything. Hence share important instructions even at the extent of sounding trite and boring.
- Request for feedback after sharing instructions.
- Invite questions on the role play. And if no question is forthcoming and to encourage initiative, bundle important information in a question format such as “I am sure you are aware that your ballot will be rejected if it does not carry your signature?”
- Invite suggestions and caveats from your team members. Trust the wisdom of Crowd Sourcing.
- Finally write down the list of instructions on a piece of paper you would like to share after all I don’t expect myself to remember it verbatim.
Wishing you a superb day ahead.
This evening it was a treat listening to TM Sudhir Menon delivering “MOMENTS OF TRUTH” at Al Nahda TM Club and thereafter eating fish/potato snacks brought in by a member TM was the “Moments of Truth”.
I was reminded of my Grand Mother – god bless her soul she is no more. She was a very lively lady running a joint family of 6 sons and a daughter. It is a big joint family and whenever we visited her I would see a continuous stream of visitors during the day. And my Grandmother was never tired of being the perfect host. But sometime it irritated her sons.
If someone appeared on the doorsteps she would gladly invite them inside the house and offer juice or Tea. Rule # 1 was no visitors casual or otherwise should leave from the door.
And if the visitor was a close acquaintance she would greet her with a mile long smile and invite her inside the house. If he was a first time visitor he would be given the tour of the house and then made comfortable on bed made of jute rope (In Punjabi this bed is called Manjee) spread in the verandah. He would be served Tea, juice followed by the meal of the day. The kitchen was a 24 hours routine with Tea on the fire.
She would listen intently to the guest and enquire about guest’s kins by name. Narrate them the stories and when it was time to leave she would pack few parathas or achar for the guest and entreat them to visit sooner. She did not go to school but by the current standards she had a Phd in the “Art of Hospitality.” And when I look back I am not surprised that people loved to visit my Grandmother’s house. And perhaps that was one of the reason that she kept the joint family together.
She was a perfect embodiment of “Moments of Truth.” When I dissect her routine, it reflects the secret recipe of winning and retaining members in toastmasters Program. And if I may dissect it into a “10” point program; it will reflect…
- No Guest should leave your meeting without getting the VIP treatment. Guests are the life line of club because they reflect membership growth.
- When Guest walks in he is greeted with a mile long smile and welcomed.
- Guest is taken around and introduced to the Excom and other members of the club and left in the company of a senior member to take care. Guest is never left unattended and offered Tea/Coffee first.
- Give a patient hearing to the Guest conversation.
- Guest is made comfortable by asking questions of his interest.
- Guest is narrated success stories of the members’ growth.
- Guest is given the snap shot of Toastmasters program
- Guest is asked to join or asked to return for the next meeting and his contact details taken.
- Guest feedback is requested, formal or informal and documented.
- Create a guest kit and hand it over to him after the meeting.
The ultimate objective is to make your guest feel at HOME; after all Toastmasters are a BIG JOINT FAMILY.
Last week had been a whirlwind of visiting various Toastmasters club meetings and would like to share few tips that I believe would enhance the performance of participants and experience of audience across the Toastmasters club.
- Create a mentor pool within Excom that should provide VERBAL feedback to TMOD.
- Create a 30 minutes early time pocket for either Table Topics session ( Lagoon Toastmasters – Sharjah ) or utilize that time for effective networking with an objective. Read the rest of this entry »
This evening I attended Lagoon Toastmasters Club meet at Ryan Hotel – Sharjah. I reached early since I was aware of their best practice of conducting Table Topics session half an hour before the actual start of the meeting time. The popularity and success of early Table Topics session is reflected in the proof that the tradition continues un-interrupted having initiated over an year and early. The occasion also marked the celebration of 88th Birthday of Toastmasters movement and cake cutting ceremony by the club members.
March 4, 2012: Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization engaged in developing public speaking and leadership skills amongst its members. The organization is for the members, by the members and of the members. And one of the objective of the program is to spread the benefit by inducting new members.
Every club has the mandate to induct new members and the new member’s effort is reflected in the club’s DCP points. On the flip side, District officer’s performances are measured by different criteria, including number of new clubs being set up. To achieve the milestone you must sell the programs benefit to new members to join the clubs and corporate communities to set up new clubs.
The simple process includes selling the benefits of toastmasters program and it’s a natural progression that takes its natural time period. But what if you can hasten the process by influencing their mindsets and help members devote extra time on improving club activities and performance.
I believe you can hasten the process by influencing guest’s decision. And here I would share “6” pillars of influence identified by guru of persuasion Dr. Robert B. Cialdini and they are
- Consensus and Commitment
- Social power
RECIPROCATION: We are programmed to pay back a favor and it’s in our DNA. Ralph Waldo Emerson rightly said “Pay every debt as if God wrote the bill”.
TIP :When you invite guests, give them the Toastmasters magazine and or guest kits to take back and read. Make them comfortable and let a senior Ex-Com member explain the program to him. Ask him if he needs any other clarifications. Treat the guest as you would a friend and if required arrange to drop him back at his residence.
CONSENSUS AND COMMITMENT: We as humans have an excessive desire to be consistent with what we have already done or said.
TIP :Get feedback from your guests at the end of the meeting and let them fill out a feedback form that will also ask for them to write down what they liked about the program.
SOCIAL PROOF: If everyone is doing it, it is correct.
TIP : Share with your guests the Toastmasters activities in your territory and globally; there are 96 Clubs in UAE and 110,000 clubs worldwide in over 90 plus countries. Invite them to Area contests, Divisions contests and let them observe the powers of participation and performance.
SCARCITY: Hard to get things are perceived to be better than easy to get things.
TIP : Make your guest comfortable, and introduce the program clarifying all the doubts. Invite them to join but make them aware that since this is members club, the membership is subject to concurrence by all the members.
AUTHORITY: People tend to obey authoritative figures.
TIP : Introduce your guests to the Club president, VP Education, ACM, DTM and let them do the selling. If you have an important guest visiting, invite your Area Governor or Division Governor and introduce your guest to them. A pitch coming in from an authority figure influences.
LIKE: People say yes to people they like or know. People also like people that have something in common with them.
TIP : Find something in common with your guests and start your conversation with this as your basis; it could be school, college, place of residence or anything that becomes an ice breaker.
Getting new members and setting up new clubs are part of the leadership development and the more effectively you perform this activity, the better leader you emerge. Use the powers of the six pillars of influence to maximize the positive outcome. Reciprocate; commitment and consensuses; Authority; Scarcity; Like and use the Social proof.
Past International President Helen Blanchard once said “If you get out of Toastmasters all that there is to get out of Toastmasters, you will never get out of the Toastmasters”
Toastmasters’ program is a brilliant program that has benefited millions of members across the globe. It’s tailored to your lifestyle; progress as you want to progress. Having said that I would like to share “8” tips on getting the most out of Toastmasters Program..
- Read your manuals: Read your manuals; your CC, CL and other manuals received as joining kit. Underline and highlight content and draw your plan for the TM journey.
- Ask for a mentor: Request for a mentor, spend time to understand the program. Craft your projects and get your mentor guidance to improve and practice. For the senior members; create Smart group of 2 to 4 mentors and meet periodically to discuss your progress and feedback. And finally thank your mentor with a token of appreciation; coffee or a meal for every success. Let your mentor feel rewarded and make this a valuable experience for him. [we know TM is a non-profit organization but human sentiments prevail]
- Order complete set of manuals: Toastmasters is a wonderful program; every manual is treasure house. Order a complete set of “15” manuals, HPL manuals and craft your journey.
- Audit your stage time: The more quality time on the lectern, faster are the improvements. Hence audit your time on the lectern and explore areas that will allow you more time on the lectern. Maintain a log book.
- Feedback: Request feedback from key members on your deliveries and every role play. Winners feed on feedback.
- Retain written feedback and pin it to the respective project: Retain written feedback pinned to your project manuals and reference them often.
- Take up Excom role: Take up Excom role play specially President and Sergeant At Arms because they get time on the lectern in every meeting. Or take up other role plays to connect and learn to run team.
- Connect: TM forum has members from dfferent professional domain; business men, doctors, sales people, CEO, Managers and others. Connect and grow your network.
In conclusion I would reiterate; time is a scare commodity but your clever choices can double the impact of your time.
Running a full house in Toastmasters Club has become challenge but with right strategy and best practices you can run a successful Toastmasters club creating value and experience for the members. I am sharing “5” tips on getting the house full at Toastmasters club.
- Maintain records: Maintain records for the members to review at the meeting hall.
- Attendance register
- Role players list for the past meeting and role players list for the future four meetings.
- Minutes of the meetings
- Recognition: Recognize member’s achievements [Toastmasters, Professional and Personnel Achievements] and their special days during the meeting.
- Invite the key influencers: If you want to get a gathering of 50 people it’s not important that that you talk to 100 people and invite them to your club. Identify key “10” key influencers who have a serious larger circle of influence, to influence serious “50” other members. Give them the reasons why they should take up role play in your club or how their participation will help them. Then use their Klout to get houseful. Event managers are familiar with this methodology, hence they use this methodology effectively by getting key influencers to participate and attract the larger audience for events.
- Phone: It’s important to keep in touch with your members and likely prospect through email, social media but periodically pick up the phone and call. The good old way of talking to key members helps to retain participation and increase membership. This has many fold advantage such as
- Get verbal commitment to attend and participate.
- Make members feel important and special
- Get members feedback
- Proactively address any (-ve) feedback and concerns.
- Toastmasters Process: Getting members to attend and participate regularly in the club meeting is a science. And with religious practice of process defined by the Toastmasters helps to achieve the objective. Hence read, practice and conduct educational session on increasing participation and getting new members.
Enjoy practicing and reading………
There is so much happening in Toastmasters activities in UAE that sometime you feel overwhelmed . I believe around 80 clubs spread out in seven Emirates; every day there is an event and every event is unique. If you become the member of Toastmasters fraternity in UAE; you immediately connect with around 2000 toastmasters members in UAE.
Enjoy watching photos from various clubs a Unity in diversity.
After we set up the new Information Technology Company, it was easier to convert prospective leads to business but the biggest hurdle was to find new prospective leads FIRST. Hence to address the gap we defined our Marketing and Sales strategy. We
- Hired a tele-marketing who would call the industry and deliver the scripted massage.
- Created a business email with a link to benefits of technology and sent a marketing mail shot.
- Requested for referrals from our contacts.
- Put in free advertisements in the free online newspapers.
- Opened and activated a Facebook and Twitter account.
- Created buzz on our business wins on the Social media and free industry online newspapers.
- Set Sales targets, incentives and measurement process.
And subsequently we started getting trickle load of leads that started maturing into customers. Due to the continued measurable efforts business and cash flow improved.
In Toastmasters Club, New members are like the Cash flow and inducting them for your club follows a similar formula; an effective Marketing and Sales strategy. Hence follow the said steps
- Open up Facebook group account.
- Create a buzz about the past and the upcoming meetings.
- Open Twitter account and create a buzz about the upcoming meeting.
- Video record good meetings, educational session and events. And share it on Youtube. Send the LINK to prospective Toastmasters.
- Financials permitting; set up a www.meetup.com account else negotiate with www.meetup.com for special rates.
Human Resource Executive:
- Get in touch with HR executives of the organizations and invite them. Sell them the benefits of TM for their employees. After all one of the HR Executives KPI is to build up value for the employees.
- Ensure that club meetings are attractive because attractive people attract attention. So how do you make your meetings attractive ? I would say by adding value. Personally evaluate your meetings; what clicks and what could be chipped off. Note, planned meetings attract participation.
- Plan your meetings at least 6 meetings in advance and announce the TMOD providing enough time for the role players to deliver quality performance
- All project deliveries should be mentored.
- Respect time: start and end on time for the meetings and every role play.
- Special themes, Educational session and special role plays should spice up the meetings.
- Recognize members and guests. Make them feel important because people don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care.
Set down policy and targets:
- Script process who will be your face to the guests and how will you convert guest to members.
- Set new membership targets and who will be responsible?
- Set incentive and recognition plan for getting new members.
- Set a yard stick to measure your progress.
- Don’t lose focus on retaining existing members and their participation.
And in conclusion, I would PARAPHRASE words of Past International President Helen Blanchard, “If your members and guests get out of Toastmasters all that there is to get out of Toastmasters, they will never get out of the Toastmasters”
I firmly believe that Happiness is a state of mind. What it translates into is that you can be happy when you want it, where you want it and if you want it. You do not need an external stimuli to be happy, you need an internal stimuli to be happy now and forever.
But on the contrary the external stimuli helps to create happy moments and makes us realize the value of those happy moments and the proof is; we go to theater, we go to parties and visit nice places . We have laughter club, we have comedy clubs and we have humour clubs to stimulate happiness.
Last Tuesday I attended Dunes and Ace Toastmasters Club joint club meeting wherein the icing on the cake was a Tall Tale educational session by CK Chendil and a Tall Tale by VP Menon.. Indeed it was a treat in Happy moments; watch them in action tickle your funny bone..