While Toastmasters International has been around for decades, many people do not know about Toastmasters, let alone know how to join or know which club to join. Below are simple tips on how to successfully bring guests to a meeting.
- Talk about Toastmasters to your friends or colleagues. By talking about Toastmasters to your everyday friends or colleagues, you are essentially spreading the word about Toastmasters. Oftentimes, people are curious and will want to know more about it. If you capture someone’s attention or if you can sense that someone is interested, take advantage of the opportunity and explain what Toastmasters is all about and why you are doing it. Share the reasons why you joined in the first place and what your experience has been like being a Toastmasters member.
- Invite your guest to your club’s meeting. Once you have captured someone’s attention, politely invite your friend or colleague to attend your club’s meeting. You need to provide the” necessary” details, such as the time, location, frequency, and general format about the meeting. If there is a special requirement to join, it is critical that you provide the information at the onset to avoid disappointments later. For example, one of the main requirements for Chamber Voices member is to be a current member of the Las Vegas Chamber.
- Make your guest comfortable and feel welcomed. If you have a guest, make sure that he/she feels comfortable and welcomed. Sit with your friend and introduce him/her to as many fellow Toastmasters as possible. Be sure to introduce your friend to the Vice President Membership so that the Officer can have a moment with your guest. The Vice President will typically greet your friend and take the opportunity to provide the guest with a guest log and packet.
- Thank your guest! One of the Vice President Membership’s roles is to thank guests for attending the club’s meeting. As long as your guest signed the guest log, the VP of Membership should follow up and send out thank you notes to all guests immediately after the meeting. In addition, I recommend that you also send a thank you note to your guest for attending and participating at your club’s meeting. Not only that it is a good gesture, but it is also a good way to continue your dialogue with your guest about Toastmasters. Be sure to invite and remind your guest the next club’s meeting.
- Ask for Feedback. While thanking your guest, you might as well ask for feedback to discover your friend’s impression of the meeting. Encourage your guest to be honest and frank about how the meeting went. When you received your guest’s feedback, make sure that you share it with your Vice President Membership or other Club Officers so that together, your club can continue to thrive and grow.
By Manolita Moore, MBA
Vice President Membership