Just like the National Blood Service, a Toastmaster Club needs new blood to survive. There are many ways to attract new members and in Speak Easy @Martlesham we've found one that works for us.
We all know that a few guests here and there is needed to keep new membership ticking over and this can be achieved through continued PR in local media and advertising at supermarkets and workplaces.
Speak Easy @ Martlesham includes two Open Evenings per year in its published club plan, one in the Spring to attract the public out of hibernation and one in the Autumn to keep them active through the dark nights ahead.
The format of the standard evening is revised to focus the key aspects of the Club & Toastmasters and to show them in the best light. We focus on Topics, Prepared Speeches and two evaluations (topics and one speech). By leaving out club business, wordmaster and the other evaluations we have plenty of extra time to overview the aims of TM, allow for an extended break to mingle and an open forum for Q&A.
The Open Evenings receive an added PR effort that includes interviews on local radio, a feature in the local newspaper and a poster campaign. Members are then challenged to bring 5 guests, resulting in about 1 or 2 each in practice!!!!
The results have always been positive. Typically 10 - 15 guests with between 2 - 5 joining. So, two Open Evenings per year plus regular attendance of guests puts us on target for our 8 new members.
If you're like us - and have two clubs in a small area, why not pool your efforts and host a shared Open Evening. Very often we'll gain members for Ipswich Electrifiers and in return they send new members in our direction.
Give it a try. Posters, agendas and supporting PR are available at www.speakeasyatmartlesham.co.uk
Jeff Bartrop VPPR Speak Easy @Martlesham