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Author malcolmw  Date 01 Apr 13, 19:07  Views 76055
Description The 'helicopter view' of what this system does
Category Using This Site  Type Information
Article scope
easy-Speak information

easy-Speak: application overview

This is a very long list of features - but don't let that worry you. You could start your club on easy-Speak with no more information than a spreadsheet containing your members' details and be running your first meeting within an hour.
Your members only need to learn two things: to click on the links in e-mail that you to send them and know how to log in.
If you choose you can do everything without involving the members.
But, most clubs quickly start to use the additional powerful tools to free up the VPE's time, support the members and manage the club.
The application allows the club to:

Publish a calendar
You may publish a calendar of meetings in advance (3-6 months suggested) and allow members to click on 'I'll be there or not' in advance of the meeting

Assign a Meeting Manager

The meeting management functions within this application are only accessable to a group of users defined as the club officers. Any of the officers with system permission may create or change a meeting or assign members to roles from any PC with access to the internet.
Should the VPE suddenly become un-available another officer can take over at any point - and it is clear just what actions the VPE has already taken.
Many clubs will have all meetings managed by their VPE. However, the application allows that any club member may be assigned to manage a particular meeting. This member is then able to assign roles and send the e-mail for this meeting (but not change the meeting structure, date, time or location - these functions are restricted to certain of the club's officers)
The meeting manager can see who is attending, who has accepted which roles, what role each person has taken recently, the history of each role...... etc.
The meeting manager can also access members' telephone numbers, call via Skype or send a personal e-mail directly from the management screen.

Meeting Reminders
You may remind your members (and guests or mailing list) about meetings.

You can generate an email 'Just to remind you about the nnnn meeting.... Please click on the link to say that you will be there or ... (10-14 days prior suggested)

The following actions are automatic depending on the roles that you have assigned and the members' response so far. However, nothing is sent to the members unless the meeting manager requests this.

Generate a personal email to each member (7 days ahead suggested).
Either:
Thanks for telling me that you will be at the nnn meeting. I have assigned you the role of XXX. Please click on the link to accept it. If this is a new role for you you may get information about XXX by clicking on the link...

or
You didn't yet tell me if you would be at the nnn meeting. I have provisionally assigned you the role of XXX. Please click on the link to accept it. If this is a new role for you you may get information about XXX by clicking on the link

or
Thanks for telling me that you will be at the nnn meeting. I have not assigned you a role this time but full details of the meeting are available if you click on the link...

Generate a general email to members without roles saying 'We need a volunteer for the nnn meeting ... please click...

Manage the meeting on-line
At any time up to the cut-off for on-line changes (12 hours suggested) a member can click on the meeting detail to say yes or no.
If they have a particular interest in this meeting they can request email updates as other members accept/refuse roles.

Fill roles automatically
The system includes an automatic role allocation routine which will assign meeting roles based on the member's experience and recent roles and the requirements of each role as defined for the club. The meeting manager may overrule the automatic suggestions.
When assigning roles the meeting manager can select a pop-up which displays full history of a role and who has done this recently. Clicking on the member's name will show their participation and recent roles.
To guide the assignment of an appropriate Evaluator, the last three speeches and Evaluator are displayed for each Speaker at the meeting.
If the club allows it, certain member status can 'volunteer' online for certain roles - see more about this in the Knowledgebase article - ' In what circumstances can a member volunteer for a role on-line?' https://easy-speak.org/kb.php?mode=article&k=6

Manage a 'queue' of requested speeches
Members may book details of a speech ahead of time and request that it be scheduled in a future meeting. Speech details are shown automatically in the meeting agenda and in the personal record for the member.
The queue of requested speeches is visible to all club members and to the VPE when preparing a meeting agenda.
A summary of speeches for each member and progress towards Competent Communicator etc is presented as one of the eight Club Charts.
The last fifty speeches for the club are also shown with a link back to the meeting at which they were made.
https://easy-speak.org//kb.php?mode=article&k=45

Manage and track members' progress for the Competent Leader award
The system allows the club VPE to record when a member completes each assignment and project leading to a CL or AL award. This information is also available to the member and their mentor.
If a member is assigned a meeting role that could be evaluated for CL they will be given the detail and reminded by e-mail to bring their leadership manual.
A report is available to club officers showing for each meeting: potential CL roles, first time roles and first time visitors.
For meeting based assignments the information is collected automatically if the club uses easy-Speak for meeting management and 'CL tracking' may also be enabled for clubs that have chosen not to use full meeting and data management through this site.
https://easy-speak.org/kb.php?mode=article&k=154

Support the Club's Mentor scheme
One of the Member Charts identifies each member's mentor and any mentees assigned to them.
Mentors may view for their mentees additional information kept by the system about roles and speeches delivered recently and meeting attendance etc.
The VPE or Meeting Manager may send an automatic e-mail to all mentors which lists any roles assigned to their mentees for a meeting (and associated CL assignments if relevant)

Create meeting agenda
The meeting agenda is calculated and available online to everyone (after it has been made publicly available) . The printed copy includes a promised attendance list.
Each meeting agenda is created by selecting from a list of pre-configured templates (e.g 'Three speeches'). Clubs create and manage their own meeting templates.
The meeting manager may change the detail for a meeeting (add a new item or change a timing for example). All timings for the meeting are then re-calculated automatically.
Speech timings are inserted automatically using the standard times in the TI workbook for the assigned speech.

The printed meeting agenda may also display information about the next club meeting. This option is set in the club control panel as 'no', 'summary' or 'summary plus meeting manager'.
The meeting agenda may also be printed in a detailed form to be used as a script by the Toastmaster and Timekeeper.

Record actual roles and attendance
It only takes a few seconds to record 'actuals' after the meeting. Tracking member data such as 'last attended', 'last role', and 'last spoke' is built in.
Mentoring assistance is provided by displaying a member's recent roles and attendance. A full history of speeches given is shown in the member's profile and progress summarised in club charts..

Other articles in the Knowledgebase about running the meeting:
https://easy-speak.org/kb.php?mode=cat&cat=20

Other meetings
You may also use the system to manage meetings of your club officers (they are only visible to club officers) and social meetings without the formal Toastmaster agenda and attendance features.

Club Website
The system provides a fully featured website which may easily be managed by the Club officers adding pages or using drag-and-drop to move items around a page. Three are many pre-prepared web-parts that may be added to the page and many of these are automatically updated as the Club creates new meetings in the calendar or the Club officers change each year.
More details here.

Officer Training
You may use the system to administer officer training sessions at the District, Division or Area Level.
All club officers for all the clubs reporting to the unit running the training are automatically invited and all the features of agenda management, tracking attendees and sending e-mail to potential attendees are available. There is a facility to print name badges and to generate an e-mail listing actual attendance for reporting to TI.
If you permit it, 'Out of Area' attendees may request attendance and will be included in the attendance e-mail that is copied to their own Area and Division Governor.

Provide a Knowledgebase of Information
We will build in this Knowledge Base details of the various roles - and it can be expanded to include further information about Toastmasters and anything else which is relevant. Any system user can submit an article to the Knowledgebase (but, for obvious reasons this will be reviewed prior to it being made publicly available)

On-line discussion and voting
On-line discussion is available with one forum being 'private' within each club.
Voting can be set up by the club for whatever issue is topical - for example: "Our next social event - do you want a barbeque, river trip, theatre, ...."
If a time-limit is set, vote results are not visible until it's up. Only members can vote - and only once!

Manage the membership list
Members data is available to other members and they may email or send private messages via the system. Members may restrict their telephone numbers to be visible only to other club members or officers. E-mail addresses are held in a secure database away from spam-generating web-crawlers.

Manage the club officer list
The current holder of each position is visible to all system users. Each officer's details are available by clicking on their name and they may also be contacted direct from the system by e-mail or Skype.
An officer in the existing committee may use this screen to assign next year's committee - the annual return to TI is then just a single click action.

Run an e-mail-shot
Broadcast email to 'all members' or 'mailing list' etc is available to club officers without having to know the latest e-mail addresses or check the membership list.
Club officers may also send an e-mail-shot to all other club officers via the system.
District officers may send mailshots to all officers of a selected type (eg the LGET may mailshot all Club Presidents and VPE with one click)

Photo Album
The system allows any club member to submit photographs to the club photo album. These are made publicly available after review by a club officer.

Club Management & Reporting
The annual report to Toastmasters International is a 'one-click' action.
Several charts are provided automatically based on records of actual meetings. These include the members' progress through speech and leadership workbooks, attendance and roles performed and schedules of future meeting roles by member that may be used as 'sign-up sheets'.
If the club chooses to use them, two further charts are available that present members' achievements in introducing new members and vistors as part of a membership campaign.
The next development will automate the Treasurer's record-keeping.

Club and Officer Summary
A full summary of all the information shown on the TI semi-annual return is shown on one screen along with buttons to display the club's current status in the Distinguished Club Program and to log in to Toastmasters International and record changed data for the club.

Create links to/from existing web-sites
Clubs can easily link to this application from their own web-site and show their own logo, news and strapline etc on it. The Welcome and News section on the front page is entirely controlled by the club and can link back to any url (for example the club's main web-site)
Key features of the site may be accessed directly from the Club's own site. For example, a fixed link on the Club's site can: connect to easy-Speak, change the logo and strap-line to present itself as that club, look up the Club's next meeting in the calendar and present this information to the user ready for them to 'book in'.


A specialised portal for District, Division and Area
easy-Speak has evolved to be a full-scale portal providing easy delivery of specialised features for the various levels of the Toastmaster organisation from District through to Club.
Key features that are relevant outside a club are listed here: easy-Speak: What's available at the District, Division or Area level

Configuration
Almost all configuration is club based. So, if you want to call your 'Grammarian' the 'Word Master' or create new roles or define a new form of agenda or change what each officer is allowed to do or change the Knowledgebase item offered for each role you should be able to do it. Explanation of these settings is covered here: https://easy-speak.org/kb.php?mode=cat&cat=19

At your service
The system is designed to be multi-club, multi-lingual and multi-timezone.
Much information is avaliable from several directions. If it's blue you can probably click on it and see something extra. Get some excitement - click away! (But remember that many of the features are only available to certain club officers and will not be visible to you as a regular club member or a guest)

The system is web and e-mail based - so we assume that most people have www and email (or can be assigned a 'buddy' who has).
However, if you chose, the club officers could use the database features to manage the club and only involve the general membership by telephone or printed 'sign-up' sheet.

Getting Started
You may make this system available to your club members without cost to your club - it's my gift to Toastmasters.
Contact malcolmW via this site or using the e-mail address at the foot of the Toastmaster screens.
(To speed up the process, a new club is created by copying all the settings from an existing club and your members details are uploaded from a spreadsheet. You could go live in less time than it takes to prepare for an Area Governor's visit!)
If you are a District 71 club, but not yet live on easy-Speak you will see some summary data for your club but not have access to all features. If you wish to use all the features contact malcolmW via this site to request that your club move from 'summary' to 'active' status.

If you are a Toastmaster from another District and are interested in using this software for your club please contact me through http://www.easy-speak.org

Malcolm Warden


Please explore the Knowledgebase for more information

An overview of the system from a user's point-of-view
https://easy-speak.org/kb.php?mode=article&k=39

An overview of starting your club on easy-Speak
https://easy-speak.org/kb.php?mode=article&k=47

An overview of joining a Toastmaster Club
https://easy-speak.org/kb.php?mode=article&k=26

Download sample screenshots including some of the management screens: (1.9Mb)

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Request your Club be added to easy-Speak

    
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