The system is designed to minimise human effort in the administration of the club and maximise the data available to run the club effectively. This is my personal and business philosophy so, as you might expect, getting started is also easy!
Look around the system, get some understanding of how it works and the benefits it would bring to your club.
Think about the normal structure of your club meetings. (eg Bicester have Table Topics at the start of the meeting, Spa Speakers have them after the break)
If your Club is chartered you may enter the number into this form and make your own selections for agenda format etc
If your Club is not yet chartered, contact malcolmW via the e-mail on this site. Remember to give me your Club name and club number, meeting days, time and location and paste a typical meeting agenda into the mail.
Your club will be created by copying data from the club that you nominate. (Meeting roles, Meeting agenda templates, Officer 'job names', Member status, Timing for e-mail etc etc etc.
You are now President, VP-E, Secretary and everything else on the system for your club!
Log in and review the settings in the club control panel. Add a description for your normal meeting location for example so that visitors can find you.
Upload your membership file and select the correct member for each officer position.
This article shows the spreadsheet format for loading member data:
Create meetings for the next few months so that your members can book ahead.
Explain to your members how the system works for them. Maybe point them to the Knowledgebase area:
You may start the system, set your club preferences for agendas, description of meeting roles, load all your members details, assign speeches and roles for a meeting and then produce a printed agenda for your meeting without sending any information to your membership.
You may choose to do this:
When you first start to use the system - and want to gain a full understanding before involving the membership.
If most of your members are not internet users - You may still use the system for club officers to plan, prepare the agenda, print 'sign-up sheets' for future meetings and manage the club.
Nothing is ever sent to the members by e-mail unless the meeting manager or a club officer requests that it be sent.
(If the majority of your members are internet users, but a few are not, you may assign a computer 'buddy' to talk with the minority, receive e-mail and use the system on their behalf)
Consider loading data from the last one or two meetings of your club. This has the benefit of letting you practice creating meetings, allocating roles, putting speeches into the queue and assigning them to meetings etc etc without the time-pressure of involving the membership. It also means that your club charts will have a few meetings history when you begin using the system. Remember to 'close' the past meetings and say that this was what really happened by using the 'actual' button for each meeting.
Remember also to change the date for 'First mentoring data available' in the Club Control Panel to be that of the first meeting that you have loaded.
Consider loading past speeches made by members from any workbook that they have not yet completed. This will give you complete membership information to measure progress towards Competent Communicator etc. Speeches may be uploaded from a spreadsheet:
Do not let your implementation drag on for too long. If you are half using the system and trying to load a mass of old meeting data you will run into problems where, for example, members who spoke at the old meetings have now left the club. Set a reasonable objective of a few meetings history, load them over one weekend and start to use the system completely from that point onwards. You may easily load speech history which pre-dates your first system meeting date by uploading spreadsheets.
Any questions - post them in the discussion forum 'How do I ....' and the answers will be visible to all.
If you manage to break something - well done!
The system has been throrougly tested but occasionally someone finds a combination of circumstances that I didn't think about and generates an error.
The system will 'phone home' and tell me about the problem.
If you spot a problem or find that something doesn't work for you please give details in the 'Problem Reports' forum.
If you have suggestions for additions or improvements to the system please post them in the System Enhancements discussion forum.
(Hint - If you are a Skype user, add your Skype username in your personal profile. We can then talk through any implementation questions for free. http://www.skype.com)