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From Prospect To Guest To Member

Putting Words Into Action

Prospect: The Importance of New Members

New faces, ideas, and speeches make the Toastmasters experience more enjoyable and worthwhile for all members.

The Benefits Are Clear

Think about what you gain as a member of Toastmasters. By giving others the opportunity to join, you help them

Improve speaking, listening, thinking, and leadership skills;
Discover hidden abilities and bring latent talents into use;
Obtain an expanded vision of the role of communication;
Increased self-esteem through active participation in personal development.

Who Is A Potential Toastmaster?

Toastmasters come from all walks fo life. Take a few minutes and make a list of potential members. You will find your list includes people from your workplace, your civic and social groups, your neighborhood, and your friends and relatives. Include anyone you know who is interested in personal development.

Guest: Welcome to the Club

Collecting names is not enough; give each person a brochure and an invitation to a Club meeting. Invite them for a specific date - the next meeting - not just for a possible visit sometime in the future.

Do It Right

Treat guests at your Club exactly as you would in your home. Make sure guests are introduced to each member and acknowledged formally during the meeting. Give your guests a sample of the warm, friendly atmosphere, the comfortable learning, and the feeling of achievement they will get in Toastmasters.

How Can Toastmasters Help the Prospect?

What needs does the guest have that Toastmasters can meet? To close the sale, show how specific segments of the Toastmasters program can help meet various needs. For example, if someone needs help clearly presenting unprepared ideas in front of a group, tell them about Table Topics and how it will help.

Here are some needs and Toastmasters activities that will help them:

Need: Solution:
Prepared speeches Competent Communication Program
Impromptu speaking Table Topics
Conducting meetings Toastmaster of the Day
Personnel review Evaluator
Management/support Participation as a Club officer
Leadership development   High Performance Leadership Program

Additional Selling Points

If you still need help convincing someone to join, remind them of these factors:

Price. At $54 per year (plus Club dues), the Toastmasters program is extremely cost-effective.

Time. Toastmasters Clubs meet for one to two hours once a week or every two weeks. Prospects will appreciate the relatively small time commitment.

Convenience. Toastmasters Clubs meet various days of the week in the morning, at noon, or in the evening. Most people can find a Club with a convenient time and location.

Quality. More than three million people have benefitted from Toastmasters since it began more than 75 years ago. The educational materials are continually upgraded to provide the best products available.

Member Enrollment

Once the prospect has decided to become a member, the following steps need to be taken.

Enrolling a New Member

Complete a membership application (Form 400) with the individual. Make sure that the information is correct and legible. Since you are sponsoring the new member, be sure to fill in your full name and home Club number. Make sure the new member and a Club officer sign the application.

Propose the individual as a member of the Club and vote on his/her admission during a Club business meeting.

Immediately obtain a check for the membership dues and a new member fee, as well as any Club dues.

Mail the application form and check to World Headquarters immediately.

When World Headquarters receives the application and dues, it sends a New Member Kit to the new member.

The Most Important Part

Your efforts have been productive, and the prospect has joined. Now make sure every new member gets our of Toastmasters what he/she needs. New members immediately need to become involved in Club activities. The following steps should be taken to get off to a good start:

Hold an orientation session and use the New Member Orientation Kit For Clubs (Catalogue Item Number 1162) to explain the Toastmasters program, including manuals, meeting assignments, evaluation, involvement opportunities, etc.

Conduct an installation ceremony. Details for performing a brief induction program are found in the New Member Orientation Kit For Clubs.

Provide a mentor who is an experienced Toastmaster who can assist the new member during his/her early assignments. Use the Club Mentor Program Kit (Catalogue Item Number 1163) to organize a mentor program in your Club.

Promote involvement and schedule an Ice Breaker speech for the new member within one or two meetings. Also assign meeting roles for other meetings. Make sure the new member speaks as often as possible for the first few months.

Complete the circle and give the new member a copy of this pamphlet and urge him/her to invite guests to each Club meeting.

Composed with care by Peter Bunce, DTM, ATM-S
Updated: Tuesday, March 31, 2009

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