There is one essential element for promoting any Toastmaster club – well planned, exciting, and meaningful meetings. Everything rests on excellent meetings. If our meetings are enjoyable word will spread.
If our meetings are fantabulous and we can get a SALESMAN to join our club – membership will explode. This happened serendipitously for my club. Scott, who enjoyed horses, invited Mark, who also enjoyed horses to speak at our club. Mark is a former NBA All-star basketball player. Mark has an executive coach at the time named Julio. Mark invited Julio to come along to the club when he spoke. Because our club was conducting meaningful and exciting and well planned meetings both Mark and Julio joined immediately. Mark is a professional speaker. Julio is a SALESMAN.
According to Malcom Gladwell in his book The Tipping Point, a SALESMAN is someone whose unusual charisma allows them to be extremely persuasive in inducing others’ buying decisions and behaviors.
After two years of over 40 members we had to approach Julio to stop persuading others to join our club.
Meaningful, exciting, well-planned meetings are so important that everything else related to Public Relations pales. If we don’t have great meetings we will only turning people off to Toastmasters by inviting them to bore themselves.
In addition to word-of-mouth sales, we can help people discover what Toastmasters is about and where and when we meet by:
- submitting meeting information to be printed weekly in the local paper for free under the community meetings section,
- submitting news and pictures to the local newspaper to be printed and bring attention to what the club is doing,
- submitting PSAs (public service announcements) to the local radio station that tells people when and where you meet,
- asking to be interviewed by the local radio station regarding recent breaking news related to your club or to inform the community about what Toastmasters is, and
- creating a blog/website that provides information that is easily found by visitors looking for meeting times and locations and explanations about Toastmasters. By posting current news and information onto our blog we can drive traffic to our sites and increase awareness in the community.