“Officers’ Training – An Essential”
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Lance’s Letter #2
Toastmasters Districts around the world are now in the midst of “Officer Training.” Every year, a new cadre of officers takes the helm at every club. Some are repeating in positions. Some have been officers, but are taking on a different position. And others have never been an officer of anything before.
First, hats off to them all. They have leapt into the breach and taken on the task of both personal and professional growth on the one hand, and the responsibility of making sure your club is helping you achieve the goals you set for yourself when you joined Toastmasters.
A well-run club ensures members are getting the communication and leadership experiences that foster personal and professional growth. Without such leadership, clubs shrink, and flounder. Meetings become stressful and unproductive. And so we provide basic training for officers on the essentials in the opening months of the year, and more sophisticated training mid-year, after the ‘newbies’ have come face to face with club management challenges.
Training encompasses “Moments of Truth,” those moments and elements of a club meeting which let newcomers know this is a well led professional group…or not. And which keep current and long time members interested and involved.
Trainings also cover a “Club Success Plan,” rooted in the “Distinguished Club Program” and it’s 10-point structure, capped by a President’s Distinguished recognition. Achieve President’s Distinguished and your club will, by default, be successful.
In addition, officers – collectively called a club’s “Executive Committee” – learn the basics of each officer’s role. Here’s a quick, much abbreviated summary of Executive Committee roles: (details are in the Club Leadership Handbook given to each club officer), along with transferable skills useful in the world beyond Toastmasters:
- Drives the visions and values of a club.
- Schedules and presides over the Executive Committee and membership meetings.
- Offers guidance for Executive Committee members; keeps in touch with them regularly.
- Handles conflict resolution, with coaching from the Executive Committee, previous club leaders, and Area, Division and District leaders.
Transferable skills include: Experience in leadership, leading teams, conflict management, and meeting.
Vice President of Education
- Program and speaking scheduler – creates and brings a schedule to very meeting on time, makes sure all people have a chance to speak and try different functions.
- Helps members set and achieve their communication and leadership educational goals.
- Is the Club Contest Organizer.
- Oversees the Club Mentor Program.
Transferable skills include: Motivating and mentoring others, setting and achieving goals, organization and leadership.
Vice President of Public Relations
- Is the club’s connection to the outside world via newspapers, websites, PR announcements, Facebook, Meetup, Linkedin Twitter, etc. with the main goal of attracting guest to visit the club.
- Serves as the club’s brand manager.
Transferable skills include: Marketing experience, proficiency using social media websites and applications, sales and increased confidence to meet the public.
Vice President of Membership
- Seves as principle guest-to-member converter.
- Keeps in touch with guests and prior members: establishes and maintains one-on-one communication with guests – past, present and future potential.
- Provides guests with forms, guest packets, and answer questions about the club.
- Helps guests fill out membership forms and delivers form and check to treasurer or to Toastmasters International directly via the TI Website.
Transferable skills include: Recruiting, closing sales, improved communication skills, confidence in meeting and working with new people.
- Collects membership dues, submit payments to Toastmasters international via mail or online and updated roster at www.toastmasters.orgToastmasters before dues deadlines: September 30th and March 31st.
- Handles reimbursements/payments.
- Files the 199-N by May 15 for the previous year: Filed electronically – takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Failure to file will jeopardize your club’s tax-exempt status.
- Keeps financial/bank account records and report regularly to the Executive Committee
Transferable skills include: Receiving and managing money, budgeting, keeping accurate records and disbursing funds.
- Keeps Minutes of Executive Committee meetings and activities of club meetings
- Keeper of the club history, including bylaws, charter paperwork and past meeting agendas.
- Reports new officers to Toastmasters International before June 30
- Handles any necessary club correspondence.
Transferable skills include: Improved communication and listening skills, proficiency using software programs, accurate record keeping, time management and organization.
Sergeant at Arms
- Prepares club’s meeting room or facility to be ready to prior to start time.
- At-the-door greeter, provides signage, nametags, makes it easy for guests and members to know what to do, and reminds all officers to greet guests as well).
- Maintains materials and keeps enough of everything on hand (Forms, ribbons, member applications, etc.).
- Set sup speaking area for speakers.
- Puts everything away and stores club supplies after meetings.
Transferable skills include: The ability to hold an effective meeting, preparedness and organization.
Be sure to thank your club’s officers for the hours they put in in your behalf. Consider taking on a role of assistant to one of your officers, to help them – and possibly to prepare yourself for taking on a role next July 1.
Remember – In District 52, for our club officers, “Every Member Counts.”
See you here, next week!
Lance Webster, DTM
Director, District 52