Provide free snacks to your members (between club meetings)

by Guest Blogger Jason Symonds

Whenever I attend a Challenger Toastmasters meeting, I leave feeling like I’ve just enjoyed a satisfying four-course meal: an appetizer of officer introductions and meeting roles, a first course of rich speeches, a second course of spicy table topics and some sweet yet tasteful evaluations for dessert.

Unfortunately, this satisfaction quickly fades. And just like waking up the next morning after a delicious dinner, I’m hungry for more. Worst of all, I normally have to wait two weeks before I get my next fix of Toastmaster-vittles.

With this dilemma in mind, our club offers “snacks” to our members so that they don’t go hungry between club meetings. We call these small bites “educational moments. After each meeting we send our members quick videos, TED talks, movie clips and inspirational quotes and articles to satiate their palates for becoming better communicators and leaders.

For example, we recently sent a clip of Simon Sinek’s TED talk where he discusses why great leaders start with “Why?” and how this creates inspired leaders. We used this video to provide an example of a public speaker that embodies the characteristics and dynamic leadership that we try to mirror in our club.

By no means is this “snack” intended to satisfy our members the same way a full Toastmasters meeting does. However, it accomplishes two things: 1) it keeps our members engaged and thinking about ways to grow and improve their public speaking skills between meetings, 2) it shows how our club can provide value to our members outside of official Toastmasters meetings.

Just like you don’t expect a single meal to keep you full for two weeks, don’t expect one meeting to be enough to keep your members satisfied. Think of ways your club can provide “snacks” to your members between meetings, or feel free to

Strawberries and Chocolate
Give members a “snack” between meetings

adopt the ideas we’ve discussed here. When we share recipes for club success, everyone eats.

Are you looking for more bite-sized ideas on leadership? Network with other Toastmasters at District 27 events, like our Fall Conference, which will be held from November 10 – 11. It’s theme is Shine! Shout! Share!, and you can register now.

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Jason Symonds is the Vice President of Education for Challenger Toastmasters, which meets at Asahi Restaurant in Courthouse Plaza (2500 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite G), Arlington, Va., at 7 PM on the first and third Tuesday of the month.