Member orientation is the second moment of truth that Toastmasters asks us to consider. How well do we “acquaint new members with the Toastmasters education and recognition programs and make members aware of the club’s responsibility to them and their responsibility to the club.” Do we
- Induct new members formally and provide a membership pin and manuals
- Assign a mentor for one-on-one assistance
- Discuss how the educational program helps develop speaking and leadership skills
- Survey all new members’ learning needs
- Assign a speaking role for the new member as soon as possible
- Continue to make new members feel welcome and encourage their participation in meetings.
It might be really easy to assume that the club does all those things until you ask how well the club does them. Take inductions, for example. When I worked for Past District Governor Marianne Meadows I learned that it’s not the thing to present a plain paper certificate to a new member or to a contest speaker. You can put that sheet of paper into a jacket to make it look special and to make the new member feel special. How many other ways can you think of to make our club’s performance special and what difference would they make to your perception of our club? We’ll talk about your your ideas when we talk about this moment of truth in a club meeting.