I approach the fourth moment, Program Planning and Meeting Organization, with a lot of uncertainty. The criteria proposed by Toastmasters seem simplistic—
- Publicize the program and agenda in advance
- Ensure all members know their responsibilities for each meeting and are prepared to carry out all assignments
- All speaking and leadership projects are manual projects
- Begin and end meetings on time
- Feature creative Table Topics and exciting theme meetings
- Base positive, helpful evaluations upon project objectives and speakers’ learning goals
but I think there’s more than meets the eye here. Our club mission is to “provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.” This moment specifies the minimum standards toward satisfying that mission—show up regularly and do a good job. But I think there’s also lots of room to excel here.
The biggest opportunities I see are looking for ways to collaborate and to support each other (I think it’s too easy to work by yourself in Toastmasters and not contribute to the club) and making sure our program includes instructional content. We can use presentations from The Better Speaker to help members develop or refresh skills and we can look beyond Toastmasters for ideas and speaking examples. Do you listen to presentations from The Moth, TED, and other sources and share what you have learned from them? Do you wonder how speakers are using tools other than Powerpoint to present? All that and your other ideas are fair game for our discussion of this moment.