Toastmasters - Collected Wisdom

These are summaries of the collected wisdom of contributors to a Toastamsters newsgroup which operated between 1995 and 2008 and ToastmastersPrime, a Google group which commenced in 2008. This is not an official Toastmasters site, but is an edited collection of posts from the newsgroup and the Google group. These groups provide an unofficial means of communicating for an enthusiastic group of Toastmasters from throughout the world.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

How do potential members find your club?

In November 2006, Terry asked

How do most of your club's guests learn about your club? We find that many of the guests who turn up at our meetings, have found us via the TM International's locator web pages.
They often say that they had heard about TM a while ago, and finally decided to try it out.

Re: How do most of your club's guests learn about your club?

Betsy reported:
By far, the greatest number of people find out about our club through the Internet.

Personal contacts (found out about it from a neighbor, etc.) accounts for many new members, and probably the highest percentage of guests who stick.

We also get at least 6-7 guests each year who are referred by the local community college. Some come from a speaking class, but most come from an ESL class. However, very few of these people join.

We have had 2-3 people who were active in other clubs, visited, and then transferred or became dual members. One person joined after seeing a flyer in the workout room in the local community association building.

We get almost nobody who mentions articles in the local paper, magazines in waiting rooms, etc.

PC offered:
#1 reason. Learned about Toastmasters in some way (e.g., someone recommended Toastmasters, attended an event, etc) and then went to the internet to search to find a club. Most sear hes bring up the TI site first. Then sometimes that club they decide to visit is our club.

#2 Reason. A current member, former member or guest recommended our club to them.

Allen said:
Almost all of our guests find our club by doing a Google search for 'toastmasters' in our city. We have an attractive, award-winning site that seems to tip people towards us instead of the other clubs around.

The single best feature people mention is a simple form on the website that says "Need more encouragement? Fill out your name and phone number and we'll contact you!".

Joy said:
My club has a listing in the phone book. Not all clubs can afford to do this, because the phone company requires that you have a business line, which isn't cheap. However, it is quite inexpensive to add a listing for your club to an existing business line. One tip - use the word "Toastmasters" as the first word of your listing.

We also get guests who are college students. One of the speech teachers at our local community college requires his students to listen to one or more speeches, and suggests Toastmasters as a source. I don't think any of those have ever returned.

We haven't had anybody from the newspaper or magazines either.

currently belongs to a corporate club at work and an advanced club. At both of those the guests are typically invited by existing members.

Kyle was surprised at the number who came through the net:
Probably 90% of the guests at our club are from personal contact of some kind. They know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, etc. who knew about our club.

Rick, who lives in a "technical area" said:
We get about half of our guests from the Internet. More of the guests who find us join than the guests that someone brings. I attribute that to the people from the Internet want to be there. A percentage that came with someone came just to appease their friend and didn't have any intention of joining.
We has a special ESL (English as a Second Language) meeting in August. We had five guests for it. (They were from fliers.)

Rod confessed:
Something that is known to be effective hardly gets a mention, and that's invitations from existing members. If we're enthusiastic about our clubs, we should be telling everyone AND inviting them regularly.
I guess I'm also guilty of assuming that, since most people know I'm a Toastmaster, that they will come and ask me if they're interested. Invitations to a an individual to attend a particular meeting works.

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