Toastmasters – Run a Speechcraft

Build your club membership with Speechcraft
By Rob Christeson, DTM
Lt. Governor Marketing

Part of the Success/Communication program, Speechcraft is a way to bring prospective members into your club and see rapid improvement in those who attend. There are two ways to run a Speechcraft, in a corporate club or a community club. Either way, there are some quick things you should know:

  1. The program cost $20 for a five attendee package from TI, and about $3 for additional materials per attendee. This means a total cost of about $40-45 including shipping for a 10-person class
  2. You can run a 4, 6 or 8 session program for your group at about one hour per session
  3. You can charge a fee to cover costs (including room rental), and any nominal overage can go to the club treasury. No individual/group can profit from the training
  4. The first three Speechcraft speeches can count as speeches 1, 2 and 3 in the CC manual for any attendee that decides to join the club
  5. More details: http://www.toastmasters.org/Members/MembershipBuilding/Speechcraft.aspx

For a corporate club, this can be a quick and useful way to show value to your company as well as bring in new members. You’ll need to advertise within your company to the extent allowed (i.e. corporate newsletter, web site, bulletin boards, and e-mail). Also, you can talk to your corporate training department to see if they will fund the training since you will provide the facilitators from the company club. You can schedule it for a lunch hour and offer food (or brown-bag it), but you will need to avoid interfering with your club’s meeting time.

For a community club, you will need to advertise in the local paper and use your membership to reach potential attendees. You can offer to provide to another group, such as the Rotary Club or a nearby Chamber of Commerce. You could do this at their meeting site, or you can add 30-minutes onto the end of your club meetings for 6 weeks and condense your time by reducing the business portion of the meeting.

Bonus idea: Charge $20 per attendee. This will accomplish two things: 1. The attendee will be more likely to take their participation seriously since they paid out of pocket. 2. At the end you can offer to apply the $20 toward the new member fee for anyone who chooses to join. They’ll still have to pay their 6-month (or prorated) dues, but they’ll see a benefit to joining right now, and it will feel like a discount. If one or two don’t join, their $20 pay for the materials. If all 10 join, then…well…all 10 joined!

Right now, Division A is working out the details to run a Speechcraft for one of the clubs in Wichita. In a future article, You will learn about the success and any additional lessons learned. If you have some experience yourself, send me a note at rob@robchristeson.com and I’ll compile a list of best practices (i.e. like the $20 charge idea).  

Speechcraft is one really solid method to bring value to your company or community and build the membership of your club. If you involve more members to help, the workload is reasonable and this program will allow one member to meet the Advanced Communicator Gold requirements at the same time. Take this opportunity to make your mark on your club’s success and Unleash Your Possibilities!

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About Rob Christeson

Talk to the Human
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