Missing Your Friends

Rob Christeson, DTM
PDG District Governor

Are some friends missing from your club? Maybe they didn’t renew this October for some reason. If you are missing them, why not give them a call. Give them a call and tell them, “We miss you”. A personal extension in the form of a call will mean more to them than a simple e-mail or facebook post.

Our clubs grow strong one member at a time. Sometimes, a person drops out and they think, “it doesn’t matter, no one will notice”. Truth is, we all feel it and notice every member in our club. When we don’t show up and no one reaches out to say something, we think that’s ok. I guess Toastmasters is not for me.

You know that is not true.

What do you say on the phone to a member who didn’t renew? You can ask them what they learned in Toastmasters. Has it made a difference in their life? Has it made a difference in how they communicate at home? Are there areas where they want to grow where communication and leadership skills developed in Toastmasters can assist? Then, you can listen. Hear them. That will make a difference in one person’s life.

Just think…how powerful can three words be to a friend that hasn’t attended a recent Toastmasters Meeting? When they are the right three words, like “We miss you”, they can make all the difference in the world.

There are three critical times that these heartfelt words can help define the success of your club and its members:

Toastmaster of the week – When you are filling those roles the week before your meeting, you will normally find yourself talking to someone who may have missed a meeting or two. Taking that opportunity to say “We miss you…I hope you can attend and serve as General Evaluator” (for example) can help to remind them that they are valued members of the club, and that you noticed their absence.

Vice President Membership – Any member that misses three meetings in a row should get a call (not e-mail) from their VP Membership. By saying “We miss you” combined with a reminder that we look forward to helping them achieve their goals can help remind them of why they joined in the first place and hopefully get them coming again.

Club President – Members have a plethora of reasons for why they leave the club. But remember, those reasons can (and do) change after they leave the club. That kid’s soccer practice that conflicted with the meeting could have changed days, people with college class conflicts graduate, and other life events change. Every club president should look at the non-renewals from the last dues period and call each member that didn’t renew. Find out if their reason for leaving still outweighs the reasons to come back. Saying ” We miss you” could be the catalyst to get a friend back on track. And if the conflict is still there, don’t be afraid to offer alternatives. There could be an open club that meets a block away the next night. Don’t underestimate the personal connection you have made to your fellow members, and the connection they have made to you and your club. Remind them that you are glad to see them, and when you don’t see them remember to say “We miss you”

Dream Out Loud

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