Archive for the ‘Membership’ Category

Club Member figures update

WA lost 340 members in April

Really!!  How could we lose 1/3 of our members just like that?

Renewals are through

The previous 6 monthly membership term expired on March 31.  Membership now is only for those members who have renewed for the next 6 months, or for new members in April.  Check the current figures for your club at

The DCP Report

We have 5 Distinguished clubs

Congratulations to Canning Vale, Victoria Quay and Fremantle Gourmet, President’s Distinguished with all 10 goals.

And congratulations to Electric Toasters and WA Governors, Select Distinguished with 7 goals

For those interested in statistics you can find three monthly snapshots for each Division and WA as a whole at the very end of the report.  My guess is that by June 30 we will have recovered enough late renewers and new members to get back to about 900-950 members.

A wakeup call for Division & Area Governors

Clearly member figures for many clubs are far too low. Club Officers need to be contacted to offer encouragement or help to get all active members paid up and registered.

David Nicholas DTM

Twenty at last!

WA has an average membership of 20.0!

At week end September 24 we had 1,100 members in our 55 clubs.  That is an average of 20.0!

What’s the big deal?

I have been keeping detailed records of our WA Clubs for over 10 years.  This is the first time in that time we have reached this significant average.  It’s significant because Toastmasters International makes this the goal for clubs and Districts – 20 members is needed for effective club maintenance.

District WA

In the early days of our campaign for our own District in WA we were given two targets to reach – at least 60 clubs and an average membership of 20.  That was when we had 35 clubs and an average membership of 16.7!   Well, we have reached an average of 20 members per club (but not for long – see below), but we have only 55 clubs.  Yet, World Headquarters has promised we will be a full District on July 1, 2011 – only 9 months away.  What is going on?

Two things have tipped the scales in our favour

The first is our energetic pursuit of growth in new clubs.  In the 4 years since Mike Helm became the first West Australian District Governor of District 73 and I launched the District WA brand, we have been averaging a net growth of 5 clubs a year.  That average growth has given credibility to our push.  It has been significant overall and steady from year to year.

The second is pure luck! Toastmasters International has re-organised their structure to make it reflect the reality that growth is occurring outside North America.  A Region structure has been adopted with a minimum of 5 Districts per Region.  Geographically Australia and New Zealand have been grouped together in Region 12.  Currently there are 3 Australian Districts – District 69 Queensland and the Northern Territory, District 70 New South Wales and Canberra and ou District 73 Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and WA – and 1 New Zealand District – District 72.  Region 12 needs another District to bring up its quota.  Enter District WA.  They need us and we have established credibility – they know we will get there soon, so they have relaxed the entry criteria.  In November this year we will be allocated our District number, along with a new District in China.  That is very appropriate given the close association between our WA mining industry and China.

Twenty now!  16 next month?

That’s my gloomy prediction, again based on monitoring our figures over many years.  Members must renew their membership for the next six months by September 30 – next Thursday.  In practice the real date in the past has been October 9 and the final figures wont be available until about October 23.  When they come through most clubs will have suffered a member loss of about 20%, which will bring our WA totals down to around 900 members and an average of less than 17.  That’s my prediction.    And then we start the climb up again – more clubs and more new members.

Let’s start the action now.

David Nicholas DTM
WA New Clubs Coordinator

David Nicholas

How One Little Badge Can Bring Immense Benefits

In early July 2010 I participated in the WA Youth Parliament program. This program allows WA people aged between 15-25 to meet for a week at Parliament House to discuss youth issues, learn more about our system of government and to improve their public speaking and debating skills.

Before going I purchased a little Toastmasters pin from Toastmasters International. This pin cost me about $4.00 and can be pinned onto a suit or jacket. The reason I did this was that in February 2009 at Club Officer Training in Subiaco, then Western Division Governor Ross Wilkinson told the officers in attendance about this pin and how we should wear it at formal functions as a way to advertise Toastmasters. Before I went away to Youth Parliament I thought this would be a good opportunity to wear the pin and to see just how much interested it generated.

Throughout the week long program I got on my feet many times to speak on whatever motion was being debated. As someone who has been in Toastmasters for two years it should not surprise anyone that I was able to speak very confidently, clearly and concisely and was able to make my speeches interesting.

During our morning tea and lunch breaks many other participants came up to me and asked me ‘how did you get so good at public speaking?’ Naturally of course I gave them the talk about Toastmasters and how it had helped me and millions around the world.

However there were other times when I was having a casual conversation and the person I was speaking to would look at my pin and ask ‘what is that?’ This gave me another opportunity to spread the world about Toastmasters. Some people had heard about Toastmasters before and were glad to hear of what we can do. One girl got quite hysterical when I said Toastmasters because she was aiming to join Toastmasters when she came to UWA next year. She was delighted to find someone she can contact next year when she comes to UWA.

Overall wearing the pin was a huge success! It helped generate conversations about Toastmasters with about 25 people. Many of these people are aged 17 and are likely to attend UWA next year, so I took their details down and will follow up with them between now and next year. I was also able to generate great interest amongst current UWA students.

John Pawley
John Pawley

As the UWA semester begins we have already gained one new member from my Youth Parliament efforts with several more intending to come along for a visit. I was also able to direct a young man from Mandurah to the Mandjar club in Mandurah.

The lesson I learnt from this experience is simple: use every promotional tool you have to get new members! Promoting your club can be as simple as putting on a pin or a name badge at a professional function to get people asking questions. Publicity does not have to cost hundreds of dollars in flyers. It can come in the simplest ways. So go out there and seize every opportunity that comes your way!

John Pawley ACB, ALB is the 2010-2011 President of UWA and Swan Clubs

Getting your Contact Details right everywhere!

It was brought home to me today just how important it is to get yout details correct everywhere that your club has left them. My own club received a query on behalf of another club where a member of the public wished to join. How good was that? The fellow didn’t want to just attend a meeting he wanted to join. The problem was he couldn’t find any contact details that worked!

The details at TMI were out of date as were those on the Contact Us page of the web site. It was fortunate that I knew members of the club and eventually we were able to pass on details.

It was a salutory lesson in how important it is to keep those details bang up to date. Remember where you have lodged all your contatact details too. It’s not just the obvious places like your web site but also maybe in Libraries, with Councils and Community Newspapers.

I just can’t emphasise enough how important it is to keep those details up to date.

A 4th Division for WA Toastmasters?

When and Where will it come?

Currently we have 3 Divisions, 50 active clubs and an active membership of about 800, which is an average of about 16 per club.  You can check out the current nominal membership on the WA DCP page. When the Renewals figures to the end of March are published next month you will find that my estimates are approximately correct.

District WA challenges us to do better

The Toastmasters International Directors have started a process for WA members and clubs to separate from District 73 and form our own Provisional District.  The process is already underway.

    In May this year the District 73 Council will elect a District Governor for the whole of District 73, a Lt Governor Education & Training and a Lt Governor Marketing for WA and a Lt Governor Education & Training and a Lt Governor Marketing for the balance of District 73 – Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

    In May next year, 2011, the District 73 Council will elect the 3 top officers – District Governor, Lt Governor Education & Training and a Lt Governor Marketing – for both WA and the balance of District 73.

    On July 1, 2011, we will be a Provisional District, with all the privileges and responsibilities of Toastmaster Districts.

How do we go from Provisional to Full District status?

Earlier this year the International Directors redrafted the previous rules.  My understanding of their published results is this:

We can apply for full status when we have at least 60 clubs with an average membership of at least 20 members.  When we have reached those two targets, there will be an assessment made of our general efficiency and prospects for further growth.  If we pass that, we’ve made it.

So why do we need a 4th Division?

Essentially a Division needs at least 16 clubs with 4 Areas of at least 4 clubs each.  You can see my Maths – when we go through the 60 club target we will be close to qualifying for a 4th Division.  Further, we will have to show there are prospects for further growth, and the best evidence of that will be more new clubs coming onstream.

We need a challenge, a friendly rivalry between our 3 existing Divisions, to drive the steady growth necessary to become a full District.  Currently I am Western Division Governor and the WA New Clubs Coordinator.  So, I issue these challenges

    To Western Division to be the growth engine which drives us forward to split off the 4th Division

    To the 2010/11 Western Division Governor to continue our current growth and to do even better

    To the current Innercity and Perth Division Governors to galvanise their Area Governors and emerging leaders to match Western or do even better

    To Toastmasters living in the northern corridor based around the railway to Joondalup to seize the opportunities available in that enormous population base which hasn’t had a new Toastmaster Club since Stirling was chartered in 1994.

Ambitious plans for Western Division

Currently I am discussing with Mark Richards, the District 73 Lt Governor Marketing and a prominent Western Division member, a forward plan which will achieve the first of my challenges – for Western to split off a new District.  This year looks like being very successful with the Division on track to be President’s Distinguished along with 3 of our 4 Area Governors, all of whom will finish with a new club.  That involves 3 new clubs with no loss of any current clubs.

The railway to Mandurah is the key to our forward plans.  New suburbs are springing up on either side of the railway.  We are developing a plan to set up new community clubs based on the new suburbs.  Mark and Robyn Richards established a blueprint for publicising and forming such community clubs with their founding of Canning Vale.   Now the Canning Vale club, through member John Palmer, is setting out to follow that blueprint in Southern River.

How do we raise our average membership from 16 to 20+?

Well, that is a different issue.  It wont be easy, but it has to be achieved.  Next week I will have some suggestions.

For any queries or more information
David Nicholas DTM
Western Division Governor
WA New Clubs Coordinator

Markets Sausage Sizzles Uni Open Days

A new opportunity for Public Relations in WA

Robyn Lloyd, the President of Western Founders, has proposed we pursue a new style of Public Relations to publicize Toastmasters in WA.  Of course it could be used anywhere in Australia, and probably most of the world.  It comes from Robyn’s highly successful project at Murdoch University Open Day on Friday, February 12, 2010.  You can read about the Open Day and the Canning Vale Sausage Sizzle on January 2nd & 3rd, 2010.

Robyn Lloyd
Robyn Lloyd

This is a summary of Robyn’s proposal, prepared from her recent email.

A marketing opportunity

With a community focus there is a marketing opportunity to promote WA Toastmasters clubs by using events such as Markets, Sausage Sizzles and University Open Days.

Community Events Coordinator

This will be a new role.  It will be similar to the Speechcraft Coordinator function.

The Coordinator’s role

This marketing strategy is aimed having a presence (stall) at local markets/ fairs/ festivals and various events that are held regularly  throughout the state or as annual events. The Coordiantor’s role will be

    To compile a list of such events and make it available to clubs.
    To store and make available a range of support materials for events – banners, handouts etc
    To prepare help files and make them available on appropriate web sites
    To publicise the available opportunities to Toastmaster members and officers

Coordinators relationship to WA Toastmasters Officers

The Coordinator would work with and alongside existing TM Marketing positions and strategies.  It is not intended that anyone’s role is to be taken over.  We need lots of strategies.

Contribute to the discussion

We need to engage in an energetic discussion to devise the best possible approach to this opportunity.

WA Membership hits 1,000

The all time high

During September the total financial membership of Toastmasters in WA went over 1,000. You can track the current registered membership for each club, area and division at the DCP Report Page.

This is the first time we have exceeded this milestone. It won’t be the last. But we have to brace ourselves for …..

The coming plunge

Yes, our membership will drop dramatically in the next few weeks. The Renewals will do it.

Financial membership in Toastmasters runs in two 6 month cycles – from April to September and from October to the following March. The previous 6 month cycle from April to September has just expired. A payment of US$27 is required to maintain member status. Many clubs will have members who have not yet renewed – perhaps they are not going to, or in many cases they haven’t done so yet. That’s the group of members that clubs need to target. They intend to renew but haven’t done so.

There is a grace period for the next few weeks

Member payments lodged up to October 10 will be accepted as meeting the September 30 target. Beyond that, there is a grace period up to November 30. The full 6 month fee paid up to then will maintain a member’s financial status in the 6 month period. After November 30 members need to be reinstated.

There’s work to be done

Area Governors – you have an important role here. Perhaps the officers of one or more of your clubs don’t understand the situation. If they haven’t yet lodged any Renewals, they may need help to train them in the procedure. You can direct them to a page which explains the payment procedure. Or they may have lodged a small number and need to contact the remaining members to pay the club member fees so they can be sent to Toastmasters International.

The member drop is not a disaster

It is inevitable that there will be peaks in March and September and falls in April and October. That’s a fact of life for our clubs – average membership time is about 18 months, so on average clubs will lose about 1/3 of their membership at Renewal time. We don’t like to lose members, but it is part of our cycle. That’s why recruiting new members is such a priority – constantly we need new members to join to maintain our club strength.

How long before we hit the 1,000 target again?

That’s an important question. We need to build steadily now that we have provisional status for District WA. If we grow steadily, adding new clubs and building the membership of our existing clubs, we may be there by Christmas.

It’s important

Yes, club and member growth is important always, but particularly so now for us in WA, now that we have Provisional District status approved.

If you wish to contribute to this discussion, add your comment in the Leave a Reply box below.

David Nicholas DTM
WA Webmaster
Western Division Governor 2009/10