Officer Training Reports July09

Officer Training Sessions

These are reports from the Leaders of the Training Sessions. If you can’t see the report on the screen, click on the link below.

Presidents Vice President Education Vice President Membership Vice President Public Relations
Secretary Treasurer Sergeant at Arms

The Club President presides over meetings, leads by example and guides the club to success.

At the Club:

    It is important that the President is seen as the Club’s leader.  This can be achieved by opening and closing the meetings.   These should be positive, enthusiastic and short.

    At the start of meetings the president should welcome visitors, formally induct new members, recognize member achievement eg present CC certificates or have the Mission of the Club read by a member.

    At the close of the meeting  ask  visitors to comment, give their impressions  and  invite them back or to join.

    Presidents should lead by example by being  prepared for all assigned roles, and  spend time before and after the meeting to talk to members and visitors.  To get to know new members, the president could spend time chatting informally to gain an understanding of their reasons for joining and their goals.

Outside the Club Meeting:

    To meet club standards, committee meetings need to be held regularly every  4 – 6 weeks at a time other than club meeting.  It was agreed that this could be on an alternate night, to suit committee members, or after the club meeting.  In this case, club members could be invited to stay sit in on the meeting.

    As early as possible, the committee under the guidance of the President, formulates the  Club Success Plan and has it ready to present to the  Area Governor  at the official visit.

    It is important that the President attend s District executive meetings with the Area Governor and attends COT sessions.

    To maintain a successful and  well run club, the President needs to  keep tabs on committee members’ commitment to their role, encourage, guide,  praise and help, but not  take over, and  recognise their achievements  in the minutes and at the club meetings.

    It is the President’s responsibility to resolve conflict  – between members, committee etc.  and  to counsel and mediate  early, before  a situation becomes serious.  If committee members are unable to fulfil  their responsibilities, it  may be best to elect a new office bearer.

Celebrate achievements

    Presidents should take every opportunity to give positive feedback and to celebrate achievements throughout  and at the end of the Toastmaster year.  This could be an end of year changeover dinner for outgoing and incoming committee, or for all  members.

Vice President Education
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Vice President Membership
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Vice President Public Relations
We dealt with 3 parts of the role

Web Pages

The widespread use of the Internet has made this a must-do part of a Toastmaster Club’s public relations. Besides its importance for membership recruitment, web pages help “brand” a Club – they establish its image for the outside world and for Club members. These are some of the points we discussed.

Free Toast Host

    It’s easy and its free to set up a Club website on Free Toast Host. Just go to the site and click on the Request your Free Website link.

    You will have to give your name and email link to be the <.blr>administrator.

    Don’t forget to enter the Club Name on page 2.

    Photos are an important part of making your website interesting to members and visitors.

    Take note of the compulsory photo sizes for the members section. At 200×150 pixels they are not helpful for head and shoulder shots – but they are compulsory. Use any other size and the program mangles them.

WordPress and blogs

Some VP PRs with more internet experience prefer to use another approach. WordPress is a free program to set up a webpage with excellent facilities for interaction. These are called Web Logs or blogs for short. The program is free, but the club has to apply for a Domain name – it costs about A$15 a year – and get hosting – this can be free if the host can put ads on the page. A small number of clubs prefer this approach. You can view one at Victoria Quay.


Club Newsletters can be distributed as printed hard copy, and on the website. It’s better to do small Newsletters regularly, rather than occasional big ones. A good size is a two sided A4 page. Here are some suggestions.

    At the top of the first page, put the Club Name, the President’s name (the President is the official publisher) and the Editor’s name, with contact details.

    Use a program like Word or Publisher to set up the newsletter.

    Use plenty of photos to make the display more attractive to readers.

    Ask members for contributions

    Publish it every two months.

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Collect the fees and pay the bills

The Treasurer’s role requires you to be accountable, open and transparent – you are dealing with money. In simple terms, you collect the fees and pay the bills. Record keeping is essential, and a simple excel spreadsheet can be used to record transactions. All receipts and invoices should be retained. You should report back to the club executive committee and to the club at business sessions.

As a not-for-profit organisation, there is no need to collect GST or submit statements to the tax office. Be aware that TMI has strict rules on acceptable fund-raising activities and the use of club funds.

Bank accounts

The club needs to maintain a bank account and should have three signatories. The authority to change signatories requires an application to the bank, with minutes of the meeting where the three signatories were nominated, and 100 point proof of identification. Internet banking can be set up to view account statements and balance.


Some concerns about privacy of credit card details were raised. If using a new member’s credit card details to pay TMI new member fees, return the details to the new member once the application is submitted. The use of personal credit cards for payment of club semi-annual fees is customary. One suggestion is for the VPM to submit the fees using their card, to be reimbursed by the treasurer.

Don’t wait to submit Renewals

Here is a tip: you only need to submit a minimum of six member’s fees each time to TMI by the March and September deadlines to qualify for the DCP point, don’t delay because you are waiting for stragglers.

It was interesting to hear how different clubs manage the treasurer’s role. Whether your club charges a set annual fee, or collects meeting fees each time, can affect the workload for the treasurer, and the budget planning process, so discuss these options with your club.

As a member of the club executive, you help with the club success plan and assist the President in driving the club to succeed and exceed expectations.

Sergeant at Arms
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