Publicity for your Public Speaking Club

A success story – Mark Richards and Canning Vale

Mark Richards
Mark Richards

Mark Richards has been attending Victoria Quay Toastmasters every Wednesday night for the past 7 years. Sometimes Robyn came along for social functions, but she wouldn’t join – they live in Canning Vale, which is almost half an hour away. “Why can’t we have a club in Canning Vale?”

So, this year, Mark’s year as Western Division Governor, he decided to start a club in Canning Vale – if Robyn would help. And of course she did.

Here is how they went about it. It’s a great story, with a lot of valuable advice on how to start a community club. But you can use the techniques as well to attract a lot more members to your existing club.

This is Mark’s story. Read his advice.

Get your funding in place

You are going to need money – it took about $800 to set up Canning Vale. See below for how he did it.

Apply to World Headquarters to Organise a Toastmaster Club.

That costs US$125 which is about A$135 at present (early 2008). For that you get a big box with 20 New Member kits, and a lot of other helpful publications.

Open a bank account

  • With no fees – yes, societies accounts still exist.
  • You use the Club Number supplied by World Headquarters.
  • You need a preliminary business meeting to appoint a temporary President, Treasurer/Secretary and Vice President Education. This meeting authorises the bank account.

Find a venue that is central to your target audience

Mark located (well, Robyn actually) the Canning Vale TAFE who were happy to let the new club use a big room with lots of facilities every Tuesday night for a very reasonable cost.

Set a date for the Demonstration meeting

  • Not too soon, because you need time for the publicity.
  • Not too far away, because your helpers will grow tired of waiting.

Recruit a team of helpers.

You will need

  • 2 Demonstration speakers – one should be a rookie and one should be experienced.
  • 1 Table Topics Master and 1 Table Topics Evaluator.
  • 1 Timer.
  • 1 extra helper to be a speech evaluator.
  • 2 experienced Toastmasters to be Mentors for the club for the first 6 months – they are very important – and of course they will fill some of the helping roles already outlined.

Market your meeting

  • Mark and Robyn used professionally printed flyers which they letterboxed.
  • Ask for a phone response so you have an idea of how many will turn up.
  • Contact a reporter from the local newspaper – in Canning Vale they were pleased to get the story.
  • Approach local schools to put into their newsletter to parents.

Have a look at the Canning Vale Flyer

Make the demo meeting the best and liveliest meeting you can.

  • Involve your audience by showing them some basic speaking skills in an interactive workshop – get them to stand up, show them good stance, where to put their arms and hands, and eye contact.
  • Get them involved in table topics.
  • Have a demonstration Icebreaker
  • Have a question and answer session at the end.

Have a look at the Demonstration Meeting Agenda

Keep a record of everyone who attended

Get their phone # and email address and follow up if you need to.

Bring application forms and ask people to join.

  • Get them to fill in the New Club Member Application Form – it’s different from the standard New Member Application Form.
  • Collect the money – or arrange for it to be collected next meeting

Complete the documentation and send it to World Headquarters

5 Responses to “Publicity for your Public Speaking Club”

  1. Avatar for Betty Hart Betty Hart says:

    Congratulations Mark on a great start to a new club. And thanks so m uch for the suggestions on how to start a “new” community club. I wish you and your club at Canning Vale all the best for its first full year of operation.

  2. […] This campaign style is based on the method developed by Mark Richards DTM in the chartering of Canning Vale Toastmasters. For his method for new clubs go to Publicity for New Clubs  […]

  3. Avatar for Liz Sheridan Liz Sheridan says:

    For some free publicity or an excellent way to promote your club, or your proposed club, Adult Learners Week from 1st – 8th September might be a great way to get noticed. What better Adult learning is there than Toastmasters!
    An event or just your regular club meeting, can be promoted under the Adult Learners Week banner for added interest … (If you have a special event planned, it can be advertised even if occurring outside that week)
    Anyone can enter their demo meeting or regular meeting on their website .. check it out here .. Perhaps someone could actually organize some great publicity on behalf of Toastmasters Australia wide, focussing on our wonderful training and leadership building programs .. they dont seem to have a lot going on at the moment and may be glad of some great community input .. check out their site here for events, I think WA is the only one with an event so far, but their website has a PageRank of 6, so they must get quite a bit of traffic!

    Liz Sheridan, Mandjar Speakers

  4. Avatar for Click Click says:

    Hi this is a cool looking blog, I was just looking for this the other day. Pleased I finally found what I wanted.

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