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What It Takes to Be a Toastmaster Top 50 World Club

With my move to Marana I was asked “What makes a top 50 club in the Toastmaster world?”  My reply is, “I really do not know the metrics for measuring a Top 50 Club.”  However I can tell you about Palomar Airport Toastmasters and why I believe it attained top 50 status.  Please see below:

  • Everyone is encouraged to participate in the fun
  • It is the best hour and fifteen minutes of the week
  • Guests are welcomed and greeted vigorously
  • Rarely would you find everyone sitting prior to the start of the meeting.  Nearly everyone is up networking and assuring that all roles are filled.
  • There is a greeter at every meeting assigned to provide name tags to members and non-members
  • The roles for each meeting are:
    • Timer
    • Ah Counter
    • Word Master/Ballot Counter
    • Toastmaster
    • General Evaluator
    • 3 speakers
    • 3 evaluators
    • Grammarian
    • Videographer (records all speeches and evaluations)
    • Greeter provides a theme related thought of the day at the beginning of the meeting and a theme related joke at the end of the meeting
  • Officers
    • Pres
    • VPE
    • VPM
    • VPPR
    • VPMentor
    • Treasurer
    • S@ Arms
    • Secretary
  • Reverse meetings once per year
  • Impromptu meeting once per year
  • everyone actively participates in written evaluations
  • agendas are typically 4 to 6 weeks scheduled a head of time
  • there are a core of 5 to 15 members who are always there
  • minimum participation each week is 17 with roles and table topics range from 5 to 11 each week
  • start on time and end on time 95% of the meetings
  • guests are encouraged to participation table topics
  • active in district as area, division, and district officers
  • participate in competitions and win at district, division, and area levels consistently
  • Members who participate in multiple clubs
  • Members who start clubs
  • Professionals are attracted to Palomar Airport Toastmasters (majority are business owners or senior managers)
  • Intimidation…there are so many good presenters it is a challenge when walking through Palomar Airport Toastmaster’s doors as a guest to be like the others knowing that once those who are great had to work to get there.  It is possible for everyone to create their own success and this is made clear to all guests
  • Guests are welcomed publicly at the beginning of the meeting and asked, “What brought you to Toastmasters?” by standing in place
  • Guests are welcomed at the end of the meeting and asked publicly, “What did you think of the meeting?” by being brought to the front of the room and applauded.
  • Each guest is award a ribbon for attending
  • There is never any pressure for a guest to join.  They can visit as often as they like.
  • President Distinguished is the only option
  • strong participation by three DTM
  • junior members working toward DTM, making the members aware that this is happening
  • community activity
    • 4th of July Parade where we invite other clubs in the Area/District to participate
  • Family environment more than just a weekly meeting (these are always Toastmaster related so that they can be written off on taxes)
    • Christmas party
    • Education awards celebration
    • Super bowel party
    • July 4th party
    • breakfast after Toastmasters, weekly volunteer
  • White elephant sale to raise money for celebrations/awards/travel to District and International events/support winning speakers that move on to District/International
    • club always has between $2000 to $4000 in the bank
  • Fines for using filler words/word
    • $0.05 for those working on their CC to a maximum of $0.50
    • $0.10 for those working on Advanced awards to a maximum of $0.50
  • Recognition for awards
    • best speaker blue ribbon each week
    • best table topics each week
    • best evaluator each week
  • Constant flow of new board members supported by senior members (all change every 6 months to a maximum of one year)
  • Active mentor program with a VP of Mentoring who assigns a mentor to existing old and new members immediately on joining
  • Flexibility is encourage to take on any role immediately by any member old or new
  • Hip pocket speakers available 99% of the time
  • Encouraged to do impromptu speeches with regularity
  • They induct all members…new and transfers…it is a privilege to be a Toastmaster.  Just as we are voted in we can also be voted out of Toastmasters!

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