Spa Speakers

6 tips to create a great club meeting experience

To create a great club experience we have to help each other out!

Leading club meetings can be quite daunting for a new committee, especially for the very first time.

Not to fear! Here are 6 simple tips for club leaders to bear in mind. Regular members: you too can help meetings run smoothly by making small changes in how you participate.

Read below to find out how!

1. Set the room up right!

If the room is fully set out by 7pm, right down to the smallest detail, a truly professional and comfortable vibe will be created for members and guests by the time they arrive. When everything is ready early, the committee can fully concentrate on attending to guests and supporting members by answering their questions.

SAA and president: Make sure a committee member, either yourself or a fully briefed delegate, is at the venue early to set up the room on time!

How regular members can help the new committee out:

  • If you are the meeting Sergeant at arms, come early and help the committee set out the room. Instructions for what needs to be done can be found here
  • If you designated as meet and greet or hospitality, get to the club meeting early and man your station. Instructions for both these roles can be found here

2. Have all the roles filled before the meeting!

If every meeting role and speech slot is filled in advance, it makes an immense difference to how smoothly and professionally a meeting runs; role holders will have a chance to prepare for their roles, the Toastmaster and VPE will not be stressed out finding last minute replacements, speakers will know who their evaluators are so they can be properly briefed, and, generally, it will make the meeting feel so much more pleasant and fun!

VPE: do your best to get members to confirm their attendance and accept their roles before meetings!

How regular members can help the new committee out:

  • When you get a meeting invite, don’t ignore it! Please respond as soon as you get it. That gives the VPE ample time to fill roles before a meeting.
  • When you are offered a meeting role via email, don’t ignore it! Please respond as soon as you get it. If, for whatever reason, you do not wish to take the role let the VPE know ASAP so they have ample time to assign your slot or role to another members
  • If you have to drop out, let the VPE know!
  • Arrive early if you have a role or speech if possible! If there are drop-outs, that gives the committee an opportunity to ask you to volunteer to fill any gaps that arise!

If you aren’t sure how to accept meeting invitations role requests, click here for a brief tutorial

3. Focus on timekeeping!

When the meeting starts late, ends late, and when the recess is compressed due to overrunning speeches and meeting role segments, an unprofessional and less enjoyable meeting is the result. Start on time, finish on time, and leave space for a 10 minutes recess to create a professional, purposeful and fun meeting!

President: impress upon the membership, the committee and the club as a whole the enormous importance of good time-keeping discipline!

How regular members can help the new committee out:

  • If you are giving a speech, respect the lights and the bell. Don’t keep going: use the signals to help guide you to wrap up your speech
  • If you have a meeting role, respect the lights and the bell. Don’t keep going: use the signals to help guide you to wrap up your role segment
  • Timekeeper: be insistent with the bell. Your role is so so important to the effectiveness of a club meeting

4. Create a great vibe at the start

The way a meeting starts has a huge impact on how the rest of the meeting proceeds. The president’s address sets the tone so make it a good one!

President: make sure your opening address is an inspiring one that encourages lots of clapping, energy and enthusiasm for what is to come!

How regular members can help the new committee out:

  • Clap loudly and enthusiastically!
  • Pay attention – once the meeting starts, turn off your phones and give full attention to the speaker

5. Treat every member and guest as an individual

We have a club with a large membership and there is the risk of it becoming impersonal. That risk is easily allayed if each and every committee member makes the effort to get to know each and every member well and takes it upon themselves to meet and greet as many guests as they can before 19:30. What makes Spa Speakers such a great club is that every committee member makes a special effort to maintain a strong personal connection with each and every member.

President: set the example! Get to know every member of the club both during meetings, and also outside of meetings, via socials and also regularly reaching out to members who aren’t attending regularly! Applies to all officers!

How regular members can help the new committee out:

  • If you are a mentor, keep in regular touch with your mentee. Be the kind, supportive personal presence for your mentee that you would like for yourself
  • All members: when we have guests, make an effort to speak to them and make them feel welcome
  • All members: come to our social events. A 10 minutes recess is such a short time to get know one another. We’ve benefited from an incredible social program this year, and I’m very much looking forward to what our new social secretary has in store in the new year!

6. Celebrate member achievements and milestones!

When a member achieves an educational award, wins one of the evening prizes, makes a big step forward in their progress, does something extraordinary or some important life event occurs that’s worthy of celebrating, celebrate it with the club! Such moments are to be savoured, and they help bond the club and generate massive good vibes!

President: be aware of what’s going in each and every members educational journey, and also what’s going on outside the club. Celebrate those moments that deserve being celebrated with the club!

How regular members can help a new committee out:

  • Share your stories with the committee. Don’t be shy! We want to celebrate you and your achievements at our wonderful club!

Finally, it’s a team effort!

A great club meeting depends on an engaged, enthusiastic and generous committee. True. But it also depends on an engaged, enthusiastic and generous membership who understand the importance of responding promptly to committee communications so they can create a great club experience for the entire club. Everyone, please do your best to make the committee’s term as enjoyable and as successful as possible!

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