One of the scariest moments for those wishing to conquer their public speaking fears is taking the first step and visiting a club like ours. Questions like the following arise:
“What will it be like?”
“Will the people be friendly?”
“Will everyone be really good and me embarrasingly bad?”
“What will I learn?”
“Will I have to speak?”
They certainly did with me. Ensuring we give each and every guest a warm, friendly and supportive welcome is therefore really important. We want visitors to feel comfortable enough to relax and actually enjoy the meeting experience and thereby better make up their mind as to whether what we offer is what they want.
Whether you are assigned the meet and greet role or not, please do your best to attend to each and every guest that comes visit.
Over the last few months, with the great advice, guidance and input from our newer members, in particular Paul Smith, we’ve expanded the scope of our meet and greet role to create as welcoming first experience as we can. We’d like all our members to take heed of the changes to give visitors the best possible first experience of our club.
Here are 6 changes we’ve made.
1. More meet and greeters on guest nights
On guest nights, it can be challenging for one person to provide a great welcome. We’ve had nights with 12 guests in addition to 25+ members. That’s a lot! We now have 2 formally assigned meet and greeters for each meeting, and Paul has kindly stepped in to offer guidance and input to those role holders on the day. Having someone act as a meeting role guide is especially important here as newer members are often given this role.
2. A display at the door
“Have I come to the right place?” is a question we likely ask ourselves when we come to new place for the first time. To help, we’ve recently acquired a display unit that prominently displays a big welcome message with the Toastmasters branding. As a result, we hope guests are in no doubt they’ve come to the right place as they approach reception.
3. Name badges for everyone
Being able to refer to people by name really helps in breaking the ice and facilitating conversation. Giving everyone, guests and members, name badges makes it less scary for guests and members to approach one another.
4. Having a manned cafeteria before the meeting starts
Giving guests and members a nice warm cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit before the meeting and during recess is a great way to show hospitality. It also gives whoever is manning the cafeteria an opportunity to get know everyone at the meeting which is perfect for new members.
5. Attending to guests during the meeting and at recess
Everyone in the club, but in particular our meet and greeters are asked pay special attention to guests. We ask our meet and greeters to approach any guests that have not been attended to already and to say hello, answer questions, and offer to sit with them during the meeting. We also ask meet and greeters to attend to guests during recess. At Spa, no guest should be left unattended throughout the evening. Even if you are not a meet and greeter, please keep an eye out for any members that look like they could do with some company.
6. Saying Goodbye
We ask our meet and greeters to stand by the meeting room exit to say goodbye to every one of our guests and invite them to visit again at our next open meeting. By saying goodbye at the end, we ensure we have offered a warm and hospitable experience throughout the entire evening and also create a nice sense of closure.
A Request to all our members
Whether you are assigned the meet and greet role or not, please do your best to attend to each and every guest that comes visit. Look out for anyone unattended, approach them, be warm, friendly, helpful and quite simply embody the friendly spirit of the club. Help us become the most friendly, fun and supportive place in Leamington Spa!
Read our updated role guidance notes for the meet and greet role here
Any questions, please get in touch with the committee!
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- 10 Tips for controlling your public speaking nerves - 25th March 2020
- Expand your comfort zone and speak at another club! - 18th March 2020