The baseline time requirement for the Club Secretary is 2 hours a month, but of course you can do as much as you like.
Have you got a couple of hours to spare a month? Then read on!
Why should I take on the role?
For someone who wants to get a taste of playing a key leadership role but doesn’t have masses of spare time, being The Club Secretary is a great option. what’s great is that you not only get to participate in making crucial decisions for the club by having a seat at committee meetings, it’s you who has to figure out how to make the meetings themselves productive; that skill, if mastered, would be a great boon to you in your future career and your future sanity!!
Before we continue, let’s have some fun and go “off-piste” for a moment (hehe!)
Some choice quotes about meetings
Do you relate to the following?
Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything. – John Kenneth Galbraith
If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’ – Dave Barry
The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings. – Thomas Sowell
Has anyone ever said, ‘I wish I could go to more meetings today’? – Matt Mullenweg
Ahem! And alas, from many years of experience, these criticisms are valid far too often. And when actions on meeting minutes remain undone meeting after meeting after meeting, this might be your reaction too:
What might go on in your head too when actions remain undone on the minutes, meeting after meeting after meeting……..
So that’s one side of the coin.
So why hold committee meetings at all?
Some quotes from the other side of the coin:
Meetings are usually terrible, but they shouldn’t be. – Patrick Lencioni
Meetings get a bad rap, and deservedly so – most are disorganized and distracted. But they can be a critical tool for getting your team on the same page. – Justin Rosenstein
The majority of meetings should be discussions that lead to decisions. – Patrick Lencioni
Meetings must be deliberate and intentional – your organizational rhythm should value purpose over habit and effectiveness over efficiency. – Chris Fussell
When leaders know how to lead great meetings, there’s less time wasted and less frustration. We have more energy to do the work that matters, realize our full potential, and do great things. – Justin Rosenstein
In summary, meetings can be not only productive, but truly valuable if done right.
As club Secretary, you get an opportunity to develop this valuable leadership skill and thereby aid the committee in being as productive as possible in serving its membership.
Detour over! Let’s get to the heart of the matter.
You would set the committee meetings venue and dates
Previous committees have met on the first Wednesday of every month at the homes of the various committee members for 2 hours from 19:30 to 21:30. Getting the dates and venue sorted is the first task of the Secretary.
You would prepare and circulate the agenda and meeting minutes
Having a well structured agenda and accurate minutes, and distributing them in a timely way to the committee so sufficient time to prepare for meetings and/or complete any actions is essential for officers to make the most of their time at meetings. The Secretary is responsible for recording notes accurately (and to a sufficient level of detaiil so they are understood after the fact!) during meetings and engaging with the rest of the committee so they can effectively prepare both.
You would make sure meetings are run in a productive fashion
A good meeting is one where people arrive on time; proceedings start and end on time; there is strong timekeeping for each section of the meeting; and the discussions remain on-track. Doing a good job in this regard is NOT easy, so being Secretary a great learning opportunity for those wanting to be a more assertive leader. The Secretary might have to play the role of assertively putting a dummy in the mouths of the more loquacious members of the committee (even the President’s!) so everyone gets a chance to speak (metaphorically, of course). In true Toastmasters fashion, assigning an evaluator to figure out what went well and what could be improved might be a way the Secretary works out how to make meetings better.
It goes without saying that meetings cannot run effectively if no one bothers to complete their actions. The Secretary might want to follow up mid-month to remind officers to complete their actions so that we don’t go through the pain of going through an incomplete action for the gazillionth time.
You would maintain our club files on Dropbox
Spa Speakers stores all its important documents on the cloud using the amazing dropbox service. The Secretary is the owner of the shared folder, and will ensure all member have the appropriate access rights so they can store and manage files. Where necessary, they will train a committee member not familiar with Dropbox in its use.
I can’t stress how important it is that all committee related files are stored on Dropbox; doing so enables the knowledge and experience acquired by previous committees to be passed on effectively to the new team, thereby making the handover smooth, stress free and comprehensive. Dropbox is an incredible tool by which to equip the new committee to succeed by offering them access to a complete record of our club’s accumulated knowledge. Our collective library of knowledge is there for all the committee to see.
You would ensure new club officers are reported to TMI once elected
It’s important whenever there is a mid-year change of a committee position, or a new committee is elected, that Toastmasters International is informed. Doing this on time (before the new Toastmaster year begins) is a crucial part of the criteria for getting the President’s Distinguished Award for the club. A must do!
You would help to administer the new Pathways program
With the introduction of the new educational program Pathways, Toastmasters International recommends the Secretary plays a role in ensuring that accurate records are kept of members’ educational progress in support of the Vice President of Education.
As you can see, being the club Secretary is a vital role for a well functioning club, and won’t take much of your time. The main requirement is making sure the committee meets regularly, are organised, productive and are effective servants for the club’s membership.
If you are interested in taking on the role or want to find out more, get in touch with the committee at the next meeting OR email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d love you to be our Club Secretary!