Starting an Online Club: sequential steps

learning objectives.JPGIn recent social media discussions with other online Toastmasters, we unpacked a series of Learning Objectives for the budding Online Club creators.

In a short space of time my original list of 8 expanded to 16: such is the power of social learning. I received feedback from a wide range of people in different countries, with varied experience levels and interests. I have taken the 16 and expanded them for clarity and added some practical examples where relevant. I am sure there is room for more!

The next step was to organise these into a more manageable sequence of steps. These I have grouped in stages as follows: Preliminary Feasibility Study; Learning and Preparation; Startup Procedures; and Management Procedures. You may find this list helpful if you are preparing to start an Online Toastmasters Club.

Preliminary Feasibility Study

  1. identify potential membership
  2. engage in open discussions in social media
  3. emphasise the skills needed for speaking online with audio and video tools
  4. build a community to support the new club

Learning and Preparation

  1. learn How to Start a New Club at Toastmasters International
  2. place structures and procedures in place early eg how to join, how to request speeches, how to evaluate, how to schedule Executive meetings
  3. evaluate the attributes of web conferencing software eg functionality, ease of use, price
  4. setup and master the use of a web conferencing tool eg GoToMeeting or Zoom

Startup Procedures

  1. invite and communicate with guests and prospective members eg select and invite guidance committee and action team as High Performance Leadership project
  2. delegate tasks for interim club officers eg create promotion and education plans
  3. setup a Club Management site eg easy-Speak (allow 24 hours for this) or FreeToastHost
  4. setup a home website eg WordPress or Googlesite

Management Procedures

  1. setup bank accounts, paypal & international transactions
  2. manage the digital footprint of club eg branding
  3. build in special club officer positions eg web master, video monitor, logistics manager, listener
  4. consider advanced v regular clubs; and gain advice on club splitting

When all of this is in place the prospective leader of an Online Club  will be in a better position to move to the next steps:

  • Schedule first online meeting
  • Assign roles for first meeting
  • Invite and promote meeting
  • Start and moderate the meeting
  • Close and record the meeting

I will be expanding upon each of these Stages in further posts here. Please add comments or subscribe to this blog.

For further tips on starting an Advanced Toastmasters Club view this post from Prolific Living some years back.

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2 thoughts on “Starting an Online Club: sequential steps

  1. Consider the possibility of creating an officer role for a member specifically assigned not only to research various online platforms but also to train others to use the platform that she or he selects. That person also should have the responsibility and organizational authority to pay for maintenance of the platform. While seemingly the role of a club Treasurer, not every Treasurer will necessarily understand (and contribute positively) that video conference platforms most likely to serve the club will not be free forever—and that not all manufacturers will have a “grace period” for renewing the club’s use of the software.

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