Fun Meeting Ideas
By Keith Maderer, Club Growth Director
The Big Distraction Meeting
While most toastmasters meetings are orderly and welcoming, in real life, speaking to groups can be more challenging. Dinner meetings, meetings with children in the audience, meetings with construction going on outside, cell phones going off, people talking in the back or even hecklers can all be disruptive to a speaker’s “flow”.
But the reality is… it happens.
So if you want to prepare your fellow members for the potential distractions they could encounter, a Big Distraction Meeting can be a lot of fun.
Download some random sounds, noises, crying babies and other potentially distracting noises which can be played back during the meeting.
Appoint a couple of members to deliberately have a side conversation, mildly heckle or otherwise distract the speakers, evaluators and others during their presentations.
Watching members handle distractions can be humorous and entertaining, but will also be a great learning experience for everyone involved.
Be sure to warn each member before the Big Distraction Meeting and make sure to inform any guests that this will be happening on purpose.
As long as the distractions are thought out in advance and properly planned, everyone should have a fun time, learn a little more about tolerance and truly appreciate that “positive and mutually supportive environment” of your regular meetings.
The Speaker-Evaluator-Table Topics Exchange Meeting
Fun Meeting Ideas – Sept. 2017
A great way to encourage club members to grow is to arrange for a Speaker, Evaluator and Table Topics master exchange program with one or more of your nearby clubs.
Each club gets to hear a new speaker and has one of their speakers receive an evaluation from someone outside their club and hears favorite table topics from another club. Both clubs get a new speaker and a fresh evaluation. Plus everyone involved has the opportunity to speak in a different setting without leaving the Toastmasters’ umbrella. We can always learn something new from other toastmasters.
This is a particularly great strategy for clubs that are struggling with membership. Sometimes having a few new people involved in their meetings can motivate members to invite additional guests or send an email to their co-workers, friends or family inviting them to visit a meeting.
If you are interested in exchanging with other clubs, please contact your Division or Area Directors. They can provide you with a list of clubs in your area that might be willing to swap members for a few meetings. They can also provide the email and phone numbers for the club officers of each club that you are interested in exchanging with.
As another idea. Try to make this exchange a monthly or quarterly event, or a round robin with 3 or 4 clubs. Each club involved will benefit from the exchange and it will help all clubs become stronger members of the district.