Just think…how powerful can three words be to a friend that hasn’t attended a recent Toastmasters Meeting? When they are the right three words, like “We miss you”, they can make all the difference in the world. There are three critical times that these heartfelt words can help define the success of your club and its members:
Toastmaster of the week – When you are filling those roles the week before your meeting, you will normally find yourself talking to someone who may have missed a meeting or two. Taking that opportunity to say “We miss you…I hope you can attend and serve as General Evaluator” (for example) can help to remind them that they are valued members of the club, and that you noticed their absence.
Vice President of Membership – Any member that misses three or four meetings in a row should get a call (not e-mail) from their VP of Membership. By saying “We miss you” combined with a reminder that we look forward to helping them achieve their goals can help remind them of why they joined in the first place and hopefully get them coming again.
Club President – Members have a plethora of reasons for why they leave the club. But remember, those reasons can (and do) change after they leave the club. That kid’s soccer practice that conflicted with the meeting could have changed days, people with college class conflicts graduate, and other life events change.
Every club president should look at the non-renewals from the last dues period (i.e October non-renewals in May) and send a note to each member that didn’t renew. Find out if their reason for leaving still outweighs the reasons to come back. Saying ” We miss you” could be the catalyst to get a friend back on track. And if the conflict is still there, don’t be afraid to offer alternatives. There could be an open club that meets a block away the next night.
If you ask, you’ll hear that many people join Toastmasters strictly for self-improvement reasons. Don’t underestimate the personal connection you have made to your fellow members, and the connection they have made to you and your club. Remind them that you are glad to see them, and when you don’t see them remember to say “We miss you”
P.S. This post is also on my District 22 Marketing Blog, along with other tips for Toastmasters Leaders.