Although I waited a week or so before ordering the new CL for myself, I now have a nice, new copy. On first look, I don’t mind telling you I like it. That being said, I wouldn’t recommend throwing away that current CL manual you are working on.
Side Note: For those of you with the existing manual (I’m working on one myself), I do recommend downloading the New Project Completion Record. It works for the old or new manual and makes it far easier to track the progress than the one in the old manual.
If you are wondering what the hubbub is, read on for a short synopsis of the changes:
1. The Project Completion Record moved to the front of the manual (maybe because it’s important!)
2. Pre-project evaluations are at on a 3-point scale and included in each project
3. The evaluation questions have changed. Now each role has a few questions (typically 3-5) that are rated on a 3-point scale. 3=outstanding, 2=Average, 1=Needs Work. After the scored questions, there are one or two open-ended “how did they do?” types of questions.
4. The appendix includes additional on-line resources, including links to Manuals, Flyers and Toastmasters Magazine articles. There were some links even new to me (and you know I do my research!)
5. Ummm…they took out the mission of the club. That was odd…
One thing that didn’t change – There had been some feedback that TI should include some “beyond the club” projects to help encourage involvement outside the club (i.e. Area Contests, Conference Presenter, etc.)
I was a bit surprised that one or two of these weren’t added as optional tasks on existing projects. However, not having these doesn’t hurt the manual. There are still plenty of options for improving your skills and supporting your club. In fact, I believe that if every member of every club would open one of these books and work on it, three things would happen:
– Members would learn more about running meetings and activities in their real lives.
– Quality of club meetings would improve, as would member performance (speeches, contests, etc.).
– The number of clubs under 20 members would drop to almost zero.
Verdict: If you are not currently working on a CL manual, you should be. Either the Current or New manual. If you’ve been holding off waiting for them to “fix” the manual, then you are in luck. It’s teed up to work better than before. Now’s the time…