Do you know what the collective noun for a group of Toastmasters is?

What about a forum? A reference to ancient Greece as many of us like to use the tools of rhetoric, including rhetorical questions!

Maybe a meeting…? This is the bread and butter of Toastmasters!

Or a convention? After all, the recent hybrid convention at Nashville brought thousands of Toastmasters together as…

A community? Yes! That’s it!

Social connection is a core human need, and it can be met through being connected to a larger community. For me, one of the joys of Toastmasters is being part of a vibrant community of learners, where members support and encourage each other, and personal growth occurs. It is profoundly rewarding to see nervous, anxious people come to a meeting and be transformed into confident, engaging speakers through participating in the Toastmasters educational program.

Here are some of the things we do at Kew Toastmasters to nurture a sense of community:

  1. We invite new members to a personal 1:1 session with an experienced club member. This session covers technical matters such as how to enroll in a Path, but also creates a social connection, through sharing personal goals and finding common interests.
  2. We distribute cheerful meeting reports after each meeting to connect with members who were unable to attend a meeting and include photos where possible.
  3. We celebrate member achievements such as Ice Breaker speeches, level completions and milestone anniversaries.
  4. We hold goal setting workshops where members share their Toastmaster goals with other club members. Some members connect even further by becoming ‘accountability buddies’ for each other.

What else?

The club I’m coaching, Nillumbik, are celebrating their 700th meeting this month! To mark the occasion, we are having a special event on 26 October, and we would love all Toastmasters with a connection to the Nillumbik club to come along. As well as having past and present members talk about what Nillumbik Toastmasters means to them, we will have an interactive workshop focusing on how you can dance your way to successful evaluations!

For details of this in-person only event, at Watsonia (Melbourne), see the flyer in this newsletter.

Any other ideas?

There are lots of small steps you can take to create connections and build a sense of community at your club. Simple ideas include:

  • Create a WhatsApp group
  • Share posts on social media (maybe create a private group for this)
  • Take advantage of a ‘Fun Fifth’ to organise a social event such as a dinner at a restaurant, or a barbecue at a park.

Building stronger connections within your Toastmasters club can lead to increased member retention, and more educational achievements. Through the magic of synergy, your collective efforts will be richly rewarded!


A recent ‘Fun Fifth dinner’

Thanking the 2021/2022 committee

We celebrated Elaine Doyle’s 20 years as a Toastmaster

Goals shared by Kew Toastmasters


Janine Wan