I’m writing this post as VPE of my Toastmasters club Grosvenor Square Speakers. I’m going to share a couple of quick tips with other VPEs, but just don’t tell anyone. Keep it under your hat…
If you’re a Toastmaster and Vice President Education (VPE) you’ll know how all-consuming the role can be. I’ve struggled with it myself since taking over in July. The reason why it’s tough is because in many ways its more important thsat the President’s role. If the President can’t make a meeting, the VPE can step in and cover. Or an immediate past president can. If the VPE fails to do his job, all hell breaks loose and people have to know who’s booked into what roles and how. The role can end up being split amongst several other committee members, but obviously that’s not ideal.
Here are a couple of things I’ve learned which I’m going to pass on to you…
1) Meeting Schedule. Try to book roles for your members several meetings ahead. Use whatever method works for you; spreadsheets, ClubPlan (which costs around £9 per month) or Easy Speak (free software from District 71 website).
2) Word of the Day. Have at least two word of the days ready in case your Grammarian drops out, or somehow forgets to come up with a word of the day. Stuck for picking a word to have in store? Check out the District 71 (D71) website. Or check out Infoplease.
3) Table Topics. I’d also make sure that you had some table topics ready to go for exactly the reasons I’ve stated above. Go to your favourite search engine and type in table topics ideas or table topics questions. There are plenty of websites and blogs which list such ideas. Make sure you contact them and ask for permission first!
Here are three quick table topic ideas:
a – Get the speakers to answer questions realting to the headlines from the day’s paper.
b – Give the speakers a slip of paper containing a quote and ask them to tell the audience what the quote means to them.
c – Food: most memorable meal, worst meal, favourite place to eat and so on.
You could also check out the Toastmasters Wiki.
4) Develop a plan. A plan other than just aiming to achieve all the points necessary for President’s Distinguished Club. Between yourself and the President you should have a vision for the club. What direction or area do you want to emphasize? This year we’re placing an emphasis on leadership to try and encourage members to really enage with the Competent Leadership manual. We all know how important leadership is in modern business and especially in our current economic climate.
Let me know if you’ve found this post useful and write me a comment.