Clubs: Where to focus?

TIP: Empower your Area Directors to support their clubs – by focusing on getting the B and C clubs to distinguished clubs.

After talking with a number of Toastmasters leaders around the world, one of the biggest issues continues to be membership retention. The best way to help clubs, is to empower your Area Directors (and Coaches) to support these clubs in excellence.

But where and how should Area Directors focus their efforts? It is so tempting to spend your time trying to recover the “Likely to close” clubs (D clubs) or accepting invitations to attend meetings with the President’s Distinguished clubs (A clubs) – when you should be applying the Pareto Principle (80-20 rule) and focus on getting the B clubs “across the line” to Distinguished and building up the membership and club quality for the C clubs.

Power Point version of chart / Image version of chart

When I was an Area Governor, years ago, one of the lessons I learned was that you need to have focused passion for your assigned clubs. I created this chart to help guide the Area Directors in our District last year, to understand where to focus for their clubs, strategies, resources, and specific tactics to get each club to the “next level”.

The idea of categorizing clubs into “ABCD” has been shared recently in Toastmasters leadership training. It makes sense that clubs, based loosely on their membership numbers, will need different types of support, incentives, and coaching – depending where they are with their goals and within the DCP program.

Is your district struggling with getting and keeping club members? Will this chart help you and your team to recover and grow existing clubs? Let me know what you think, schedule a meeting today to talk about what is possible.


Best Practices for Area Directors

  • Get your area director visits done early.
  • Work with the Club Coaches for your C clubs.
  • Ensure your club officers are trained, have club success plans in place, and follow-up on their action plans for their clubs.
  • Hold quarterly Area Director Council meetings.
  • Recruit and mentor Assistant Area Directors.

Other Resources for Area Directors: