On August 1st, District 49 is launching its annual Smedley Awards membership drive.
The Smedley Membership Campaign is an exciting way to recruit new members for your club. Finding and signing up new members is a part of the Toastmasters experience. Besides public speaking, we aim to develop interpersonal communication skills to tell people about Toastmasters and let them know about its benefits.
Why is the program called Smedley Awards?
Ralph Smedley founded Toastmasters International in 1924. He had a vision of creating a chain of clubs and educational programs for people to practice public speaking, interpersonal communication, and leadership skills. The award is named in his honor. Toastmasters began in California and, over the years, spread to 143 countries worldwide.
Why is the Smedley program Important?
Toastmasters recognizes and rewards clubs that do well in the Smedley program. It is an excellent benchmark; showing how dynamic a club is and how its members are getting what they want. It’s also an indicator of strong leadership. Recruiting new members is a great skill that can be applied to our other activities, businesses and jobs.
I would like to participate and bring in new members. What would you recommend?
Take a close look at regular club meetings and see how they are conducted. Notice the safe, encouraging, learning environment. Look over the materials and see how prospective members can benefit from them. Talk to family members, colleagues, or even a person on the street. Start up a conversation with someone, find out what their interests are, and maybe some of the needs or challenges they face. Chances are Toastmasters may be able to help them grow.