How To: Area Director Club Visit Reports
As an Area Director you are the direct connection between the Club Leadership Team and the District Leadership Team.
Your efforts - in concert with those of the club leaders - make a huge difference in the quality of the club experience for each member and influences the lives of each club member.
During your tenure as an Area Director you will be interacting with and helping the club leaders and members in the clubs in your Area. Twice during your tenure you will be visiting each club in an official capacity and producing an Area Director Club Visit Report. The first report will be done during July, August and September. The second report will be done during February, March and April.
The more detailed and informative you make these reports the more it will help the clubs improve (a copy of your report will be sent to the club President) and help the District Leadership Team allocate district resources to help every club in our district thrive.
Below are suggestions for how to conduct an effective club visit. Preparation is the key to success. The more you and the club leaders are prepared the more effective and in-depth will be the resulting report.
NOTE: For a general overview of your role as an Area Director download the PDF here Serving Clubs Through Visits - A Guide For Area Directors or at the bottom of this page.
How To: Prepare for the Club Visit Meeting
Review Current and Historical Club Data
1. Review the clubs DCP statistics - this will help you assess the current health of the club and whether it is stable, in decline or improving. You can get this years – and previous years – club statistics here http://dashboards.toastmasters.org/2018-2019/Club.aspx?id=96 Use the 'Club Search' box in the top left corner to search for a club by its club name or club number.
The boxes along the top of the page allow you to look a the clubs performance during previous years so you can better understanding how the club is doing now compared to previous years.
2. Find the Clubs public information - Using the Toastmasters International websites 'Find a club' utility https://www.toastmasters.org/find-a-club type in the club number or name to access the club information. Verify meeting times, location, map, and other data.
IMPORTANT: Verify with the club executive that the contact email is set up properly so the Basecamp managers will receive notification when a member has completed a level.
The email that Toastmasters International automatically uses is the one listed in Club Central as the club contact email. This email address needs to be up-to-date and the person who owns that email address - if it is not the VP Ed - must send the emails related to Pathways level completions on to the VP Ed, President and Secretary in a timely manner.
If the club decides to set the club contact email address to the VP Ed's email address then - unfortunately - all club inquiries will go to the VP Ed as as well.
Some clubs have decided to set up another email account with access given to all who need it (basecamp managers and anyone who usually fields questions about the club).
3. Visit the club website - if one is listed. Review it for accuracy, what you like or dislike, and its helpfulness. If needed, print a page or two of the club website, write your comments on the page and plan to give it to the most appropriate person, such as the club’s Webmaster or VP PR.
4. How Are the Members Doing? - On the TI dashboard (for district 96) review the Educational Awards to see a list of club members who have earned awards this year, when it was earned, and which awards.
Here is the link to the Education Awards for the current Toastmasters year http://reports.toastmasters.org/reports/dprReports.cfm?r=3&d=96&s=Name&sortOrder=1
Here is the link to the Education Awards for previous Toastmasters years http://reports.toastmasters.org/reports/dprReports.cfm?r=18&d=96&s=Date&sortOrder=1&curProgYear=2017%20-%202018
Write down or print the data to bring to the meeting. Keep the names in mind as you meet people at the meeting. Who may be appropriate for a future district leadership position?
5. Club Coaching Status - On the TI dashboard website, under “daily reports” review the “club coaches” page to see if any club coaches have been assigned. Here is the link http://reports.toastmasters.org/reports/dprReports.cfm?r=6&d=96 Is the club eligible to receive club coaches? If there are 12 members or fewer, plan to ask the club to consider receiving a club coach or two to help the club enhance its performance.
6. Email the Club Leaders - Send your own version of the 'Sample: Introductory Club Visit Email' below to the entire club leadership a couple weeks in advance of your official visit. Ask the clubs leaders to fill in as much of the report as possible - many items in the report can only be answered by them.
Set up a meeting time so that as many of the clubs leaders can be present as possible. This meeting could be done onlin through Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc. Allocate about an hour for your visit with them. Get the partially filled in report back from the club leaders and bring a printed copy with you to the club visit meeting.
Review each item on the club visit report so you know the areas that you will need to answer.
Go over each portion of the report with the club leaders and answer any questions they may have. The remainder of the report will be your impressions of how a typical meeting is run.
7. You represent the District
Prepare a list of the announcements – dates, times and location of upcoming district events. Consider why members should be interested in these events to effectively promote them. You can compile a list of announcements from the Events portion of our district website https://d96toastmasters.ca/event/month or under the 'Latest News and Posts' section of the home page of our district website or the 'Upcoming Events and Dates' section at the bottom each https://d96toastmasters.ca/ web page.
How To: Gather Information at the Club Visit Meeting
8. Be Early - Confirm whether you have a few minutes at the end of the meeting to provide feedback to the club, such as a General Evaluator or just after the General Evaluator speaks. Ask whether they have an unfilled role that you could fill.
9. Get the Scoop - Gather details on who has an expected education award, or an award that has not yet been submitted. You want the full name of the member(s) who will receive which award prior to June 30. Are members actively working on their education projects?
10. Watch How Guests Are Treated - Review how guests are treated. Is there a new member packet and visitor’s log? Are guests warmly received? Are guests introduced and asked to make comments?
11. Feedback for the Good of Club - Provide feedback to the club on its strengths and areas for improvement.
How To: Share Your Club Visit Report after the Club Visit Meeting
12. Don’t Wait - Submit your club visit report within a day or two of the meeting when the details are still fresh in your mind ..... https://www.toastmasters.org/login
Your report will help identify problems that the district may need to address, such as the need for a club coach or other assistance.
Your Club Visit Report automatically gets distributed to the District Trio + your Division Director + you (the Area Director) + the club president.
13. Submitting Your Report (Watch the Clock) - You will have a maximum of 60 minutes to enter each page of your report into the TI website. Make sure you save the page. Have everything at your fingertips prior to opening the template. Remember to hit the “submit” button when you are done.
Provide as much guidance and suggestions as possible, along with a healthy list of what the club does well!.
Sample: Introductory Club Visit Email
Hello (club name) Leadership Team,
My name is Rodney Denno. I will be your Area Director for this Toastmasters year (July 1st, 2018 to June 30th 2019).
I've been in Toastmasters since 2006. My home club is Advanced Aurators, an advanced club that meets at the Roundhouse Community Center on the first Thursday of each month.
As your Area Director I am here to support you and your club members as you strive to build the kind of club that meets (or exceeds) every members expectations.
Here are some of the areas that I can help with:
- overall program and meeting quality
- membership building
- member retention
- marketing and promoting your club
- analyzing your clubs current strengths and areas where it could improve (https://www.toastmasters.org/resources/moments-of-truth)(Moments of Truth)
- preparing your club for a successful year (https://www.toastmasters.org/resources/distinguished-club-program-and-club-success-plan-english)(Distinguished Club Program)
- and overall member satisfaction.
I am planning to visit your club sometime in late August or early September. I will contact you again to determine the most convenient date for everyone.
Before the visit, please take some time to go over the Club Leadership Handbook (https://www.toastmasters.org/resources/club-leadership-handbook) so you are familiar with your leadership role. You should have received a printed copy from Toastmasters International. Also, take a close look at the Moments of Truth (MoT) and the Distinguished Club Program (DCP) and start thinking about how your club can use these analysis and success planning tools to set and achieve its goals.
Prior to my official club visit please fill in as many areas of the Area Directors Club Visit form as you can. You can download a copy of it here https://www.toastmasters.org/-/media/files/department-documents/district-documents/1471-area-directors-club-visit-report.ashx
This is the form I will use to gather information that will help me understand and assist your club more effectively. The information in this form will also be reviewed by my Division Director and by a number of people on the District Leadership Team. The information in my Area Directors Club Visit form has many uses - some of which are identifying future leaders, assessing the overall health of each club and allocating district training and coaching resources where they are most needed.
Club Officer Training
If you have not yet attended a Club Officer Training, please do so. The training will help you better understand your leadership role and give you a chance to discuss some of the opportunities and challenges of the role. Upcoming training sessions are listed on District 96 website.
Toastmasters is primarily an education organization. As members work to improve their communication and leadership skills it is important that they set their education goals early in the year. I recommend that you discuss with your club members what they would like to achieve and then build their education goals into your meeting planning activities. If you are unsure of some of the specifics regarding the Pathways programs, please feel free to contact me or your pathways guide.
At your service.....
Rodney Denno, DTM
Area X## Director 2018-19