What is a mentor?
A mentor shares his or her expertise with less experienced individuals. As coach and advisor to a newly formed club, your responsibility is not to run the club but to let it know its options and guide it toward excellence.
Benefits of being a Mentor
- Improve communication and personal skills
- Develop leadership and management qualities
- Reinforce your own Toastmasters knowledge
- Increase your confidence and motivation
- Engagement in a volunteering opportunity is valued by employers
- Enhance your resume
- Increase your circle of friends
- Gain recognition for your skills and experience
- Benefit from a sense of fulfillment and personal growth
Your official term as mentor begins when the new club charters and lasts for six months to one year. It’s helpful and not unusual for mentors to join the new club, but it’s not required. Your duties are to:
- Build rapport with the club, share your experience, lend your support and attend every meeting.
- Ensure the club is strong and functional. Lead members to helpful resources. Share lessons from your own experiences.
- Familiarize the club with the TI website (www.toastmasters.org). Encourage club members to use it as a resource for updates on the club’s progress in the DCP, and downloadable forms and documents as well as for performing administrative tasks like submitting new member applications, dues renewals and educational award applications.
- Conduct The Successful Club Series program so members can develop the skills they joined the club to learn. Help the new club grasp how the communication and leadership tracks facilitate their skill development. Emphasize the importance of recognizing members who work toward their goals.
- Make certain that club officers attend district-sponsored training. Also meet with each officer individually, educate each about what standards he or she must meet and how to meet them. Provide information about the tools each officer needs to perform his or her duties. Start by ensuring each officer has (and reads!) the appropriate officer manual.
- Conduct The Successful Club Series program How to Be a Distinguished Club. Explain how the DCP is a tool the club can use to keep itself on track and focused on providing members with the service and environment they need to achieve their goals.
- Help club members build positive habits. Emphasize the need for members to regularly come prepared to meetings, to give manual speeches, to present excellent evaluations and to project a positive, enthusiastic attitude.
- Create a quality club. A club’s standards for service must reflect the quality and reliability of the Toastmasters program. The best way to teach clubs how to do this is to encourage them to conduct the module Moments of Truth from The Successful Club Series. Make sure the new club knows and applies these quality standards to current and new members. Remind them the same care and attention afforded to guests and potential members also should be given to current members.
- Foster a culture of membership-building within the club. Every club, even new clubs, should continually strive to bring in new members. Membership-building activities give clubs a stronger base of leaders and provide a continuous flow of original personalities and ideas that help keep club meetings fresh and exciting.