The club executive committee has declared March to be your open house month. Every event you can think of will start in March. You’re having an Open House on the 1st week, A guest speaker on the 2nd, a St. Pat’s day themed party on the 3rd, and an invitation to start a Speech Craft on the 4th week.
“By Smedley, I swear,” you say pounding on your table, “I will get 5 new people to each meeting! AND WE WILL HAVE OUR 20 MEMBERS BEFORE APRIL!”
“Hear hear!” shout out the others.
“Huzzah!” shout out the cosplayers of the group.
You get home to your spouse and she gives you that look. You know the one–“What have you promised?” And now you start to panic. You don’t have enough lead time! You don’t have a Twitter account, Tumbler, or Instashot… whatever that is. You haven’t planned for any flyers, no leaflets, no gold foil chocolate coins to give out as Leprechaun gold.
You don’t even know what you’re looking for in prospective members. All your friends are already in your Toastmasters club! Just you and the seven others, and you start getting depressed…”I only have 7 friends?!”
You decide to make a list of all the people you could contact.
Jim is a really horrible speaker! I hate his slide shows during the sales meetings!
Barry is always looking at his shoes.
Ari keeps repeating himself and can never end a sentence.
Mariah can hardly be heard.
My kid’s Sunday School Teacher is so timid she can’t control 2nd graders.
My wife’s cousin can’t shut up.
What would you say to the people on your list? “Here, fog this mirror. I’ll pick you up on Monday at 6:30.” Would they like your club? Is the first thing out of their mouths going to be, “Thanks, but I could NEVER speak in public!” or “Why? do you think you’re better than me?”
How did you start? Did your boss tell you that you needed work in public speaking? Who invited you? What questions did You ask them? Did you see the ad for the meeting and think, “This looks like fun!” Was it a regular meeting or a special event? Why did you come back to the 2nd meeting?
Before you take this 1st step in your 1000-foot journey (because face it, it isn’t 1000 miles is it) ask yourself those questions first.