All Officers

Site: Saturn Forge: Learn
Course: Build a RDG Toastmasters Club: Leadership
Book: All Officers
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Saturday, 28 May 2022, 6:56 PM

Description

This lesson will go over roles & responsibilities common to all officers. 

1. Introduction

While each officer has unique roles and tasks to do, there is a common set of responsibilities, values, and skills that all officers need to know about. Review the all officers section first before moving on to your specific office's lessons. In this lesson, you'll learn about common responsibilities, how to have effective one-on-one and executive committee meetings, and get a plan to get your term kick started in high gear.


2. The DCP & Club Success Plan

What is the DCP?

The DCP, or Distinguished Club Program, is a set of ten metrics that are designed to measure club performance in different areas. Here's a summary table of the goals:

DCP Goals
Goal Type  # GoalOld Goal Responsible Officer
Education  1 Four Pathways Level 1sTwo Competent Communicators VPE
Education  2 Two Pathways Level 2sTwo more Competent Communicators VPE
Education  3 Two more Pathways Level 2sOne Advanced Communicator VPE
Education  4 Two Pathways Level 3sOne More Advanced Communicator VPE
Education  5 One Pathways Level 4One leadership award (CL, AL, DTM) VPE
Education  6 One Pathways Level 5One more leadership award (CL, AL, DTM) VPE
Membership  7 Four New Members(Same) VP PR / VPM
Membership  8 Four more New Members(Same) VP PR / VPM
Training  9 At least four officers trained at both winter and summer sessions(Same) All officers
Administration  10 Officer lists and membership renewals turned in on time(Same) Secretary / Treasurer

As you can see, six of the goals are education based, two are membership based, one is based on officers attending training, and the final (and easiest) one is turning in renewals and officer lists. 

There are a few items to note:

  • If your district still allows submissions of the previous educational awards (Competent Communicators, etc.) you can mix and match to make the six educational goals. For example: Your club turns in two CCs and two Pathways Level 2s. This would be two points.
  • The same member cannot submit for the same award twice in one year at the same club. For example, if you turned in a Level 1 to your club, you could not turn in another Level 1 to the same club. You could turn in that second Level 1 to another club in that same year, however.
  • There is a minimum number of membership that is required for DCP eligibility. You must either have 20 members, or your base membership (what you start the Toastmasters year with) plus five. For example, if your club starts with 12 members, you need 17 to qualify. If you start with 17, you need 20 to qualify. 
  • For clubs founded during the current year, different criteria apply. Consult the DCP & Club Success Plan manual for details.

DCP Awards

If your club completes a set amount of goals in the year, the club will receive Distinguished status. The table below illustrates the available levels:

Distinguished Status'
Number of Goals Met Status
5 out of 10 Distinguished
7 out of 10 Select Distinguished
9 out of 10 President's Distinguished

Some districts may recognize 10 out of 10 clubs with a special ribbon or other awards.

For the purposes of RDG, it is better that a club more consistently achieves select distinguished status rather than has a one time president's distinguished club, then nothing for several years. If your club has been strong for some time, consistent 10 out of 10 years are doable. If your club has been struggling for quite some time, just getting baseline distinguished for three years in a row may be a challenge. Start where you are, and work to steadily improve.

Why Does the DCP Matter?

As mentioned, the DCP is a series of metrics, which indicate if the club is fulfilling its purpose: training people in public speaking and leadership skills. If the club is not achieving goals, it shows that the club isn't planning and executing well. A focusing tool that should be used (especially at the start of the year) is the Club Success Plan. This is provided with the DCP booklet (or PDF). This should be the subject of the first two officer meetings, and the plan should be reviewed on a monthly basis. Promoting the DCP to club needs be an ongoing effort. If it isn't, members will generally ignore it. The president should recognize progress at end of every meeting start; some clubs use wall charts to show progress in a visual way as well. The VPE committee, VPM committee, and mentors/accountability buddies should be driving progress toward educational goals throughout the year.

You may have members that, even with prodding about the DCP, don't really care about it. They want their club just to be a social outlet. For them, progress isn't really their goal, but getting to know others may be. Present them with a new perspective: Performing projects will let the rest of the club know about what they know, what they like, and who they are, promoting the social aspect they're looking for.

Planning Your DCP Goals

While every club's situation is different even from year to year, you can get some barometer on when you expect goals to be achieved. Goal #10 should be completed by the first week of June (you should have your renewals done from earlier in the year and that's when the secretary turns in the officer list). Goal #9 happens after the second training session of the year (usually by February). The rest can vary, but you use this plan out to have a rough schedule to measure if you're on schedule or not.

DCP Goals Schedule
Goal #Goal Due When
1Four Level 1sEvery third month
2 Two Level 2sEvery third month
3 Two more Level 2sEvery third month
4 Two Level 3sDecember, June
5 One Level 4June
6 One Level 5June
7  Four new membersOne new member a month
8 Four new membersOne new member a month
9 Officers TrainedFebruary
10 Officer lists & Renewals On-TimeJune

Note that "one new member a month" will net you 12 new members; this is over what is required, but is a good number to shoot for.

3. Responsibilities In Depth

All Officer Duties

  • Keep current with Toastmasters events, etc.

This can be done by knowing what events are going on at the club level (usually via executive meetings), as well as checking your district site at least monthly. You'll want to know about contests, conferences, renewals, elections, and promotions - generally, all events should be promoted two months in advance when possible.

This is updated every year. Your club should receive physical copies as well.

  • Attend officer training (twice a year)

This is a DCP requirement.

  • Develop club success plan with other officers and commit to your relevant points

A club without a plan is a club that wants to fail. The club should receive a physical copy of the club success plan that all the officers should review, and a digital version is available.

  • Suggest improvements for the club
  • Develop implementation plans for these suggestions and carry them out

This can be done informally as well as during Moments of Truth.

  • Greet and assist guests at meetings

Every officer should assist as needed, not just the VPM.

  • Bring member concerns to officer committee 

If complaints come to an officer, they need to be brought to the attention of all officers, as appropriate. If these aren't acted upon or the officers aren't sure how to handle the issue, the president should engage with the area director.

  • Maintain officer folder (see resources section)
    • Keep at least three membership applications on hand at all times

This folder helps officers, especially new ones, be responsive to the top potential member questions including: "How much does it cost?" and "How do I sign up?" The other resources help open and close meetings, plus have a reference to officer manual as needed.

  • Update other officers as needed

This seems like a "duh" thing to include, but communication between officers breaking down can lead to serious problems. Holding regular one-on-one and executive meetings helps with this. I've seen failures of communication lead to missed meetings and breaches of trust. It's usually better to over-communicate than under-communicate.

  • Attends and participates in Executive Committee meetings
    • Have report ready for officer meetings

Holding RDG executive meetings will be covered in a later chapter.

  • Prepare successor for office

This task is built into the month-by-month plans.


4. Executive Meetings

One good indicator of RDG clubs is consistent, monthly officer meetings. There are any number of formats to be used, but here are some suggested ones. The goals of these meetings include:

  • Identify new and existing problems and issues 
    • Discuss possible solutions
    • Select a solution, assign people, set deadline
  • Check the club's DCP progress 
  • Check how other initiatives are proceeding
  • Identify upcoming events & promotions

The first step is to make sure officers have agendas and expectations to prepare for the meeting. 

At the meeting, the president will step through reports from the officers in either bottom-up (SAA starts) or top-down order (president starts). Each officer should report on issues related to their role; general discussion can be held at the end. The president should announce new initiatives and the status of current initiatives. 

The second comes from Lance Miller. The president conducts one-on-one meetings with the officers (once per month at minimum) to go in-depth with each of them, and hosts a brief, once per month "reports meeting" is conducted with all officers. The reports meeting has officers report on relevant portions of their tasks, such as VPE reporting on educational goal progress, VPM talking about membership levels, and so on. This allows the executive meeting to run relatively quickly.

No matter what format you use, try to have an agenda and possibly a timer of some kind to prevent too many digressions. As with meetings, going past 90 minutes without a break will cause focus to wander; try to keep these meetings to 45 minutes or less. A sample agenda is on the next page.

When having these meetings, make sure your secretary documents meeting minutes. They should also document to dos for each officers, including who will do what, by when. A meeting minutes mail out with these to dos should be mailed out within 48 hours of the officer meeting. Lack of follow through is the main cause of club mediocrity, and this report will help remind people of what needs to be done.

Effective and consistent officer meetings are a key part of building the RDG club. Don't neglect them.


4.1. Executive Meeting Agenda Sample

RDG Toastmasters

Executive Meeting: 5/25/2018, 7:30pm

Call in Number: 867-5309, Access Code is "Jenny"

7:25pm: Call in, phone check, setup screen share / Easy Speak logins as needed

7:30pm: Call to order (President), opening remarks

7:35pm: SAA report: Supplies status, any upcoming meeting location changes

7:43pm: Secretary-Treasurer report: Last month's expenditures & income, this month's projected expenditures & income

7:51pm: VP PR report: Previous marketing initiatives report, upcoming marketing initiatives

7:59pm: VPM report: New members, DCP membership goal status, guest to member conversion rate update, member concerns

8:07pm: VPE report: DCP progress, mentor updates

8:15pm: President report: Upcoming district events & promotions, upcoming club initiatives, ongoing club initiatives

8:23pm: Closing remarks & adjourn

4.2. Google Meet How-To

When you can't meet in person, having a teleconference is the next best thing. Skype, Google Meet, and other options are free. With screen sharing options and many other features, Google Meet is a great option.

What You'll Need

  • Supported web browser or app (Google Chrome is optimal)
  • Headset and microphone
  • Webcam (optional)
  • Reliable Internet connection (wired is preferable)
  • Google account

Hosting/Starting a Meeting

  1. Go to the Google Meet page (on mobile, use the app).
  2. Sign in to your Google account if needed.
  3. Select New Meeting, then select which meeting type is appropriate (either start a meeting immediately, or schedule one via Google Calendar)
  4. Assuming you are starting your meeting immediately, check your settings in the waiting room. Use the triple dot button to change settings such as what microphone and sound output to use.
  5. Select Join Now when ready.
  6. This will start the meeting. You will be presented with the link to share for others to join. Copy and send as needed.

Joining a Meeting

  1. Go to the Google Meet page (on mobile, use the app).
  2. Sign in to your Google account if needed.
  3. In the Enter a Code or Link box, enter the meeting code provided by the host.
  4. You will be put into a waiting room. Check your settings. If needed, use the triple dot button to change settings such as what microphone and sound output to use.
  5. Select Ask to Join when ready.

Sharing Your Screen (desktop/laptop only)

  1. Join a Google Meet. 
  2. Select the Present Now button in the lower right corner.
  3. Select what you want to share (a Chrome tab, an entire display, or a single window).

Screen sharing is an excellent way to conduct tutorials on how to use your club websites, or to look at DCP progress together. You may want to install a separate web browser such as Opera, set up the tabs you want to share, then set Hangouts to screen share just Opera (or whatever other browser you like).

Troubleshooting

If you have trouble with bandwidth or sound in the meeting, use the triple dot menu in the lower right corner, then Settings to make changes.

On the options, you can toggle your video source, microphone, and speakers. You can also change bandwidth settings on the Bandwidth tab.

If your microphone or headphone volume is still low or too high, adjust them on your device. For most versions of Windows, you can right click the volume control in the system tray, then choose Playback or Recording Devices as appropriate.

[Windows Sound Options]

Newer versions of Windows 10 have a new interface. Select Open Sound settings once you right click the speaker icon:

[WIndows 10 Sound Settings]

In either case, the most common issue is that microphone volume is too low. Start by setting it to 90% and adjust from there. Too high, and you'll get echo or sound too loud. Too low and you won't be heard. You may also need to adjust special features as well. Try pre-recording something or doing a test call as needed.

4.3. Google Hangouts How-To

When you can't meet in person, having a teleconference is the next best thing. Skype, Google Hangouts, and other options are free. Because Google Hangouts has screen sharing and supports multiple people being in a call, it's preferred. Currently, GH supports 25 simultaneous participants.

What You'll Need

  • Supported web browser or app (Google Chrome plus Hangouts extension is optimal)
  • Headset and microphone
  • Webcam (optional)
  • Reliable Internet connection (wired is preferable)
  • Google account
    • You'll also need the Google account of the person (or people) you want to contact

Hosting

  1. Go to the Google Hangouts page or load the Google Hangouts extension (on mobile, use the app).
  2. Sign in to your Google account if needed.
  3. In the top left, select New Conversation [New Conversation] (or select a previous contact to reuse an existing one).
    1. If you're working with more than one person, you may want to use the New Group option, or select a group you've used previously.
  4. If this is a new conversation, enter the e-mail of the person you want to connect to: [Enter Contact]
  5. This will open a chat window. You can use the Video Call button in the top left of the window to start a video call. [Video Call]
  6. If you want to add people to the call, use the Invite People button: [Invite People] You can then either enter their Google account email or get the link that is provided, then send that to the new person.

One method that works well to coordinate multiple people is to have everyone who is going to be in the call send a message to the host. The host can then add these people to a group by using the Invite to Group button[Google Hangouts Invite to Group Button], adding everyone who will be on the call, and use the Video Call button to begin. 

Sharing Your Screen (desktop/laptop only)

  1. Start a video call.
  2. Select the triple dot icon in the top right: [Triple Dot Icon]
  3. Select Share Screen: [Share Screen Button]
  4. Choose to either share your entire desktop, or just one application (recommended), then select Share: [Share Your Screen]

Screen sharing is an excellent way to conduct tutorials on how to use your club websites, or to look at DCP progress together. You may want to install a separate web browser such as Opera, set up the tabs you want to share, then set Hangouts to screen share just Opera (or whatever other browser you like).

Troubleshooting

If you have trouble with bandwidth or sound, use the gear icon to open options: [Gear Icon]

[Settings Screen]

On the options, you can toggle your video source, microphone, and speakers. You can also change bandwidth settings on the Bandwidth tab.

If your microphone or headphone volume is still low or too high, adjust them on your device. For most versions of Windows, you can right click the volume control in the system tray, then choose Playback or Recording Devices as appropriate.

[Windows Sound Options]

Newer versions of Windows 10 have a new interface. Select Open Sound settings once you right click the speaker icon:

[WIndows 10 Sound Settings]

In either case, the most common issue is that microphone volume is too low. Start by setting it to 90% and adjust from there. Too high, and you'll get echo or sound too loud. Too low and you won't be heard. You may also need to adjust special features as well. Try pre-recording something or doing a test call as needed.

5. One-on-One Meetings

Another tip from Lance Miller is to have one-on-one officer meetings, similar to what several companies do with supervisors and employees. This will cover some of the basics about doing this.

Ideally, a one-on-one meeting takes about 30 minutes: 10 minutes for them, 10 minutes for you, and 10 minutes for whatever else. Some very good instruction comes from the Manager Tools podcast for those that want to go in-depth about the topic. These meetings should be convened between the president and the officer (or if not available, a member of their committee). These can be done after a meeting, over the phone, or whatever method works for both parties.

While one-on-ones should cover the officer's responsibilities, if concerns about the club in general comes up, the one-on-one is a good place to address it. Both parties do need some preparation to make them effective; the officer should be up to speed on their office metrics (e.g. the VPM should know how many guests have attended in the last month and if they've been followed up with and how many members have joined or left), and the president should know what expectations and initiatives they have for the officer, as well as what was discussed previously.

It's important to note that what's said in a one-on-one should be kept private unless otherwise explicitly agreed upon. The officer should make notes of any to dos with related deadlines, and the president should make their own follow up items to verify these to dos are getting done. Products like OneNote or EverNote are useful for this. 

Other topics at one-on-ones can be roadblocks, question & answer (or mentoring), district happenings, and their committees. If you're a new president, keep in mind that you aren't always the one to find the answer to the question; more often than not you want to coach the officer on how to find information so they can answer their own questions. If neither of you can figure an issue out, put the issue or question into a parking lot in your notes, and follow up with the appropriate people - this could be your area director, for example. 

One-on-one topics can include:

  • DCP progress (not really applicable to the SAA)
  • Roles & responsibilities-related tasks and projects
  • Their committee (for VPE, VPM, & VP PR)
  • Club goings on
  • District events, promotions, etc. 
  • This month's action items
  • Next month's action items
  • Everything else

The biggest hurdle for one-on-ones is often just building the habit of getting them done, especially if the club hasn't done them before. This makes it critical for the president to make the time for them and be consistent about it.


6. All Officer Two Week Plan

To help get newly elected officers ready to go, there are two week plans in each officer section with tasks specific to the office. However, he's a common list of to dos for all officers that should be done in the month prior to their term.

  1. Read the relevant parts of the latest Club Leadership Handbook
  2. Create your Month-by-Month plan (see the Month-by-Month lesson).
  3. Participate in a DCP Success Plan meeting.
  4. Participate in a Moments of Truth meeting (this may dovetail with the Success Plan meeting).
  5. Make plans to attend a club officer training. 
  6. Seek mentoring from the officer you're replacing. Do they have any ongoing projects? Any relevant documents or files you could use? Do they have web or other accounts you need access to like Easy Speak, FreeToastHost, or Meetup? (if there isn't a current officer in your office, ask a former one) 
  7. Begin taking over some duties from the current officer.
  8. Setup one-on-one and executive committee meetings for at least this month and the next. 
  9. Begin identifying and contacting potential backups for when you cannot attend.
  10. Create or update contacts for the other officers, and make sure your phone has them loaded.
  11. Create your officer folder (see Officer Folder page). If you built a Toastmasters binder from the RDG TM Members course, just add this content to it.
  12. If you haven't already, make sure your logins or access to any Toastmasters site (including Toastmasters International, your Easy Speak site, your Free Toast Host site, Meetup, Facebook group, etc.) are setup, and bookmark them (preferably in a dedicated folder). Also verify your profile information is up to date.
  13. Verify that the current secretary submits the officer list for the upcoming term, and updates any relevant club websites (Easy Speak, Free Toast Host, etc.).
  14. Learn the basics of parliamentary procedure, including how to call for votes, getting seconds, and so on. 
  15. Get familiar with your club's websites as well as TI's Club Central.
  16. (OPTIONAL) Many Toastmasters create alternate e-mail accounts for Toastmasters-related mail. You may want to setup an account or alias with your e-mail provider; for example: john.smith@mail.com would be for regular mail, john.smith.TM@mail.com would be for Toastmasters mail.