How Many Members Would Be Ideal?

by Julie Salgo

On the Toastmasters Facebook page, amazing numbers were revealed recently: The top 20 largest clubs have between 79 and 181 active members. WOW!

The most amazing is the Mumbai Toastmasters, with 181 members. They meet weekly for 3 hours and, on average, have 7 speakers and 10 Table Topics. About 60 members usually attend each meeting. Duesseldorfer Toastmasters comes next with 178 members, and Toastmasters Club of Singapore is just a little behind with 159 members.

I admire clubs that attract members like magnets and maintain active members in high numbers. Their reputation strikes like wildfire, without too much ignition.

Chartering a new club, a sponsor/mentor needs to gather at least 20 founding members to make it a viable entity. Finding long-distance members from all over the world makes any club diverse and interesting, with lots of new opportunities to discover, learn, and grow.

Should we look for quantity or quality? That’s another question to ponder.

Many people are either introverts or shy, or both, and may feel more comfortable in a more intimate, smaller club to experiment with. For those, size matters. Others may wish to join a club with a name that projects a clear vision instantly. The club “Holistic Harmony” I recently joined immediately rubbed me the right way.

Clubs with fewer members do have challenges when people miss meetings, and doubling up roles is necessary. However, you will still have marvelous opportunities to practice any roles while enjoying quality meetings.

Large clubs provide excellent opportunities for individuals who need exposure and practice to connect with a sizable crowd or for professionals who seek leadership positions with considerably large organizations.

There are more than 14,200 clubs in 148 countries to choose from. To find the right one, visit a few to decide which one to join, where the time, day, venue, size, and the club’s profile and atmosphere would be a good match for you. Encourage a friend to come along with you.

The Club Mission is the same, no matter which one you join: “We provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.”

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