Our VP of Mentorship concentrates on our newer members, offering them a mentor for their first four speeches and giving them tips for the first roles they take.
While information can be found in the manual and on the Web, this may be more practical advice such as: “Keep the timing cards up for 15 seconds or until you have made eye contact with the speaker” or “Remember to repeat the name of the Book at the end as people’s interest might have picked up during your speech“, or “If the title of your Thought of the Day isn’t on the agenda, give it to the Toastmaster of the Day at the beginning of the meeting“. The mentor can then concentrate on exchanging ideas for speeches, making suggestions on what should be pared down in a speech, or a more intriguing area that can be expanded.
While personal determination plays a strong role in whether a new member completes the program, having a positive and helpful mentor is also key. The VP of Mentorship will keep behind the mentors, encouraging contact behind the scenes and that much needed encouragement.
We find that this officer role, which is not an official position within Toastmasters, takes some of the pressure off the VP of Education, and it makes our new members feel more cared for and part of the club, while providing more tools in their first public speaking activities.