If you ask the two Agile Area Directors, Prashant Shrestha and Pankaj Pradhananga, on how they opened a club each by 15th Aug 2019, they will swear by ‘orientation program’ before conducting a ‘demo meeting’.
Back in 2017 as an Area Director, I realized that one demo meeting is not enough to make people understand the benefits of becoming a Toastmaster. They saw the final product of what needs to be done to conduct a meeting, but many questions lingered. Even though people became interested and were wowed by performing Toastmasters during the demo meeting, many mental distortions still remained.
DTM Ranjit Acharya agreed to jointly conduct an orientation program first when we both went to open a club in Pokhara. The encouraging response and success of opening the club led us to replicate the process not only that year but in the subsequent year as well. We opened a club without fail wherever we conducted a demo meeting owing to the amazing feedback and interest after orientation.
I am glad that the concept of conducting an orientation has been adopted by District 41 leadership this year. Here, at Division A, we have fine-tuned the orientation program as we gain experience of what works and what doesn’t. Starting July, 12 orientation programs have been held, 6 demo meetings conducted, 2 clubs opened, 2 clubs are waiting to be chartered, and 2 clubs are collecting money.
Each of the 6 Areas would have opened a club by October. The way more orientation programs are being earmarked, Division A could well get close to opening 12 clubs by December, if not earlier. This will fulfil the stretch goal given by the District six months before time. Believe me, orientation works.
Suman Shakya, DTM
Division A Director