WordPress for Toastmasters allows a Toastmasters club to take advantage of everything the WordPress blogging community has created for an easy-to-use yet powerful platform for marketing and social networking, along with Toastmasters-specific functions like managing meeting agendas and member role signups.
If you are a club officer, this is a tool that can help save you time and bring in new members. You will find yourself doing less manual work in spreadsheets and back-of-the-envelope calculations of how members are progressing through the Toastmasters educational program. With a little imagination, you can also dramatize what makes your club special and why people learning about Toastmasters for the first time should visit and join.
Creating a website for your own club takes just a few minutes, using the Website Request tool. It won’t show up in Google searches until you are ready to start publicizing it, so you can invite a few other club members in to test it (no cost, no commitment).
You can do some basic testing of the member experience at demo.wp4toastmasters.com by clicking on one of the Weekly Meeting or Contest links and logging in as:
To try out the club officer’s experience of creating and editing event listings, you will need to obtain a password from me that gives you editing rights. Or, better yet, go ahead and set up a site for your club on a test basis (it won’t show up in search results until you decide to make it public).
See the How To page for more on how WordPress for Toastmasters works (and how to make it work for your club).
This video covers some of the thinking that went into this software project, as well as other ways you can promote your club and the Toastmasters experience online.
The Origin Story
These WordPress customizations for Toastmasters have been used by my home club, Club Awesome in Coral Springs, FL, since early 2012. I’m David F. Carr, a writer, editor, and web consultant, former club President, VPE, Area Governor, and District 47 social media chair. I hope to enlist the support of other web developers and designers who are active in Toastmasters as this project becomes more widely known. I am already getting lots of feedback from club leaders who see the potential of this solution and have lists of improvements they would like to see.
Back to Club Awesome: When I first became a VP of Education, I was frustrated by the limitations of the default solution used by most clubs and so created something that worked exactly the way our club wanted it to work.
The version you see here has been generalized for use by other clubs, with some additional effort into making it usable by non-techies. Recent enhancements include member and club performance tracking features developed at the request of Club Awesome’s current VPE and other Toastmasters leaders.
From the Blog
Tune in for this live demo and Q&A session. It starts August 31 at 7 pm EST. Please RSVP and I’ll send you event reminders by email. During the program, I’ll answer questions posted in the comments section below. You’re welcome to start posting questions before the event starts, so I will be sure to get [Read More]
Here is the process I recommend for making sure you have a full roster of speakers and volunteers for your next meeting, using the tools available through WordPress for Toastmasters. Step 1: Get People to Sign Up at Your Meetings. In my experience, you will not get everyone to sign up online, but you can [Read More]
The latest update of the WordPress for Toastmasters software includes a tool for publishing speech videos to the club website, publicly or privately, and emailing out links to the videos to club members. Using this feature is entirely optional, but it’s based on a program that has been popular with my own home club. For several [Read More]
Lots of Toastmasters clubs already had a WordPress site, long before I came along. The information below is adapted from an email reply to an inquiry from a club officer who was very interested in adopting the WordPress for Toastmasters software but wanted to make sure she would not lose years worth of club blog [Read More]
This latest tutorial experience covers the basic member experience on WordPress for Toastmasters, including basic tasks like changing a password, correcting contact information on the member profile, and signing up to speak or fill another meeting role. The second part of the video shows how members can track their own progress through the program on [Read More]
The new WordPress for Toastmasters import/export feature allows you to download a spreadsheet of data including member contact information and a summary of achievements within your club. The file downloads in the standard CSV file format, which you can open in Excel and other data management programs. You can then make corrections and import the [Read More]
Here is a look at the new tabbed interface for the reports and editor functions related to member performance reporting. The goal of these changes is to make it easier to navigate between the basic and advanced reports and to go from there to the editing screens (only available to those users to whom you’ve [Read More]
This tutorial tells how to get your club up and running and productive with WordPress for Toastmasters as quickly as possible. It covers the basics of how to set up your meeting schedule and agenda, add members (using the membership roster spreadsheet from toastmasters.org), organize meetings, and edit your new home page.
You’ve probably heard warnings like “There ain’t no such thing as free lunch” or “If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold” as cautions against things being offered for free. I’ve encountered some of that skepticism in my promotion of WordPress for Toastmasters. People are waiting for the punchline, [Read More]
The slideshow below is my summary of the business case for WordPress for Toastmasters and how it compares with the alternatives for club marketing and management. I acknowledge that the comparisons are self-serving and subjective. I do not mean to be disrespectful to the creators of Free Toast Host and Easy-Speak. Those products are also the work of [Read More]