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. The latest release also includes the beginnings of support for Pathways.
For a club that wants to attract new members, you get the advantage of access to a professional quality web publishing and marketing platform. With a little imagination, you can also dramatize what makes your club special and tell those learning about Toastmasters for the first time why they should visit and join.
You can sign up for a site on the Toastmost.org service (which will have a web address like myclub.toastmost.org). Test it free for 60 days and decide whether it makes sense for your club. Hosting plans are available through Carr Communications Inc. on toastmost.org or at your own domain. Or you can create your own website using the same software on any web hosting service that supports WordPress.
You can do some basic testing of the member experience at demo.toastmost.org by clicking on one of the Weekly Meeting or Contest links and logging in as:
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.
I’m currently President of Online Presenters, a club that meets online and focuses on helping members learn skills for webinars and online meetings. One of my current projects is refining features that are important to online clubs (a relatively new phenomenon in the Toastmasters world).
From the Blog
If you have a product or service that will appeal to Toastmasters, consider advertising on Toastmost.org, a club website hosting service based on the WordPress for Toastmasters project software. The price of advertising for one month has now been cut from $200 to $100, with further price breaks for longer terms. Advertise on Toastmost.org Ad [Read More]
The Toastmost.org Toastmasters club website hosting service is relaunching as a free 60-day trial offer, after which club leaders must decide whether upgrading to a paid plan makes sense for them. More details at toastmost.org. The hosting service is intended as a convenient way for club leaders who aren’t necessarily techies to set up and [Read More]
This is an update to How to Display Stoplight Colors on Your Agenda and Other Agenda Styling Options. If you have the stoplight feature turned on, those colors will automatically be displayed for speech roles, table topics, and evaluations. Almost immediately I ran into a different scenario: manually adding the stoplight display to a contests agenda. [Read More]
As of September 1, I’m planning to suspend the offer of new free club websites until I can identify a source of funding to make that part of the WordPress for Toastmasters project financially self-sustaining. The existing club websites on toastmost.org will continue to be supported, and the free and open source software will remain available for [Read More]
The latest release of the WordPress for Toastmasters software includes an option to show green / yellow / red “stoplight” timing guidelines on the agenda. This was a request I received some time ago from a club that had been doing something like this with a Microsoft Word template. It took me a while to [Read More]
This video is from the South Florida WordPress Users Group meetup. Additional notes and code samples are at https://rsvpmaker.com/teardown/ Yes, Toastmasters friends, I realize I spent too much time with my back to the audience (or at least to the cameraman, my son, who was all the way over to one side of the room). [Read More]
I am writing to ask for your help making the WordPress for Toastmasters project a long-term success, which is something I can’t do alone. See the Support This Project page for suggestions on how to help by placing an advertisement, making a donation, or contributing professionally by making the software, design, and documentation/tutorials better. Funding is starting [Read More]
I created this 2-minute overview to illustrate a few key concepts as part of a presentation to a WordPress meetup, showing how WordPress can be extended as a meeting management platform with functions keyed to a user’s login for signing up for roles or (with the proper permissions) editing the agenda. The video shows navigating [Read More]
These are updated instructions for setting up your standard meeting agenda and tweaking it as necessary for individual meetings. In addition to trying to explain the software better, I have worked on simplifying the software itself to make the process easier! If you don’t have time to watch the video, I’ve included some key points [Read More]
These are sample agendas you can use for a club contest where you want to give members an opportunity to sign up online. Copy the text from either of the examples below. Before pasting it into the editor, make sure the WordPress editor is in “Text” mode rather than “Visual.” When you toggle back to [Read More]