LUV Toastmasters, chartered in March 2013: ten years ago, is already a Select Distinguished club this year. They are a corporate Southwest Airlines’ club, so we all connect through our culture. They are open to all employees across the company and enjoy meeting and learning about each other. Toastmasters’ Dashboards show their club has thirty-two members. Club officers indicate fifteen, a mix of guests and members, typically attend their meetings. This article contains some insights which may help your club.
When asked why she wants to be a member of this club, Rachel McDowell, President, replied, “I love getting to meet members of Southwest Airlines from all different departments that also want to improve themselves and grow.” Phyllis McKenzie, Vice President of Education, said, “I love practicing my Communication and Leadership skills in a safe and supportive environment with like-minded Co-hearts. I also like mentoring and helping others see the potential in themselves.” And Claudia Sithy, Sergeant at Arms responded, “I want to improve my public speaking skills, especially for presenting in a professional setting. I also love the leadership skills that come along with the club!”
Each of these officers had subtly different opinions about the best sentence to describe this club. Rachel said, “‘Don’t speak for free.’ We use our work environment to get through our pathways and speak outside of formal Toastmasters meetings.” Phyllis added, “Attend LUV Toastmasters meetings to hear great Prepared Speeches and Table Topics and you’ll want to join in. It’s Contagious!” While Claudia proclaimed, “Take the leap, this is a safe space!”
What do the club members do for fun? “We like to bring some treats, we laugh at ourselves and make lots of jokes,” according to Rachel.
Phyllis attributes the club’s success to, “We all worked together to make the club a success. Members and Guests volunteer for meeting roles, Officers meet bi-weekly to plan future meetings. The Club is a Team and the Officers are a Team within the Team. Everyone is helping to make the club and ourselves a success.” Rachel added, “We have lots of very passionate people who motivate the new members, and the officers have been amazing at getting everything set up for everyone’s success.”
They hold open houses twice each year and encourage members to invite friends. In addition, they publish in the Corporate Newsletter. Members typically remain active for three to five years.
Here is their advice to other corporations considering Toastmasters. Claudia responded, “It’s crucial for us to have leadership support and incentives to join and grow. We offer SWAU (Southwest Airlines University) credit and send internal commendations for attendance.” Then Phyllis added, “Each attendee receives Kick Tails for attendance. Kick Tails are internal employee recognition which is measured by our Leadership.”
Currently, they are a hybrid club that meets on alternating weeks Tuesday at 11 am then Thursday at noon in rotation. Also, they have workshops or speech-a-thons during off weeks. If you have more interest in this club, you can contact them via their DG (distribution group): email@example.com.