How to Build Your Toastmasters Board of Directors

Are you on the board of directors for a non-profit organization? Soon you can be.

Officer election season is here again. Congratulations to all officers who stepped into leadership, whether it was for a 6 or 12 month term. It’s time to elect the next board. However, managing the election process is like putting together your next speech. It takes planning and encouragement. Here are three tips to help you bring on your next board of directors.

Reach out and encourage members to join leadership.

You can’t assume that on the day of, there are going to be a sea of hands in the air and everyone will be clamoring to be on the next board. People have jobs to do, families to tend to and a plethora of other responsibilities on their mind. However that doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking about it. Reach out to members who have been active all year and talk them through the opportunity, what it means for them and what it means for the club. If they aren’t interested then they aren’t interested but you would be surprised how many people will seriously consider it with your encouragement.

Make the moment special.

If becoming an officer truly means something, then you need to make the election mean something too. Don’t let the moment be just a formality. You can invite important dignitaries such as your Area Director, past Club Presidents or even the outgoing board to speak about their experience in leadership. My personal favorite is to purchase club officer pins and award them to the new board as a token of the club’s appreciation for their service. With the District currently running the #BringBackYourBase campaign, you can earn $50 in gift certificates with which you can use to purchase those pins. Just saying.

Create additional leadership roles for members who are not elected.

The fear of rejection is often the biggest roadblock to running for office. What happens if you don’t get elected? It’s ok that your members feel this way but don’t forget to remind them that there is no shortage of opportunities to get involved. Outside of the 7 elected positions is a variety of additional roles that can be created. Does the club need a project manager? A videographer? A content strategist? A social events coordinator? It would be good to consider what the interest level for the officer roles looks like and plan additional appointed roles that can include members who still want to step into leadership in the event that all positions are filled.

Congratulations to all outgoing officer teams. Thank you all for your service this past term and good luck with your club elections. Remember that elections must be completed before the terms ends on June 30 and the new officer list must be submitted on time to Toastmasters International in order to complete your DCP goal for the 2017-2018 term. Start strong for the new year!

Should you have any questions about elections, please feel free to leave a comment below or email Program Quality at


About Eugene Chen 25 Articles
Eugene Chen joined Toastmasters in June 2013. He is a member of First Republic Toastmasters and Cable Car Toastmasters. During his time with the organization, he has held a variety of club and district level leadership roles - the most recent being Public Relations Manager for District 4 during the 2016-2017 term. Outside of Toastmasters, Eugene leads the Enterprise Collaboration program at First Republic Bank where he uses the mechanics of social media, community management, information architecture, and user experience design to help his colleagues work smarter together. He’s also an avid half-marathon runner and has competed in over 20 races to date.

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