As an experienced Toastmaster member, you have been selected to serve as coach/mentor for a new member in the club. According to the dictionary, a coach is an instructor or trainer. A mentor is a wise, loyal advisor. Your role should be a combination of both. As a coach/mentor, you have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with a new Toastmaster member who wants to learn, grow and achieve.
The following are six steps for successfully fulfilling your role as a coach/mentor:
1. Build a personal rapport with the new member
Get together informally and establish a mutual rapport. Discuss your own experience as a Toastmaster and relate some of the benefits you have realized.
2. Discuss the new members’s needs and expectations
Secure an understanding of what the new member expects to gain from his/her Toastmasters membership. Empathize with their needs and project confidence.
3. Interpret the new member’s needs in terms of the Toastmasters program
Get the new member to equate their self-development with Toastmasters related accomplishments (e.g. CTm, ATM, DTM)
4. Set specific goals and objectives for the new member
Agree upon a realistic set of program goals as well as a timetable for achieving them. Have the member write his/her goals down.
5. Discuss the effort and commitment needed to meet these goals
Emphasize the need to prepare diligently for each manual speech, to attend meetings regularly, and to participate fully in club programs and activities.
6. Monitor the new member’s performance and progress
Conder with the new member shortly after they have presented their Icebreaker speech and provide positive reinforcement and support. Offer constructive suggestions for their next manual speech. Evaluate each of the new member’s first few speeches personally.
Be sure the new member is actively involved in and is given ample opportunities to participate in club meetings.
Keep track of the new member’s progress. Are they on track in terms of their goals? Offer periodic advice striving to be helpful and constructuive. Answer all questions.