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Click here for web-video clips showing how to use easy-Speak

Help Wanted
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by CelineVPE on 06 Mar 11, 15:25

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Author malw  Date 22 Jul 09, 19:41  Views 2996
Description How to get your club running on easy-Speak
Category Getting Started  Type Information
Article scope
easy-Speak information

Getting Started

Easy-Speak is free to use for Toastmaster Clubs.

The system is designed to minimise human effort in the administration of the club and maximise the data available to run the club effectively. This is my personal and business philosophy so, as you might expect, getting started is also easy!

Step 1:
Look around the system, get some understanding of how it works and the benefits it would bring to your club.

Step 2:
Find a club where their standard meeting agenda has a similar structure to your own. (eg Bicester have Table Topics at the start of the meeting, Spa Speakers have them after the break)
Go to a date in the Calendar and click on the Club name and then the 'Printer' button to see how the printed agenda looks for that meeting.
If that's not a close fit to your meetings press the 'back' button twice then and try another club.

Step 3:
Contact malcolmW via the e-mail or PM on this site.

Step 4:
Your club will be created by copying data from the club that you nominate. (Meeting roles, Meeting agenda templates, Officer 'job names', Member status, Timing for e-mail etc etc etc.
If you send a spreadsheet with member data I will upload this for you - or you may do it yourself later.
This article shows the spreadsheet format for loading member data:

Step 5:
You are now President, VP-E, Secretary and everything else on the system for your club!
Log in and review the settings in the club control panel. Add a description for your normal meeting location for example and a link to multi-map so that visitors can find you.
Upload your membership file, if this has not already been done for you, and select the correct member for each officer position.

Step 6:
Create the next meeting for your club.
Give the meeting an agenda. (Edit this if you need to and save it to replace the template)
Create meetings for the next few months so that your members can book ahead.

Step 7:
Explain to your members how the system works for them. Maybe point them to the Knowledgebase area:

You're live! Laughing

You may start the system, set your club preferences for agendas, description of meeting roles, load all your members details, assign speeches and roles for a meeting and then produce a printed agenda for your meeting without sending any information to your membership.
You may choose to do this:

    When you first start to use the system - and want to gain a full understanding before involving the membership.
    If most of your members are not internet users - You may still use the system for club officers to plan, prepare the agenda, print 'sign-up sheets' for future meetings and manage the club.

Nothing is ever sent to the members by e-mail unless the meeting manager or a club officer requests that it be sent.
(If the majority of your members are internet users, but a few are not, you may assign a computer 'buddy' to talk with the minority, receive e-mail and use the system on their behalf) (Not yet fully implemented in version 0.9j)

Consider loading data from the last few meetings of your club. This has the benefit of letting you practice creating meetings, allocating roles, putting speeches into the queue and assigning them to meetings etc etc without the time-pressure of involving the membership. It also means that your club charts will have a few months history when you begin using the system. Remember to 'close' the past meetings and say that this was what really happened by using the 'actual' button for each meeting.

Remember also to change the date for 'First mentoring data available' in the Club Control Panel to be that of the first meeting that you have loaded.

Consider loading past speeches made by members from any workbook that they have not yet completed. This will give you complete membership information to measure progress towards Competent Communicator etc. Speeches may be uploaded from a spreadsheet:

Do not let your implementation drag on for too long. If you are half using the system and trying to load a mass of old meeting data you will run into problems where, for example, members who spoke at the old meetings have now left the club. Set a reasonable objective of a few meetings history, load them over one weekend and start to use the system completely from that point onwards. You may easily load speech history which pre-dates your first system meeting date by uploading spreadsheets.

Any questions - please address them to me by e-mail or PM via the site or post them in the discussion forum 'How do I ....' and the answers will be visible to all.

If you manage to break something - well done!
The system has been throrougly tested but occasionally someone finds a combination of circumstances that I didn't think about and generates an error.
The system will 'phone home' and tell me about the problem. So far there have been seven of these in four years - all have been resolved within an hour since I happened to be at my desk at the time.
If you have suggestions for additions or improvements to the system please post them in the discussion forum.

(Hint - If you are a Skype user, add your Skype username in your personal profile. We can then talk through any implementation questions for free. http://www.skype.com)

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