MEETING REPORTER TOP TIPS:
- Come prepared to take notes
- Have a camera or smartphone handy
- Listen carefully for anecdotes to add to your report
- Send your copy and photos promptly after the meeting
“”It is a newspaper’s duty to print the news and raise hell”
The Chicago Times, 1861
In order for our club to maintain its profile in the community for guests to keep coming to our meetings. Strong marketing efforts must be made on an ongoing basis. One way to do so is to have an up to date club website with regular blog posts on the club’s activities. In this role you’ll be responsible for blogging about a club meeting.
What will I learn?
This is a great role to develop your writing skills and indirectly your marketing skills as well. Due to space limitations you’ll have to focus and structure your written thoughts, a skill which is transferable in to blog writing, creative writing or even speech writing.
You will also contribute towards the success of the club by helping London Victorians grow its online presence. Doing this helps us attract guests and adds value to everyone’s membership, by providing an archive of key moments in the club’s history and highlights of past speeches.
During the meeting
At the beginning of the meeting you will get an opportunity to speak in front of the audience and introduce your role for 1-2 minutes.
We suggest that you include at least the following in your speech:
- A brief description of the role you will be carrying out.
- An anecdote about writing articles, blogs, the rise of content on the internet, your personal connection with writing. If possible, tie the anecdote back to public speaking.
- Conclude by encouraging the audience to read your report on the website after at the weekend.
Make notes on everything happening during the meeting, with a special focus on the speeches. Interesting facts and anecdotes from the speeches are especially valuable to record. Similarly, any relevant feedback and remarks from the evaluators could be of interest to the website’s readers.
Take pictures throughout the meeting which you believe will illustrate and add value to your article. Be careful though that not everyone is keen to be photographed, so ask permission beforehand.
Finally, remember to take pictures of the ribbon winners at the end of the meeting.
How to Write a compelling blog post
When writing your blog post try to keep a few things in mind to make it as interesting as possible for website readers.
- Keep it between 300 and 500 words – Any less than that is too short to tell a meaningful story but any longer risks boring the readers and having them skimming the post instead of reading it.
- Have a consistent theme throughout – This helps with reading and also with search engine optimisation. The theme could be the same one that the Toastmaster used for the meeting or something completely different. For example it could be speech structure or speech delivery with particular examples of either explained in the blog post.
- Use headings – This helps breaking your post and makes it easier to read, and structures your content further into bit size chunks.
- Explain Toastmasters specific terms – Explain very briefly any terms you are using that may not make sense to a non-member or to a very new member. This include Competent Communicator or Competent Leader but also some the advanced speaking and leadership projects.
- Use descriptive language – Just like in speeches, descriptive written language is a good way to hook readers into reading a long blog post. Describe what was it that made such a particular speech so good or this evaluation so interesting. Draw a picture with words of what was going in the room while you were there. Was it buzzing with energy like an electric motor? Did the speakers glide onto the stage like swans in flight? Make us imagine what the meeting was like!