Optional Rules for Managing Your Agenda

The latest software update includes a couple of tools club leaders have asked for to give them greater control over who can edit signups by other members and to prevent or discourage abuse of the self-service role signup tools. The use of these features is optional. You will find the setup for them on the Rules tab of Toastmasters Settings.

The new Rules tab on the Settings screen.

Restricting Access to the Edit Signups Feature

The first set of settings are related to who will be able to access the Edit Signups link on the agenda. By default, the system allows all members to access that function as needed. However, you can restrict it so only the site Administrator (or another member with an elevated security role such as Editor or Manager) has access to the Edit Signups function.

If you choose to limit access by security role, you may still want to permit access to the Edit Signups function for the Toastmaster of the Day if the TOD is responsible, or partly responsible, for organizing the agenda and ensuring roles are filled. Depending on how your club operates, you might also want to give the General Evaluator that ability. Since these are meeting-specific roles, access would only be granted for the specific meeting for which a member is serving in that role.

A Point System for Speeches Versus Other Participation

Large clubs or those with many ambitious speakers may occasionally experience issues with members monopolizing the available speaking slots. The points system allows you to monitor abuse of the self-signup feature or have the software prevent it.

Here’s how it works:

  • Each member starts with 4 points (you can change this)
  • Each speech signup “costs” 2 points (you can change this)
  • Members earn 1 point for every supporting role (every role other than speaker) they sign up for.

In other words, if you stick with the defaults, the idea is members should fill some other role roughly twice as often as they sign up to speak.

The least intrusive way to use this feature is for club leaders to periodically check the new Speaker Points Report and, perhaps, have a talk with anyone who looks like they’re abusing the system.

Here’s a glimpse at that report with a member’s negative score highlighted in red. This is one of the reports listed under the Reports Dashboard.

Speaker Points Report

Next, you can specify that you would like to warn members when their point balance drops below zero but not actually prevent them from signing up to speak.

Here’s what that looks like:

Prompting a member to sign up for another role.

Or you can prevent members from signing up for to speak as long as their point value is negative. In that case, the Take Role button just isn’t displayed for speaking roles.

Preventing a member from signing up to speak.

In that case, a club leader such as the VP of Education who has the authority to Edit Signups can override this prohibition by putting the member on the schedule anyway. (To make this enforceable, you will want to ensure that regular members cannot access the Edit Signups feature.)

Other rules needed?

Do these options suggest other rules you would like to have the option of turning on?

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