Inspiration for this new tool came from Tricia Jervis, VP of Education at Club Awesome Toastmasters in Coral Springs, Florida. The idea was to recreate, in a club that has shifted to hybrid meetings, the experience of passing around a clipboard in the room to get members to sign up for roles, without the need to spend meeting time asking for volunteers. It allows online participants to sign up for a role (without the need to enter a password) by following a link shared in the online meeting chat.
The WordPress for Toastmasters version is based on one she originally created using Google Forms but it has the advantage of being integrated with the signup records on the website. You’ll find links keyed to future meetings under the Signup Sheet menu on any week’s agenda.
The person initiating this process does need to be logged in, but other members will not need to enter their password to use the form. The coded links will have an expiration time several hours in the future, but they are meant to be shared within the meeting chat not via email. We have other tools for sharing the agenda and signup opportunities by email, with one-click signup links included, using a similar method to let members bypass having to enter a password.
Here’s what the meeting organizer screen looks like.
If you scroll down a little, you will see personalized links for specific members. This list is filtered to show only members who (a) haven’t already taken a role for the future meeting and (b) aren’t on the planned absences list. You can use that to send direct messages to specific users.
When you click on any of these, you’ll see a Copied! message indicating it’s been copied to your clipboard.
Paste the message into the chat on Zoom (or other online meeting tool). On Zoom, to send a private message, you would change the selection from Everyone to the member’s name.
A member who follows one of these links will be taken to a form with their name pre-selected and a listing of the current open roles. They can then pick a role from the list and click Sign Up.
If the chosen role is Speaker, they will be prompted to enter speech project info, but those details can also be filled in later.
Occasionally, it may happen that another member has taken the same role in the meantime. In that case, the member will be prompted to choose again. However, if you send the messages to members one at a time, that shouldn’t happen often.