Toastmasters Meeting Templates and Meeting Events

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The WordPress for Toastmasters agenda management system is defined around a system of event templates and individual event posts, or documents, that define the structure of your meetings. Members can then sign up for roles (or meeting organizers can assign them).

One important thing to understand is the difference between a meeting template and a meeting document:

  • Meeting Template: The club meets every Saturday at 4 pm EDT, with 3 speakers and 3 evaluators at each meeting. Does not show up on the calendar of events.
  • Meeting: The club will meet on Saturday June 16, 2022 at 4 pm, following the agenda defined in the template unless an editor has made a change for this specific date. Shows up on the calendar of events, and members can sign up for (or be assigned) roles.

When you update a template, you will be prompted to Create / Update individual events based on the template. In the example above, the template would be used to project a series of Saturday at 4 pm events.

Agenda Content Blocks

In the WordPress editor, different types of content such paragraphs, headings, and images are known as “blocks.” If you click on the block inserter button (the blue + sign) at the top left of the editor screen, you will see a listing of blocks you can add.

You can filter the list by typing a word in the search box. If you type “agenda” you will see the available agenda blocks. The ones you will use the most are Agenda Role, Agenda Note, and Editable Note. Other more specialized blocks you might find uses for include Signup Form Note, Planned Absences, Hybrid Meeting, and Agenda Wrapper (see full list).

The Role block appears as a on the signup form for members to sign up or be assigned to a role. The list of roles and assignments is then displayed on the agenda. In the editor, you specify a count for each role (Example: 1 Toastmaster of the Day, 3 Speakers, 3 Evaluators) and, optionally, the time associated with that block of roles (23 minutes for 3 speakers).

Agenda Role block

An Agenda Note appears only on the agenda (not the signup form) and can have time associated with it. These are the “stage directions” of your meeting. Example: 5-minute break, with Time Allowed set to 5.

Agenda Note block

The Editable Note is similar, except that it’s for something that changes from week to week such as meeting theme. You provide a label for it and allow meeting organizers to easily update it on the signup form without needing to have editing rights on the website.

Time Planning

You can plan the time associated with different events on your agenda using the Time Allowed fields that appear in the sidebar of both Agenda Role, Agenda Note, and Editable Note blocks. Agenda Role blocks also allow you to set a Count — which, for example, is how you you would change the number of speaker openings that appear on the agenda and the signup form.

Updating the Template and Related Events

The process of organizing and publishing meeting events goes like this:

  1. Add or edit an RSVPMaker Template document for your meetings. A default Toastmasters Meeting template is provided, along with a sample template for contests.
  2. Define the schedule associated with the template: For example, first Tuesday at 7 pm.
  3. Follow the Create / Update link to generate a series of event posts, based on the template (see documentation).
  4. (Optional) Alter any of the individual event posts, as necessary, to reflect a different meeting structure (for example, moving Table Topics from the beginning of the meeting to the end and adding an explanation about a special workshop).
  5. Members sign up for roles and meeting organizers make assignments using the tools available on the front end of the website (no WordPress editing rights required).
Adding events based on the schedule set in a template

If you need to change the standard structure of your meetings, go back to Step 1 and update the template. You can then update all the events based on that template. You will see a warning if a specific meeting has been updated independently and can choose not to overwrite it.

Updating event posts based on a template

Author: David F. Carr

Contact me at 954-757-5827 or david@wp4toastmasters.com

* This software is offered "for Toastmasters" but not is provided by or endorsed by Toastmasters International. The use of Toastmasters brand assets (with proper disclaimers) in website designs has been reviewed by the Toastmasters International brand compliance team.