WordPress for Toastmasters seeks to provide club leaders with tools both to organize meeting agendas and to track member progress based on participation history. You can gather a lot of data passively — speech and role signups flow automatically into the reporting system — but the data will be higher quality and more useful if you “reconcile” your records after each meeting to account for no-shows and members who stepped up at the last minute.
On the WordPress Dashboard, the key reports show up under
- Toastmasters -> Progress Reports
- Toastmasters ->My Progress
The My Progress screen is where members can see all their own records. That’s the one you want everyone to know is available.
The Progress Reports screen is more for club leaders, although by default members can also get a look at how they compare with other members.
The initial Progress Reports screen display is a 6-month snapshot of member activity within your club. The idea is to provide at-a-glance answers to two questions: are members speaking (and making progress in the educational program) and are members contributing to the health of the club by fulfilling other roles.
If you see someone who has a zero next to their name for Speaking roles, you may want to give them a nudge or reminder. If someone is giving lots of speeches but not filling any of the supporting roles, you may need to talk with them about contributing in other ways. As a VP of Education, I would prefer to see members filling supporting roles about twice as often as they speak — but only as a general rule. A good VPE also understands each member’s goals and situation, for example supporting a member who is pushing to achieve DTM or prepare for a professional event and wants to speak more or the member whose personal situation currently makes it difficult for them to participate.
You can switch from the 6-month overview to a number of additional views:
- Remove the 6-month filter and display member data for all dates.
- Display member data for all dates and all clubs that use the same software (see below).
- Switch to the My Progress screen to see all of your own records.
- Use the drop-down list at the top of the screen to pick any other individual member and view their records in more detail.
- Both My Progress and Progress Report (with an individual member selected) display a list of the member’s speeches, chronologically and by manual, on the Speeches tab.
- Use the other tabs across the top of the screen to view data for the Traditional Program (Competent Communicator/Competent Leader), Advanced Manuals, and Pathways. There are also tabs for editing records and adding a speech (for example, a speech given as a guest of another club).
Website administrators can restrict access to some of these screens if, for example, they do not want members to be able to edit their own data.
Not a Substitute for Base Camp
These reports are not intended to compete with Base Camp, the educational dashboard provided as part of the Pathways program. Maintaining the official records of member progress through the completion of manuals and Pathways levels will still require logging into toastmasters.org. However, I hope you will find them useful for tracking activity that doesn’t show up in Base Camp on for tracking down speech and activity information that can (a) help you keep the official records up to date and (b) get an overview of member participation.
The “Update History” Screen
Do your meetings always go as planned? Mine don’t. So for accurate record keeping, someone needs to go back and fix the changes where the speaker who was supposed to speak didn’t show up and someone else stepped up at the last minute. Like reconciling your checkbook, this process helps account for omissions and mistakes.
You do this from the Update History screen under Toastmasters Administration. In addition to correcting role signup records, you can (if desired) record attendance and recognitions like Best Speaker. Your user account must be set to the Manager or Administrator security level to access this screen.
- Pick any past date to record records for that meeting.
- Record your changes.
- Scroll down to the bottom and record your changes.
It’s also possible to generate records for any other date, based on a template rather than a specific meeting record. But for the most part you’ll work from a past meeting record.
Sharing Member Data Between Club Websites
If a member belongs to multiple clubs that host their websites at toastmost.org, the reports can display data from participation across these clubs.
It’s also possible for independently hosted websites to synchronize their data. For example, I can log into the website of either my home club (www.clubawesome.org) or the online club I led to charter (op.toastmost.org) and see all my activity from both clubs, plus one other where I served as a club coach. This feature is not turned on by default but can be activated from the Settings -> Toastmasters screen.
Data is first synced with a repository hosted at wp4toastmasters.com, which also acts as a backup for your records. If you prefer to keep your data contained within your club website, leave this turned off.