SCTM Email Best Practices

by Bill Collier 12/3/2018
Even though Toastmasters is largely focused on the spoken word, email is a very important communication tool for our club. As a member of our club, you accept all the responsibilities that go along with it including good, clear, timely email communications.
All of the same basic guidelines for business email apply here … use a clear subject line, don’t email angry, don’t use all capital letters, keep it clean and so on.
In addition and in no particular order, here are some recommended best practices specifically as they apply to your membership in South County Toastmasters:
  1. Check your inbox daily. As a member, you need to do this even if it’s not your normal routine.
  2. Respond promptly. If a club message asks for a response – or if you can see a response is the right way to handle a situation being addressed in an email – be timely.
    Some messages REALLY need your attention & response:
    – Meeting Role emails: When the TM or GE send a confirmation email for an upcoming meeting role, respond immediately. (And if you need a substitute, spring into action and find one.)
    – Next Month’s Schedule emails: The VPE will usually send an email asking what meeting schedule requests you have for next month. Check your personal calendar and respond immediately. This is much better than a last-minute scramble for a substitute when you knew all along you couldn’t be there.
  3. “Reply to All” only when appropriate. Before replying to everyone, BE SURE everyone needs your reply. For instance, if the Toastmaster for an upcoming meeting sends an email to that meeting’s assigned roles to ask if you’ll be there, just reply to the TM and the GE and not to all. with all club emails, copy others only on a need to know basis. Make “Reply to All” the exception and not the rule.
  4. Quality, not quantity. Remember that most people – including our members – already get too many emails. So, one of our goals is to use member emailing responsibly. This means sending the fewest possible emails while still maintaining an excellent level of communication.The same applies to how much content to include. Keep it brief and on topic.
  5. Make the subject relevant to the message. And, if you reply to a previous message and are changing the topic being discussed, change the subject line.
  6. Sign it. Don’t assume that members know “” is you. At least sign your first name and last initial.
For newer members, here is info on the abbreviations used above:
  • TM = Toastmaster. We’re all Toastmasters, but each meeting has an assigned “Toastmaster of the Evening”, who is the master/mistress of ceremonies. He or she will – in cooperation with the General Evaluator – contact the other assigned roles to ensure they’re all filled and will be present.
  • GE = General Evaluator. This person is assigned the job of running the evaluation portion of the meeting and will work with that meeting’s Toastmaster to line up all assigned roles prior to the meeting.
  • VPE = Vice President of Education. This elected club officer prepares each month’s meeting schedule and relies on member feedback during the process.

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