easy-Speak for TM Web Masters
10. Additional Advice from Malcolm Warden
You may start the system, set your club preferences for agendas, description of meeting roles, load all your members details, assign speeches and roles for a meeting and then produce a printed agenda for your meeting without sending any information to your membership.
You may choose to do this:
- When you first start to use the system - and want to gain a full understanding before involving the membership OR
- If most of your members are not internet users - You may still use the system for club officers to plan, prepare the agenda, print 'sign-up sheets' for future meetings and manage the club.
Nothing is ever sent to the members by e-mail unless the meeting manager or a club officer requests that it be sent.
Note: If the majority of your members are internet users, but a few are not, you may assign a computer 'buddy' to talk with the minority, receive e-mail and use the system on their behalf.
Defining the tasks
Consider loading data from the last one or two meetings of your club. This has the benefit of letting you practice creating meetings, allocating roles, putting speeches into the queue and assigning them to meetings etc etc without the time-pressure of involving the membership. It also means that your club charts will have a few meetings history when you begin using the system. Remember to 'close' the past meetings and say that this was what really happened by using the 'actual' button for each meeting.
Remember also to change the date for 'First mentoring data available' in the Club Control Panel to be that of the first meeting that you have loaded.
Consider loading past speeches made by members from any workbook that they have not yet completed. This will give you complete membership information to measure progress towards Competent Communicator etc. Speeches may be uploaded from a spreadsheet:
Note: Do not let your implementation drag on for too long. If you are half using the system and trying to load a mass of old meeting data you will run into problems where, for example, members who spoke at the old meetings have now left the club.
Set a reasonable objective of a few meetings history, load them over one weekend and start to use the system completely from that point onwards. You may easily load speech history which pre-dates your first system meeting date by uploading spreadsheets.