Jackie points out...
Rituals are the code of ceremonies observed by an organization. They are the shared experiences of a group. They create emotional glue. To an outsider, a ritual can be weird, wacky or just plain stupid. To people inside the organization, they may be metaphors for life, death, or renewal. For never-say-die Steelers fans, rituals can symbolize all of the above.
... at the Chicago Steelers bar (and others I've visited), the rituals were abundant:Does your Toastmasters club have any rituals?
A live polka band playing the Steelers' fight song after scores
Wiping one's feet on an opponent's jersey at the front entrance A gregarious fan leading the crowed in the "Here We Go
Steelers" chant before crucial 3rd downs
A ready supply of Terrible Towels to wave when the team makes a great play The wearing of Steelers jerseys, t-shirts, hats, earrings, etc. Serving Iron City beer (a Pittsburghian brew) Reserved tables for regulars Tailgating in the bar parking lot before games, just like at
Perhaps all the club officers make it a point to talk to guests and ask them what brought them to Toastmasters.
In one of my clubs, we always ask if anyone has had a "public speaking success outside of the club". We feel that this is important because Toastmasters is about developing skills in a supportive environment, but the acid test is when you apply your skills in the "real world" !
What rituals could your club develop to boost the excitement of each meeting?
It is being called "The Parade of Banners" and if you saw the opening ceremonies of the Olympics... well, you have not seen anything until you have seen the D53 Parade of Banners !
Clubs are encouraged to bring their (full size) club banner and nominate someone (who will be at the conference) to carry your club banner in the Parade. Don't worry if your club does not have a full size banner... contact Mike Aron, Chairperson for the Parade of Banners, for alternative ideas.
Will this become a ritual for District 53?
As Jackie's article summarizes...
As the District theme says ... Be The Change You Want To See !
... it's repetition of rituals combined with emotional subtext that creates meaning. People will tell their friends and family about the rituals they experience when the context is right. That just leaves it up to an organization being open and brave enough to establish and follow rituals that's difficult...