Volunteers and managers of volunteers often are asked
to make speeches about their programs. This opportunity to "share"
and recruit is not to be missed, but public speaking is not everyone's
cup of tea. Here are some tips to make the best recruiting presentations.
What is my message?
are you trying to convey. Having no more than three key points is
essential. 1. Our organization makes the entire community
healthy by serving the needs of animals through shelter, neutering
and spaying, and adoption. 2. We provide these services to animals
and their human owners. 3. Volunteers guide the programs and provide
many of the services.
What does my audience want to hear?
Who is the audience? Seniors.
Service clubs. School children. Professional Association. Each of
those groups has a different interest. Professional association members understand
the need for literacy. They hire employees, some with marginal math
and/or reading skills. Organize the speech to their concerns and how
the Literacy Program is working, with the help of volunteers, to make
their personnel more literate.
Start with an attention getter.
You are bound to offend someone and it is a clichéd way of
starting a speech. Start with a short quiz or startling fact. Did you know 1 in 5 young people in our
county will spend at least one night in jail before they are 18 years
Organize the main messages.
three points of your message mentioned earlier. Now is the time to
provide basic, but memorable information in a clever way to help them
understand the message. Do not swamp them with details or organizational
jargon. Stay on message, get to the point, use vivid examples of the
service provided by volunteers. Tell the volunteer story, not the
End with an appeal.
is called the "ask" in sales terminology. This is a summary
of the information and a chance for you to help the listener see him/herself
as a volunteer. I have shared with you our mission and the
vital role of volunteers in achieving that end. But, this isn't about
what volunteers give, it is also about what volunteers get. If you
think you might like to change the world for the better, we can find
a place for you in our organization.
Interested in more information? Check out our online
bookstore for: Volunteer Recruiting & Retention: A Marketing
Approach, by Nancy Macduff and The One Minute Answer to Volunteer
Management Questions, by Mary Kay Hood.
Volunteers come to their volunteer position
with different types of motivational needs. The responsibility of the
organization is to provide an environment where those motivations can
be met. Knowing what motivates helps the manager of volunteers develop
techniques to meet those needs.
Those with affiliation needs like to
work with others and be around people. They are quick to help with
organizing parties and fun types of activities. Techniques:
put them on committees to plan recognition events or parties for clients
or members, give them mementoes of those "parties."
Some volunteers are sponges for information.
They often evaluate their volunteer experience based on how much they
are learning and how intellectually stimulated they are. Techniques:
give them new tasks to challenge them, send them to workshops, offer
the opportunity to learn new things that will help the organization
achieve its mission.
Volunteering As Lifestyle
Volunteering every day at several different
organizations is a way of life for some people. They are energized
by being a full time volunteer. Forget golf for these folks, it is
not a motivator. One important thing they need is flexibility to meet
the needs of the many organizations for whom they work. Techniques:
Be flexible in work assignments, give them visibility within the organization,
and give recognition for service that is visible.
The volunteer program can stay as it is
today or it can change because the manager of volunteers is a visionary.
Some folks are natural visionaries, but for most of us it requires an
intentional and deliberate effort to develop that skill. This exercise
can begin the process to develop a vision of what a volunteer program
can be in the future.
1. Put a check mark by the metaphor
which best describes your vision of what best describes the future
of your volunteer program.
A. Roller Coaster _______
The future twists ahead of us in the dark and we can only sees
portions of the changes ahead of us. We are locked in our seats
and cannot change what is laid out for us.
B. Wide Ocean _______
Many possible destinations and ways to get there. If we navigate
carefully, and plan our trip we can arrive safely. Unless we
encounter a huge storm at sea.
C. Big River ________
The force of history pushes us along in the flow. Only natural
disasters change the river. We can however, adapt our relationship
with the river by avoiding sand banks or shallow water, and
knowing the best path through the rapids.
D. Dice Game ___________
Everything is random and chancy. We can only hang on for the
ride , play the game, hope lady luck will take care of us, and
we will end up a winner.
2. What didnt you like about
the other choices?
3. Do you think you control the future?
How much do you think you can control the future?
The capacity to vision is important to a good future.
Visioning is an act or the power of seeing or using imagination. Some people
need to improve their visioning capacity. Others haven't used it in a while
and need to dust it off and put it to work. Here is a visioning check up.
How Do You See? A Visioning Self-Assessment
1. Do you have a good imagination?
Do you dream and fantasize?
2. Do you have a good memory?
Do you look at the past?
3. How well developed is your
4. Have you practiced visualizing
5. Have you tried changing your
vision, by wearing different "glasses?"
What ever your vision scores, you need to practice
visioning, if only to improve your skills. Next is an exercise to help
you practice visioning.
1. Now is a chance for you to create your
own metaphor for your volunteer program in the future. What best
describes you vision? Use something familiar to youa hobby,
activity, or animal. Do not worry about cute or clever. Keep it
simple and real.
2. Using the metaphor write down in broad
terms what it would take to get the program to that spot.
Here is an example:
1. The metaphor for my volunteer program
is a soccer team. Soccer teams win best when people play together,
not as individual stars. Also players learn everyone else's skills
at a basic level. There is respect for the contribution that each
position makes to winning games.
2. Broad plan
Map out the positions and skills needed
for the "team."
Assess volunteer skills as they relate
to the map.
Read up on building a team.
Get two volunteers to agree to change
jobs for a short time and report to you about how it works.
Get volunteers on advisory group
to help build a more team like environment.
The Points of Light Foundation has forms available
to nominate volunteers and volunteer organizations for the Daily Points
of Light Award. It is designed recognize individuals and groups that demonstrate
unique and innovative approaches to community volunteering and citizen
action, with a strong emphasis on service focused on the goals for children
and young people set by the Presidents Summit for American's Future. The
award is given five days a week, excluding holidays. If you would like
nomination forms, call 202-729-8000.
By calling 1-800-VOLUNTEER in the U.S., individuals
can be connected to their local volunteer center. This is a national interactive
call routing system designed to get volunteers connected to people who
can help them volunteer.