We are now celebrating the 10th anniversary of easy-Speak club management system.
It was on the 4th May 2005, at a meeting of Bicester Speakers in the UK, that I first presented a very simple version of what we now know as easy-Speak.
Like most Toastmasters, I led a busy life and felt there must be a better way to organise meetings without a flurry of panic phone calls the night before, and the inevitable disruption caused by last minute changes. So, planning a two week Christmas break in 2004, I borrowed a book on programming from my local library and set about creating a simple bespoke meeting management system for my local club.
In those early days, use of the internet was by no means universal, and the original version introduced to Bicester club did little more than request confirmation of your role and then print the agenda. But Bicester recognised the benefits – as did visiting Toastmasters, who asked if they could use it at their clubs too. And thus easy-Speak was born.
As use of the internet grew, so did easy-Speak, and ten years on the system is now used by over two thousand clubs worldwide – a figure that continues to grow week on week.
So what does easy-Speak now offer? Here are a few examples:
- easy-Speak enables each member to set their own objectives and review their progress to date.
- It automatically charts each member’s Communication and Leadership path, providing “at a glance” details for the individual and their Mentor as well as the club.
- It allows every club to plan all aspects of club management and give full support to each member as required.
- All clubs may use - and personalise - their multi-page website, with high Google page-ranking, to promote to the public. Many of the web-parts are updated automatically to show the next meeting and current club officer contact details, etc.
- At non-club level the District directory provides identification and targeted mass mailing to selected officers.
- On-line meeting management for Contests, Training and Council is provided for Area|Division|District directors, using the same attendance and agenda management as the clubs.
- Candidates Corner displays details of candidates for elected roles together with their personal message, and then shows the winners within minutes of the announcement at Council.
- The Conference management feature provides a fully-featured website with registration and automatic payment processing, and enables a District to market each conference to past attendees, Council members who have not yet booked.... etc.
I'm delighted to announce in today's software update that easy-Speak can now be used in your own language:
- easy-Speak is now available in German and French. Chinese should follow shortly and we are already considering translation teams for Spanish, Italian, Polish and Dutch. Other languages may follow.
easy-Speak is supported and developed globally by teams of volunteers who give their own time to assist their fellow Toastmasters.
I have been both amazed and gratified by the enthusiasm and willingness of all who have helped easy-Speak flourish and grow from its conception 10 years ago.
If you would like to join the development team or support team and offer your expertise in any way please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Meanwhile I would like to take this opportunity to extend all our thanks to the volunteers who have so generously helped – and still continue to help – make this co-operative project available to all Toastmasters worldwide.
Happy 10th Anniversary, easy-Speak!