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7 Highlights from #PTKHI Regional Officer Training

7 Highlights from #PTKHI Regional Officer Training

More than 90 regional officers attended a special training session this week at the 2017 Honors Institute at Loyola University’s Lake Shore Campus in Chicago.

The training focused on the various responsibilities, including member recruitment and ambassadorship, that come with serving in the unique position of regional officer. The general session was led by Headquarters staff members, with a special welcome from PTK President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, before organizing into small group breakout sessions. Each group chose a representative to give a brief presentation to share tips, tricks, and best practices on the topics outlined below.

Attendees also heard from Michael Usher, Assistant Director of the Adult and Transfer Center at Loyola University Chicago. His presentation, “Making the Move,” walked students through the transfer process and questions. Loyola University Chicago currently offers a $1,500 transfer scholarship to Phi Theta Kappa members.

Here are highlights of the seven topics discussed in the small group sessions:

1. If you’re presiding over a regional meeting:

  • Start on time.
  • Be confident – make eye contact and dress professionally.
  • Fake your way through your nerves – the audience will never know if you don’t let them see you sweat.
  • Model leadership.
  • Teach yourself to breathe.
  • Decide what kind of script you’re comfortable with – full, outline, notecards, etc.
  • Take time to make sure you’re prepared.
  • You don’t have to read the entire lengthy bio for your speaker – edit it down to just the highlights.
  • Practice your part out loud to be sure it makes sense and to be sure you can pronounce everything.

2. If you’re speaking at an induction ceremony:

  • Ask the advisor what time to arrive and dress appropriately for the event.
  • Research the school and chapter – talk with the advisor about their goals and ask for advice on what to say and what NOT to say.
  • Find out if the induction is also a chartering ceremony or if your speech will happen to fall on the anniversary of the chapter’s chartering date.
  • Recognize the chapter for significant achievements – achieving REACH Rewards, completion of a successful service project, or earning regional/international awards.
  • Be sure to reference the Phi Theta Kappa mission statement.
  • Prepare your speech in advance and practice timing and pronunciations.
  • Congratulate the inductees and thank their family and friends, as well as the college administrators, for their support.
  • Use simple terms to explain Phi Theta Kappa and its Hallmarks – jargon can be overwhelming to new members.
  • Keep it concise – an ideal speech is five to seven minutes.
  • End with an inspirational quote or action item.
  • Congratulate the inductees one more time.  

3. If you’re leading a workshop:

  • Choose a topic such as Competitive Edge, Honors in Action, College Project, or the Five Star Chapter Plan.
  • Identify the expectation of your audience, and find an expert to help you prepare.
  • Use visuals in your presentation – acquire resources from Headquarters staff, your advisor, or the Regional Coordinator rather than reinvent the wheel.
  • Keep your presentation short, and leave time for questions.
  • Include an interactive activity to engage the audience.
  • There’s no excuse for not preparing.
  • Have someone keep time for you – or time yourself with your watch or phone – to ensure you stay on track.
  • Provide contact information or a business card.
  • Stay on topic – that’s what people came to hear.

4. If you’re setting regional goals:

  • The principle of setting goals matters; the specifics of setting goals vary.
  • SMART goal setting – goals should be:
    • S – specific
    • M – measurable
    • A – achievable
    • R – relevant
    • T – time-based

5. For effective communication within your region:

  • Select a medium that allows you to reach a wide group of people, such as the GroupMe app, Facebook Messenger, Zoom video chat, Twitter, or your website.
  • Consult with your regional coordinator to strategize on how to offer support to inactive chapters.
  • Set up a sister program within your region to pair Five Star and One/Two Star Chapters.
  • Before you reach out to another chapter in your region, talk with your Regional Coordinator and your Headquarters Divisional Membership Services Specialists you need to get all details about the chapter, as you may not know the full situation.
  • Consider offering a registration fee waiver for a regional conference.
  • Share best practices on fundraising.
  • Be genuine.

6. For effective teamwork among regional officers:

  • Learn everyone’s personalities and assess their strengths.
  • Talk to others to learn their stories – develop empathy so you can be thoughtful of words and actions.
  • Develop respect to build trust, resolve conflicts, and increase teamwork.

7. Effective membership strategies:

  • Personalize the membership invitation.
  • Hand-deliver an invitation if you can – it makes the prospective member feel “selected.”
  • Hold a brief “tapping” ceremony in classrooms or other public places to grab attention.
  • Follow up with students who have been invited to join.
  • Explain the benefits, and how to maximize the benefits through involvement on the local, regional, and international levels.
  • Show your pride and market your chapter by wearing matching branded t-shirts to events.
  • Offer additional incentives – you’ll get a t-shirt or pin.
  • Explain financial benefits such as scholarships.
  • Form an alliance with student government or other organizations – develop a feeder program.
  • Use your college’s technology to promote Phi Theta Kappa on your campus.


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