_ As a chapter officer, you might now want to take the next step and run for state office. Since this is the first year we will be using the pool system at state conference, now is a great time to act on you ambitions! Our state officer team is here to tell you all about the process of running, from debunking myths that might stop you from running, to developing a great campaign, to the new pool system of running and voting!
Many misconceptions about running for state office have become widely-accepted myths among TSA members. The current state officers have all been through the election process, and we’d like to bust some of these myths for you!
Myth #1: I’d like to run for state office, but the hard work isn’t worth it.
Truth: The campaign process is some of the hardest work that state officer candidates have ever done. However, the process is also incredibly fun and rewarding! Candidates get to meet incredibly cool people from schools all over the state. Even if a candidate is not elected to state office, the friendships he or she has made while campaigning make running a worthwhile experience.
Myth #2: I can’t run for state office because I’m in middle school.
Truth: 8th graders who have been to at least one state conference and have served in a chapter office can run for state office! In fact, Tennessee TSA’s current Vice President, Gus White, ran for Sergeant-at-Arms as an 8th grader and won, serving on the State Officer Team his freshman year of high school.
Myth #3: Giving a speech in front of everyone is the worst part of running for state office.
Truth: Giving a speech might be nerve-wracking to people who haven’t done much public speaking, but the actual experience of speaking on stage is nowhere near as frightening as you might imagine. As long as you know your speech well, delivering it is easy! Remember that your chapter members and the friends you’ve made campaigning are supporting you and cheering you on from the audience. You may not even be able to see much of the audience because of lighting, and if that happens, giving the speech onstage is no different than giving it in a dark closet, which isn’t frightening at all!
Now that you know the truth about running for state office, developing a great campaign is the next step for an aspiring state officer!
Developing a campaign can be overwhelming, but here are some tips to get the ball rolling!
Start developing your campaign early so that you can maximize your planning time. A catchy theme is crucial; starting with some crazy, ridiculous themes can get your brain juices flowing so that you can come up with the most creative campaign slogan possible!
It’s recommended to build your platform on at least three main goals that you will try to accomplish during your term. Once you have decided on a theme and your platform, it’s time to move on to the most intimidating task of all: the speech.
There is no real reason to be intimidated when writing your speech, especially since you now have the building blocks to complete it! When developing a rough draft of your speech, be sure to include a hook and introduction, your campaign slogan or theme, your goals, and your call to action. Get as many people as possible to edit your speech so that it can be as smooth and impressive as possible. After you have completed the final draft of your speech, practice in front of your friends, family, advisors, or even your cat so that you will be more confident!
Once you’re at conference, talk to as many people as possible during your campaign at conference. Instead of bombarding them with information about your campaign, make sure that they understand that you care about them as people. Ask questions about how their chapter is doing, or what events they’re competing in. Maintaining a relationship with our members is very important while serving as a state officer, so let our members know at conference that you care about them! Most importantly, be true to yourself throughout the whole campaign, give everything your all, and you will do great!
This is a very special year to run as a Tennessee state officer because it is the first year that we will be using the "pool" election system. In order to campaign successfully, you will have to know how the pool system works. Basically, instead of running for a specific office, you will run in a presidential pool or a general officer pool. If you would like to run for the office of State President, run in the presidential pool. If you would like to run to become an officer in any of the other five offices, run in the general officer pool. If you run in the presidential pool and are not elected as president, you will automatically become part of the general officer pool and will have a second chance at becoming a state officer. Though the election process is new, the campaigning process will essentially remain the same. Stay calm, meet lots of new people, have fun, and just be yourself!
_In this month’s blog, we’ll discuss inter-team conflict and how to resolve it. Conflict is something that every team experiences. The important thing is how you deal with it. Usually, people tend to try to ignore the problems. However, this can lead to resentment within the team. The most effective solution can be to confront the problem. Some conflicts can be resolved by asking the conflicted individuals to “talk it out.” If the argument is extremely heated from the start, then it is probably best to wait for a couple of days, but the problem will still need to be addressed later on. Addressing the problem and learning to compromise can be a great step towards a more unified team.
The first step in permanently resolving conflicts within your team is to ensure that you, as Chapter President, establish a positive environment in which every member of the team feels as if they are able to contribute their thoughts, ideas, and opinions without fear of excessive or harsh criticism. One especially effective method is to meet with your entire team to discuss your team's "code of conduct." Write down a couple of ground rules that will dictate how team members will treat one another, and establish a procedure that outlines what will happen if that code of conduct is broken. Some things you might want to include on your team's code of conduct are the following suggestions:
· Treat each officer with the respect he/she is due. After all, they were elected to be an officer, just like you.
· Do not interrupt officers while they are speaking, but rather, wait for each person to share their thoughts before
· Focus on giving constructive criticism.
· Recognize that working with a team is a "give-and-take" process. Compromise is key.
· If your team is deadlocked in heated debate, take a five-minute break so that everyone can collect their thoughts and
cool off. Alternately, establish a procedure that will allow everyone a fair opportunity to speak their minds openly,
without input from the others.
Something which is essential to keep in mind when working with a team is that your ideas are not always the best or most practical. Your peers are competent and will offer solutions to problems that may not occur to you. Give your teammates the courtesy of considering their ideas and truly attempting to find the best course of action. However, you and other members of your team may still disagree at times. In these cases, it is important to be fair and realize that you must be flexible before you can expect others to do so. If you show your teammates that you are willing to try some of their ideas, you will find that they give more consideration to your own ideas. Remember- compromise is the key to maintaining a healthy team.
As Chapter President, one of the greatest difficulties you will run into is getting your team to work together efficiently. This is perfectly normal- it is difficult for any group of people to come together to work towards a united goal. However, you must ensure that your Chapter Officer Team overcomes this difficulty. One effective way of doing so is by recognizing your leadership styles. If you click on this link , you will find a brief survey that will help you and your team to analyze your strengths and weaknesses as leaders.
Once you have determined your leadership style and your team members’ styles, you can use all of the unique leadership styles in your group to make your team as cohesive as possible. Make sure to take advantage of each person’s leadership strengths. Since each person will have different leadership styles and strengths, each person will fulfill a different niche within the team, helping the team to accomplish its goals more efficiently.
Different tasks are better suited for some leadership types than others. For example, if your team wants to hold a membership drive, the directors and the writers are the people to consult for the logistical planning. The actors and managers are typically the ones who are the most charismatic, and so are great at being the “face” of your school’s TSA chapter.
However, this survey should not force you or your teammates into fulfilling the exact same role every single time your team wants to do something. Individuals may be strong in more than one area, and so cannot be fully represented by a single survey result. The purpose of the survey is to illustrate where your biggest leadership strengths lie, and to show you where may need to work to improve yourself. Confronting your weaknesses will make you a better leader, so don’t be afraid to do things outside of your comfort zone!
Sometimes, there may be more than one strong leadership style within the group. Having more than one strong leader can lead to conflict, but the important thing is learning to cooperate and work with all leadership styles. In order to accomplish this, there must be clear communication and focused feedback within your team.
In order to work well, team members must communicate their ideas at all times. For example, leaders sometimes tend to fall into the habit of working alone. This puts an extra burden on that teammate, while under utilizing the rest of the team. Instead, members should learn to communicate and delegate tasks to one another based on their leadership strengths and weaknesses. Feedback is also crucial to success. In order to improve upon their weaknesses, leaders should open themselves to constructive criticism and feedback from others, and offer the same to others.
We’d love your feedback as well! In the comments section of this blog, post ways that your Chapter Officer Team deals with different leadership styles. What were your PLI results? Do you think they were accurate?
Click here for the PLI survey.
Welcome back, Tennessee TSA Chapter Presidents! This is the third installment in our Council of Chapter Presidents blog. This month, we have tons of helpful tips for you to take back to your chapters. We’ll teach you how to plan for chapter events like fundraisers, community service projects and parent nights, and also how to get members started on their competitive events in preparation for regional and state conference.
A great year in TSA must always begin by planning events. Conferences can be expensive, but you can always lower the cost by fundraising. Do some research, find out what opportunities there are in your community, and jump on them! Make sure to get everyone excited about the fundraiser and explain the importance of raising money for the chapter. Additional fundraising tips and ideas can be found in the Tennessee TSA Chapter Handbook, available on our website. In addition to fundraising, community service is great way to unite the chapter for an important cause.
Community service allows your chapter to give back to your community. It also opens many opportunities to tell people about TSA and can help gather support for TSA in your community. Additionally, the State Officer Team will be debuting a new Community Service Award at this year’s State Conference. Make sure that your chapter is recognized for your hard work! The application is available on our website.
Another event you may consider planning is a parent night for your chapter. Parent night is a great time to present projects from past years, and to overview the conferences and up-coming events for the present year. Parents love to hear what a great impact TSA has on their children’s lives!
While conference may seem quite a long time from now, it will most certainly creep up on you and your chapter before you know it. For this reason, it is important that your members begin their competitive event preparation as soon as possible. This means having all members decide on the events in which they would like to compete. Having more experienced members speak to your chapter regarding various events may stir some interest and help get things moving. However, remember that there is such a thing as competing in too many events; your members should focus on the few events which most interest them. Finally, distribute the rules to the members for the events which they have chosen, and remind them that following the rules is the key to success!
To conclude, no matter how developed your chapter is at this point, it is never too early to start planning for the future. Whether it’s planning fundraisers, community service projects and fundraisers, or getting started on events, make sure that you are properly preparing your members to succeed. We hope you share this blog post with your chapter officers and use it as a tool in your chapter planning meetings. Please leave a comment below if you have a question. We look forward to seeing everyone in Chattanooga!
Greetings, Chapter Presidents! By this time, you may have had your first TSA meeting, or may be preparing to hold your first meeting. Hopefully, you’ll see many familiar faces at these meetings. However, in order to keep your chapter healthy, it’s important to increase your membership. Sometimes, the graduation of a single class or grade level can take out a large portion of a chapter’s members. To avoid “stacking the deck,” you should always be on the lookout for new potential members that you can recruit. Thanks to the new Chapter Affiliation Program (CAP) National TSA uses to register chapters, your school might be able to recruit new members at no extra cost to the chapter, so there’s no excuse not to seek to increase your membership!
So how exactly do you increase your membership? It takes a little more than just saying, “Hey you! Join TSA!” But don’t fret. Here are five tips on how to give your membership a boost.
1. If your school has morning announcements, newsletters, bulletin boards, or any media source accessible to many students, utilize that media to reach a large number of potential members!
2. Talk to your school’s technology teacher and ask him or her if you can talk to the class about TSA, or if they’d be willing to use a TSA event as a class/group project (i.e. Problem Solving, Bridge Building, etc.)
3. Get to know people before you recruit them! People will be more likely to join an organization if they have friends that participate as well.
4. Be sure to talk about all the things that TSA offers aside from competitions. For example, let people know about the opportunities to travel around the country, make new friends with fellow members from other states, and possibly win scholarships for college.
5. The most important thing you can do is to talk about TSA with a passion. People will join if they can see how passionate you are about TSA! However, be careful to ensure that you don’t come across as being pushy.
In addition, the State Officer Team is working to produce a promotional packet for chapters to use in recruiting. It will be available on our website at no cost to you! It’s a great way to show students all the fun, exciting, and educational experiences students can enjoy within TSA. The packet also includes information on how to effectively recruit new members.
Our promotional packet is based on the “Dream It. Build It. Live It.” campaign. This campaign seeks to appeal to different kinds of people by highlighting the different kinds of events TSA offers. Included in the packet are three flyers, each expanding on one of the aspects of the campaign. These flyers can be hung around the school, or can be handed out directly to students. Also included is a promotional video that explains what TSA is, and why students should become involved. There are also two new PowerPoint presentations. One can be used to recruit new members, and the other includes recruiting tips that your chapter can use to effectively recruit new members. All of these tools can be used to get students pumped for the new year in TSA!
However effective these resources are, nothing incites interest as much as word-of-mouth. If your school already has a successful TSA chapter, you can utilize your current members to recruit new ones! Get together with your returning members before your first general interest meeting to talk about ways to spark interest in TSA. Ask everyone to bring a friend to the interest meeting— people are more likely to go if their friends are there!
Make sure to delegate responsibilities for the interest meeting beforehand (For example, Member 1 will talk about competitions, Member 2 will talk about conferences, etc.) to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly. Ask your members to wear TSA t-shirts the week of the meeting- sometimes recruiting is as simple as explaining what the logo on your shirt means!
Once you have effectively utilized your recruitment materials, you should have a considerable amount of interest in TSA at your school. The best way to take advantage of this interest and expand your chapter is to hold an interest meeting after school. If your school makes daily announcements, make an announcement about your interest meeting, including the location and date. Also, list these details on the recruitment flyers when you display them around school.
When promoted effectively, the turnout at your interest meeting will be large enough to maintain a large and successful chapter. At the interest meeting, you should keep the information about TSA general, but interesting. Talk about conference locations, events that members may want to compete in, and anything else that you think will convince potential members to join your chapter. Keep this interest meeting short and to the point. The following week, hold another meeting for people who decide to join TSA to discuss membership.
We hope that you’ll find these tips and resources helpful, and hope that you and your chapter will be successful this year!
Well, it’s that time of year again. Our summer break is winding down and school is about to begin again. While this fact may be depressing for some, there is a silver lining. With the beginning of a new school year also comes the beginning of a brand new year in TSA. As leaders of your respective chapters, this is an extremely rewarding time!
As chapter president, it is your role to make sure that your school's chapter is as progressive as possible, and is always on the cutting edge. We, the state officers, have recognized this responsibility and have made it a priority to assist you and your chapters in any way possible; this blog is just one example. On this blog, you will find tips and tricks on effectively running your chapters, recruiting new members, training your chapter officer team, planning events such as fundraisers, and much, much more. We would also like to encourage you to actively participate in our discussions throughout the year, and we hope you check in regularly to get all the up-to-date information on what our state association is doing!
In order to start the year off with a bang, you’ve got to train your new chapter officer team. A leadership training day is a great way to bond with your team, as well as develop your leadership skills. A great resource to use for training is the book “Student Leadership Challenge,” which contains the 5 exemplary practices of a leader. The state officer team used this book last year and found it very beneficial in developing as leaders. Another great resource is the “Total TSA” CD, which your chapter should have received when your advisor registered with National TSA. You can find fun leadership activities, tips on strengthen your chapter, and ways to further develop your chapter officer team’s leadership ability.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either myself or any of the other state officers; we would be glad to help! Best wishes as you start the school year, and we look forward to seeing everyone in Chattanooga next spring!
Salutations to all chapter presidents! My name is Gus White and I have both the honor and the privilege of serving as your Tennessee TSA State Vice President this year. This will be my 5th year in TSA, and I am more optimistic and enthusiastic about this year in TSA than I have ever been before! I hope you will find this blog both informative and useful as we look to continue our growth as a state association!