Have any questions? info@agoraspeakers.org

Starting an Agora Club

At this time, there's nothing special you need to do when starting an Agora Club - just do it. Right now there are no fees for joining Agora and currently there's no need to sign up members on a central website (that will be available soon, but you can start the club without it), so you don't need to be thinking about membership dues.

Step 1Decide your club's name. Must be unique within your city.

You can name your club in any way you want, with the following exceptions:
  • The name cannot contain copyrighted terms, except if it's a corporate club officially allowed by your company and the copyrighted term is the company's name
  • The name cannot imply that it is somehow a representative of the whole organization (eg: "Agora Speakers Central" or "Agora Speakers Headquarters")
  • For the same reason, the name cannot include names of geographical areas bigger than a city (eg:"Agora Speakers France" or "Agora Speakers Europe"). You can, however use the name of your city ("Agora Speakers Paris"), as long as there's no other club in your city with the same name.
  • The name cannot contain any kind of aggresive speech directed at other groups of people
  • The name must not contain offensive terms and must comply with the local legislation on naming of associations and companies

There's no need to include "Agora" in your club's name. Your club could just be"Advanced Speakers of Paris", for example.

In case of doubt, it's better to ask first: info@agoraspeakers.org

Step 2Decide your club's characteristics:

  • Will it be a Public, Restricted or Corporate club?
  • If it is a Restricted club, the criteria for admission, which must be public. Remember that, as per the bylaws, you cannot discriminate members on the basis of "race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, income level, nationality, ethnicity, or mental or physical disabilities"
  • The meeting venue and days.
  • Languages that will be used in the club.
  • Club fees that will be charged to members. These are separate from Agora's fees. Currently Agora's fees are waived, but your club can charge from day 1 to offset the costs of venues, materials, etc.
  • Will the club allow virtual (remote) participants?
  • What roles non-resident members (visiting members of Agora Speakers that don't belong to your club ) will be allowed to perform.
  • What roles guests will be allowed to perform.
  • Who will be the contact person for that club.

Step 3 Apply for a club number and contact your country Ambassador, or become one!
Once you're ready, submit your club details to info@agoraspeakers.org , in order to get assigned a club number.

Also, check if there's an Ambassador in your country and contact him with your intention to start a new club. An Ambassador acts as an Agora representative that is keen on helping people with the process of starting new clubs. Click here to see the countries in which we have currently Ambassadors. It is very recommendable that you sign up on the global Agora Speakers International Facebook Group, as well as the local facebook group for your country.

If there is no Ambassador in your country, then as the creator of the first club you might want to step in as one? Click here, for an explanation of the role of Ambassadors

Step 4 Create the branded materials
Use the branding portal to create banners, agenda templates, etc. for your club.

Step 5 Contact prospective members
Contact people that might be willing to become members of your club, or that might help you with it.
At least 8 members are needed to create a new club. If you already have the prospective members, great!, jump to step 7
Some possible ideas are:

  • Publish on your socia media accounts your intention of starting an Agora Speakers club, as well as information about what Agora is and what the club will do.
  • EMail your contacts about your initiative.
  • EMail friends or members of other similar organizations that might be interested in the club.
  • Spread the word about Agora Speakers in meetings you attend; invite attendees to the chartering meeting.
  • Spread the word about Agora and your club in the social media groups you belong to. If the group is subject to strong moderation and censorship, it's recommended that you just observe the opinions of participating people, then identify those who could be responsive to your initiative and just comment publicly in the group that you sent them a private message, mentioning them by name to draw their attention. Then do the rest of the correspondence in private.
  • Talk to members of other organizations that didn't renew their membership.
  • Post event notices in sites like MeetUp or Internations
  • Announce your intention of starting a club in either the Facebook Group of Agora in your country, or - if there is still not one created - in the Agora Speakers International Group.
  • Create a Google Adwords or Facebook campaign targeting searches of "learning public speaking", "public speaking practice", "fear public speaking" or similar combinations, setting a geographical limit as precise as possible (ideally, your city)
  • Leave flyers at universities, bookstores, libraries, etc.
  • Google blogs, sites, forums and groups in your area for public speaking and leadership, and post a notice there. To avoid being labelled spam, make it clear that Agora is a nonprofit and the fees are absolutely minimal.
  • Publish a free classified in the local cultural guide or newspaper.
  • Write and send a press-release to the local newspapers and radio stations
  • To get more ideas, Google the name of clubs of other organizations in your area, and see the places where they've advertised, then use the same channels

It is a good idea to review all the information and presentations available about our organization, so that you may include the appropriate documents in your communications and highlight the main benefits of joining an Agora Speakers club.

Step 6 Follow up leads
Once EMails or messages from interested people start coming in, follow up with an explanation of what Agora is, how clubs work and how members benefit from the Agora experience

Step 7 Plan a first meeting
Congratulations!, you're almost there. Decide on a specific date for the first meeting and create a prospective agenda. It is usually useful to create both Facebook and Google Calendar events, so that people can sign up and synchronize the meeting with their own agendas. Try not to plan to muuch in the future, as people usually sign up then forget about meetings more than two weeks in advance. Confirm with all participants the week before.
Be sure also to announce your event either in the Agora Speakers Facebook group of your country, or the International one.

Step 8 Hold the first meeting
Carry out the meeting. Make sure to print enough agendas, and especially to include in each agenda:

  • Your club info and contact point
  • The date, time and venue of the next meeting

Remember to take pictures, as you're making history :-), and send us the pictures so that we can publish them (confirm with the people on those pictures that they're ok with them being published).
At the end of each meeting, it is recommended that you remind people of the date of the next meeting, and ask people right there and then to commit to taking roles for the next meeting.