The Toastmaster is a meeting’s director and host. As Toastmaster, you:
Work with the Table Topics master a few days prior to the meeting, to set the Theme for the meeting.
Acquire a meeting agenda from your Vice President Education (VPE).
Work with VPE to ensure all participants are present, else find replacement and adjust the agenda accordingly.
TIP: Ensure that you’re comfortable with the pronunciation of all participants. If needed, check with the participant.
Work with the Timer, Topics master and VPE during the meeting to ensure the meeting starts and ends on time
Start of the meeting -
Theme - Set the tone of the meeting by introducing and explaining the theme of the meeting
For the benefit guests, explain the structure of the meeting
TIP: As a Toastmaster your responsibility is to maximize the time for speakers, table topics and evaluations. Try to keep the start brief (< 5 minutes)
Prior to introducing the speakers, bring on their evaluator to explain their project title, objectives and delivery time
Introduce speakers with their name and their speech topic.
TIP: While introducing speakers, you could mention an opening for the speaker. Consult the speaker prior to the meeting if they would like to be introduced in a certain way
As Toastmasters, it’s your responsibility to keep the energy level of the meeting up and ensure smooth transitions between speakers and other participants.
Table Topics Master
The Topicsmaster delivers the Table Topics portion of the meeting, which helps train members to quickly organize and express their thoughts in an impromptu setting. As Topicsmaster, you:
Select topics in advance of the meeting that allow speakers to offer opinions.
Give guests and members (who aren’t assigned a role first) , the opportunity to speak during the meeting by assigning impromptu talks on non-specialized themes or topics.
TIP 1 : For the benefit of guests, explain how Table topics work. (1–2 minutes to speak, guests welcome, can choose to speak on something else and if you’re doing something different, explain what)
TIP 2: Invite members who don’t have a role first and then guests. Only once you’ve exhausted these options, invite members with roles.
TIP 3: Ask the speakers to mention their name so the functionaries can report on it.
TIP 4: Keep the Table topics introduction brief and the concept simple for others to understand, to maximize the number of people given the opportunity to speak.
In Toastmasters, feedback is called evaluation, and it is the heart of the Toastmasters educational program. As evaluator, you:
Provide verbal and written evaluations for speakers using the Effective Evaluation manual.
Ask those you’ve been assigned to evaluate what they will present and what they wish to achieve.
Answer evaluation questions in the manual as objectively as possible.
When giving any evaluation, offer praise as well as constructive criticism.
KISS - Keep, Improve, Stop, Start
Sandwich: Commend, Recommend, Commend
3–2–1: 3 positive, 2 suggestions and 1 more positive
See resources for more techniques.
Resources for evaluations
The Ah-Counter is responsible for noting any overused words, or filler sounds used as a crutch by anyone who speaks during the meeting.
Words may be inappropriate interjections, such as ‘and’, ‘well’, ‘but’, ‘so’ and ‘you know’. Sounds could be ‘ah’, ‘um’.
When called upon at the end of the meeting, the ah-counter reports these filler words used by all speakers (including Toastmaster, TT master, evaluators, timers, etc)
As the Language person, you are responsible to come up with the word of the day (WOTD), note down it’s usage and also note good use of language and other interesting use of words during the meeting.
WOTD - Introduce a “Word of the Day” that helps meeting participants increase their vocabulary; display the word, part of speech, and a brief definition with a visual aid and prepare a sentence showcasing how the word should be used.
When called upon at the end of the meeting, report on the usage of the WOTD and on good use of language and other interesting use of words or phrases during the meeting.
As Timer you are responsible for monitoring time for each meeting segment and each speaker. To perform as Timer, you must:
Acquire the timing cards (greed, yellow and red) from the Sergeant-at-Arms and know how to operate it.
Explain the timing rules and demonstrate the timing cards when called upon to do so.
Throughout the meeting, listen carefully to each participant and signal the cards accordingly.
TIP: When speakers reach their max time, keep the red card up. After the 30 seconds grace, extend the arm and hold up the red card till the end of their speech.
When called to report, announce the speaker’s name and the time taken.
TIP: As a timer, you, along with the toastmaster are responsible to ensure the meeting starts and ends on time, so it’s important that the various fillers, breaks & introductions also get timed and indicated when these reach or are exceeding their time limits.
The timer must continue to time even after the timer report (usually GE and toastmaster closeout) till the end of the meeting.
General Evaluator (at Eastside Toastmasters)
The General Evaluator evaluates everything that takes place during the club meeting. As General Evaluator, you:
Confirm the club meeting program and/or checklist with the Toastmaster
During the meeting, take notes and report on all club proceedings to evaluate things such as timeliness, enthusiasm, preparation, organization, performance of duties, etc.
An effective GE must constructively evaluate the meeting, report on what went well thru the meeting and give feedback on what can be improved upon.