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Leadership Roles and Prepared Speech Opportunities


             As a member of our club, you get to sign up each week for one of the following leadership or prepared speaking roles:


Prepared Speaker


As a prepared speaker, you will have the opportunity to present to the EST community based on the guidelines of your chosen speech project. Generally, each meeting has three to four prepared speaking opportunities. As a prepared speaker, you will:

  • Identify a speech project to deliver based on your Toastmasters journey in Pathways.

  • Connect with your evaluator to discuss the project and any specific items you would like the evaluator to highlight.

  • Heed the time cues given by the Timer and Toastmaster.



The Toastmaster leads the meeting from start to finish. As the meeting’s director and host, the Toastmaster plays a crucial role in ensuring the meeting’s success and providing attendees with a positive, fun experience. You set the tone. As Toastmaster, you will: 

  • Decide on a meeting theme and disclose it to the Table Topics Master at least three days prior to the meeting so the Topics session follows the theme.

  • Receive a meeting agenda from the Vice President of Education (VPE) prior to the meeting.

  • Work with the VPE to ensure all participants are present the day of the meeting. If not, it is your job to find a replacement, adjust the agenda accordingly, and inform attendees of the changes.

TIP: Make sure that you are comfortable with the pronunciation of all the participants’ names. When in doubt, check with the participant before the start of the meeting.

  • Manage the Timer, Table Topics Master and VPE during the meeting to ensure the meeting starts and ends on time.

The Toastmaster typically performs the following tasks:

  1. Introduces guests.

  2. Introduces and explains the theme of the meeting.

  3. Explains the structure of the meeting and brings up the functionaries to explain their role in the meeting.

TIP: As a Toastmaster, your responsibility is to maximize the time for speeches, table topics and evaluations. Try to keep the start brief (< 5 minutes).

   4. Prior to introducing a speaker, brings up their evaluator to quickly explain their project title, objectives and delivery time.

   5. Introduces speakers with their name and speech title and welcomes the speaker to the stage.

TIP: While introducing speakers, you could mention an opening for the speaker. Consult with the speaker prior to the meeting if they would like to be introduced in a particular way.

   6. It is the Toastmaster’s responsibility to keep the energy level of the meeting up and to ensure smooth transitions between speakers and other participants.


TIP: It is generally accepted within Toastmasters that the stage should never be left empty. Remain at the front of the room to hold the audience until the next speaker or participant has arrived at the stage and shaken your hand.




Table Topics Leader


The Topics Master delivers the Table Topics portion of the meeting, which is an opportunity for participants to speak extemporaneously after given a speaking prompt. This section helps train participants to quickly organize and express their thoughts in an impromptu setting, ideally learning to deliver a coherent mini-speech without notice. Alongside the Toastmaster, you set the tone for the meeting. As the Topics Master, you:


  • Connect with the Toastmaster to understand their chosen theme for the meeting at least three days prior to the meeting.

  • Select prompts or questions in advance of the meeting that allow speakers to offer opinions.

  • Give guests and members 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, participants should try respond to the prompt as best as possible but may pivot to respond more fully.)


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 starting with roles that involve less speaking opportunities (e.g. ah-counter).


TIP 3: Ask the speaker for their name.


TIP 4: Keep the Table Topics introduction brief and the concept simple for others to understand, and to maximize the number of people given the opportunity to speak. Avoid highly controversial topics that may impact the unity of the club – check with the VPE and President if unsure.





Feedback is at the heart of the Toastmasters educational program. As an evaluator, you: 

  • Provide a verbal and written evaluation for a speaker using the Effective Evaluation manual (annexed hereto[MSH2] ).

  • Ask your speaker what they hope to achieve with their speech at the beginning of the meeting. 

  • Answer evaluation questions in the manual as objectively as possible.

  • Offer praise as well as constructive criticism in a manner that encourages fellow Toastmasters to grow and continue on their journey.


Here are some evaluation techniques you can use:


  1. KISS – Keep doing, Improve upon, Stop doing, Start doing

  2. Sandwich: Commend, Recommend, Commend

  3. 3–2–1: 3 positive, 2 suggestions and 1 more positive


See the following resources for more evaluation techniques :





The Ah-Counter is responsible for noting any filler words or sounds used as a crutch by anyone who speaks during the meeting. Filler words includes words such as ‘and’, ‘well’, ‘but’, ‘so’ and ‘you know’. The most common filler sounds are ‘ah’ and ‘um’.


At the end of the meeting, the ah-counter reports the number of filler words every participant used during the meeting (including Toastmaster, Table Topics speakers, evaluators, timers, and other functionaries, etc).


TIP: If someone exceeds five utterances of a particular filler word, it’s best to simply say “more than five” rather than the actual number.  



Language Person/Grammarian


As the Grammarian, you are responsible to come up with the word of the day (WOTD), encourage its usage and also note unique or memorable language and other interesting use of words during the meeting that enhanced the speaker’s impact.


  • 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. 


At the end of the meeting, report on the usage of the WOTD and on impactful use of language and other interesting use of words or phrases during the meeting. Deliver constructive feedback to speakers who misuse a word or phrase or employ grammar that is not serving them well.


As Timer, you are responsible for monitoring time for each meeting segment and each planned and impromptu speaker. To perform as Timer, you must: 

  • Ask the Sergeant-at-Arms for the timing cards (green, yellow and red). 

  • Explain the timing rules and demonstrate the timing cards when called upon to do so. 

  • Throughout the meeting, keep track of every speaker’s time, listen carefully to each participant and signal the cards accordingly. 

  • Announce the speaker’s name and their speech time when called upon during the evaluation section.



General Evaluator (GE)


The GE evaluates everything that takes place during the club meeting. As GE, you:

  • Confirm the club meeting agenda with the Toastmaster particularly as it relates to the functionary roles.

  • Take notes during the meeting and report on all club proceedings to evaluate things such as timeliness, enthusiasm, preparation, organization, performance of duties, etc.

  • Ensure evaluators and functionaries are informed of their duties and how to execute them.

  • Explain the importance of authentic yet constructive feedback to the EST community.

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