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Guide lines when you are toastmaster

Toastmaster | Public Speaking | Impromptu Speech | Ice Breaking ( first) Speech| Evaluation

When you are the Toastmaster


The main duty of the Toastmaster is to act as a genial host and conduct the entire program, including introducing participants. If the Toastmaster does not perform the duties well, an entire meeting can end in failure. For obvious reasons this task is not usually assigned. to a member until he or she is quite familiar with the Club and its procedures. Program participants should be introduced in a way that excites the audience and motivates them to listen. The Toastmaster creates an atmosphere of interest, expectation, and receptivity

Prior To The Meeting

  • Check with the Vice President Education to find out if a special theme has been set for the meeting and if there are any program changes.
  • Call the table topics master to discuss his or her duties. Also provide the table topics master with a list of program participants to insure these people will not be called on for responses.
  • Call all speakers in advance to remind them they are speaking. Interview them to find out their speech title, manual project number, purpose to be achieved, time requested, and something interesting which you can use when introducing them (job, family, hobbies, education, why this topic for this audience, etc.).
  • Call the general evaluator to confirm the assignment. Ask the general evaluator to call the other members of the evaluation team (speech evaluators, topics master, timer, grammarian, ah counter, etc.) and remind them of their responsibilities.
  • Prepare introductions for each speaker. A proper introduction is important to the success of the speaker's presentation.
  • Prepare remarks which can be used to bridge the gaps between program segments. You may never use them, but you should be prepared to avoid possibly awkward periods of silence.
  • Remember that performing as Toastmaster is one of the most valuable experiences in your Club work. The assignment requires careful preparation in order to have a smoothly run meeting.

At The Meeting
Arrive early in order to finish any last-minute details.
Check with the speakers for any last-minute changes.
Sit near the front of the room and have your speakers do likewise for quick and easy access to the lectern.

During The Meeting
  • Preside with sincerity energy and decisiveness. Take your audience on a pleasant journey and make them feel that all is going well.
  • Always lead the applause before and after the topics session, each prepared speaker, and the general evaluator.
  • Remain standing near the lectern after your introduction until the speaker has acknowledged you and assumed control of the meeting; then be seated,
  • Introduce the general evaluator as you would any speaker; the general evaluator then will introduce the other members of the evaluation team.
  • Introduce the table topics master as you would any speaker.
  • If the table topics master forgets to call for the timer report and vote for ":Best Table Topics Speaker," you do it.
  • Introduce each speaker in turn.
  • At the conclusion of the speaking program, request the timer's report and vote for Best Speaker
  • Briefly reintroduce the general evaluator. If the general evaluator forgets to call for the timer's report and vote or Best Evaluator, you do it.
  • While votes are being tallied, invite comments from guests and announcements (such as verification of next week's program).
  • Award trophies if your Club does so.
  • Request the Thought for the Day if your Club has one.
  • Adjourn the meeting, or if appropriate, return control to the chairman.

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The Toastmaster is the second ranking meeting official and chairs the formal speaking portion of the program (and assumes the Chairman's duties in the absence of the Chairman). On the meeting day, your job is primarily to introduce the speaker's in an interesting and lively way to get the speakers off to a 'flying start' and to provide a bridge between speakers. In order to be successful, one should attempt to follow the proceeding guidelines:

Before the meeting:

  • contact each speaker and get his or her speech title, the manual and speech number to be performed, time limits the speaker requires as well as information that will allow you to provide an enthusiastic and original introduction of the speaker (usually find out some information about the speaker based on the meeting's theme).
  • designate a person for Table Topic Master and get information from them on how to introduce him or her during the meeting.
  • contact General Evaluator, getting introductory information for their introduction. As well, inform the GE on who will be speaking so they can line up adequate evaluators.
  • advise the person preparing the agenda of the names of people filling those roles

During the meeting:

  • explain the role of the Toastmaster
  • introduce the Table Topic Master with material prepared earlier.
  • identifies time constraints with respect to the remaining agenda after the completion of Table Topics and allocates time for a coffee break.
  • call meeting back to order after coffee break.
  • introduces the speakers with prepared material and provides bridging between speakers (never bridge with rebuttal or disagreement of speaker).
  • reminds members and guests to vote for the best formal speaker and to pass ballots to the Chairman for tallying. Also encourage members to give written evaluations to the speakers to review.
  • introduces the General Evaluator.

It is important to remember that when you introduce role players in your portion of the meeting to always lead the applause for the person and not to leave the podium until after you have acknowledged that person by shaking their hand. Also, lead in acknowledging the end of the person's speech or duty. A brief comment of appreciation to a speaker should be given, but never should it take the form of disagreement or rebuttal.

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Tips for the Toastmaster

This document is a 6 point plan to make the role of the Toastmaster as easy and relaxed as possible. For this to occur the Toastmaster should: Read this document before and refer to it throughout the meeting. This will provide guidance to the structure of the evening and make it an enjoyable experience.

The Role of the Toastmaster:
The Toastmaster is responsible for running the evening's meeting according to the agenda. All eyes are looking to you for coordination and guidance.

1) Preparation:
Arrive 15 minutes early to arrange seats and welcome members.
Note down any voluntaries (volunteers) for items on the agenda that are not present at the meeting.

2) At The Meeting:
Introduce yourself as the evenings Toastmaster. This should be something along the lines of:
"Good evening Toastmasters and honored guest(s), welcome to The Mile Square Toastmasters and thank you for coming along to tonight's Toastmasters."

3) Table Topics:
Explain how Table Topics is conducted - speak for at least 1 min. but no more than 2 min.
Ask the audience to vote for who they believe was the best speaker during table topics and ask them to past (give) a slip of paper to the Topics Master.

4) Prepared Speeches:
Introduce the speaker by their name, summary of Speaker's general background, summary of speaking achievements.
On completion of the prepared speeches, ask for feedback from the audience to be given to the speakers.
State the date of the next meeting and assign roles. Encourage new members or guests to volunteer for minor roles, such as 'Word of the day', 'Timer's report'. For the Prepared Speeches encourage members who have not done a Prepared Speech before to volunteer. Try to have at least 1 'Ice Breaker' speech
Remind the audience to vote on the best evaluator, and for them to give the slip to the Table Topics Master.

5) Finally, close the evening with something like:
"I would just like to thank everyone for speaking tonight and I welcome the guests who are here for the first time and I look forward to seeing you all at the next meeting. Remember to give the Treasurer a dollar for the rent of the room and can people not leave any litter or agendas lying around".

The meeting is enriched if your introductions are interesting, informative and help us "get to know" the speakers/evaluators a little better.
Introduce the speaker by their name.
Greet each speaker with a handshake and lead the applause - do the same on completion of the speech.
Thank the speaker on completion of the speech and try to add some insight to what you've just heard. E.g. Have you seen/heard that movie.
It is not necessary to announce timings as these are included in the program.
It's the President who announces the winner of table topics.
The role of the Grammarian Report and 'Word of the Day' are the same.
It is your job, to clear up after the meeting-agendas, straighten the chairs, anticipate to leave the building no earlier than 9:15pm.
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The Toastmaster-of-the-Meeting is the single most important job in the Toastmasters' meeting. The Toastmaster-of-the-meeting acts as the host to see that the meeting is fully organized, enjoyable for all, and runs smoothly from start to finish. The Toastmaster-of-the-Meeting selects the theme for the Meeting.

IN ADVANCE: The Educational Vice President (EVP) publishes a program schedule. The scheduled participants for your program can be obtained from this published schedule. If any of your participants must cancel, you will need to find a replacement before the meeting. For speakers, such replacements should be made at least 3 days (preferably more) in advance. For other participants, 2 days may be ample time. If you are unable to find a replacement, call the Vice President of Education for assistance.

AT THE MEETING: The presiding officer will open the meeting and conduct the business session. The Presiding Officer will then introduce the Toastmaster-of-the-Meeting. The Toastmaster-of-the-Meeting should introduce the theme for the meeting with a short dissertation on the significance of the theme, background remarks, and some entertaining comments. Remember that you are the host for the meeting, so try to make everyone feel comfortable and glad to be there. Be sure to greet any guests present. Then, introduce your staff of other program participants. The order in which you then call on them (with brief interesting comments of introduction) is:

Ask the Wordmaster to give the Word-for-the-Day

Introduce and relinquish control of the lectern to the Table Topics Master

After Table Topics, ask the Timer for the time used by each Table Topics Speaker

Ask all present to vote for best Table Topics speaker and to pass their ballots to the Vote Counter. The meeting should not be halted for voting. Prepare a few appropriate remarks to fill-in while the audience is voting. "Dead time" at the lectern is also death to meeting continuity.

Introduce each prepared speaker. Tell the title of the speech the speech number and manual, the speech purpose, the requested time, and a few appropriate comments (less than 30 seconds worth) about the speaker. Call the less experienced speakers first.

After all prepared speakers have finished, ask for a second report from the Timer.

Ask the audience to pass their ballots for best speaker to the Vote Counter. Review the list of eligible speakers. (Only those who are making Communication and Leadership Manual Speeches and are within the time limits are eligible for this honor.) Remind the audience to also pass their short written evaluations to the speakers.

Introduce and relinquish control the lectern to the General Evaluator who will conduct the evaluation session

When the General Evaluator returns control to you, obtain a report from the Wordmaster, If the General Evaluator forgot to ask for votes for best Evaluator do so now.

Ask the Jokemaster for the Joke-of-the-Day.

Announce the results of the balloting. Present the awards. In case the Vote Counter hasn't finished, have some filler material relating to the theme ready to entertain your audience.

SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR GUESTS: If first-time guests are present, very briefly explain the purpose of each segment of the program as you introduce that section. (For example, in Table Topics we practice impromptu speaking. This gives us experience in thinking quickly on our feet, organizing our thoughts and presenting these thoughts in a logical, coherent manner before the group.)

When you have finished the above, thank your program participants and, like a good host, express your appreciation for having been the Toastmaster-of-the-Meeting. Finally, relinquish control of the meeting to the Presiding Officer who will ask for comments from the guests (if any) and adjourn the meeting.

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To give you experience in introducing speakers. You act as the master of ceremonies for club meeting. Your goal should be to make the speakers feel as comfortable as possible, to set the stage for the speaker and to bridge between speakers. Your introduction should lead the audience into the speaker's presentation.

Before the Meeting:

Being toastmaster requires that you prepare ahead. In order to be prepared, you should do the following before the meeting:

Obtain from the VP Ed the upcoming meetings roster.

Contact and confirm attendance of all participants and fill in any missing roles. While calling participants, gather material for your introductions of:
  • Table Topics Master,
  • Speakers, and
  • General Evaluator.
Preparing your introductions. Remember that the purpose of an introduction is to set up the audience for the upcoming presentation. You are the transition between events. If you are unsure how to prepare an introduction, consult the section in the Communications and Leadership Manual dealing with introductions. Some useful info to gather are obtaining subject and time required for ea speech and obtaining information on how far the scheduled speaker has progressed in the manual.

Confirm speakers are present at the meeting and that they are prepared. Advise them of any change in the order in which they will speak. Confirm if they will require any special equipment for their presentation. Lectern present or removed, overhead projector set up etc....

Advise the Sgt@Arms of any change in the roster so that he/she may advise the group at the commencement of the meeting.

Advise the GE of any particular items you wish evaluated on yourself.

At the Meeting:

At the meeting you are the glue that ties the program together. Your role is to explain the format of the meeting, introduce the participants so that the program flows smoothly. Your tasks include:
  • Welcome everyone to the meeting.
  • Introduce the Table Topics Master.
  • The Table Topics master will conduct table topics session and then return control to you.
  • Deliver a brief explanation of the educational session format.
  • During the break, indicate timing of speeches to timer and gather any introduction material not already obtained.
  • Explain purpose of manual speeches.
  • Introduce speakers and bridge between presentations.
  • Introduce the general evaluator.
  • The general evaluator will conduct the evaluations and then return control to you
  • Ask the audience to vote for Best Table Topics, Best Speaker, Most Improved, Best Evaluator and Most Enthusiastic Toastmaster.
  • Ask for comments from our Guests
  • Comments for the good of Toastmasters
  • Closing Though, and
  • Adjourn the meeting.

During the meeting:

Will be introduced by the president

Make a few opening remarks on the type of program you are going to present and provide a brief description of your role (especially if guests are present)

Intro Timer, ah counter, Gen evaluator etc and have them give a brief explanation of their role (30 Sec ea)

Intro the table topics master. Say a few words about the table topics master and conduct a proper intro (see page 82 of Communication & Leadership Program Manual. Do not give details about the Table Topic session as the Table Topics master will expand on his function.

Prepared speech portion of the meeting;

Explain the purpose of prepared speeches, Briefly explain the manuals and program,, explain the ballots and evaluation forms.
  • Have the evaluator read the speakers objectives
  • Instruct the timer as to the length of speech and timing light if the evaluator does not state the time to the timer.
  • Conduct a proper introduction for the speakers. Remember you are setting the "mood" for the speaker.
  • Present the speakers in the following manner
    • "Name, Title, Title, Name" Start the applause, remain at the lectern until the speaker has taken control of the lectern (arrives, shakes hands)
  • Allow 1 min between speaker for members to write down their feedback on the evaluation form.
After all speeches are given, remind members to vote for the best speaker.

Intro the Gen Evaluator

After the Gen Evaluator, present awards (start applause for each award)

Call for the Quiz master

Return control to the President.

Tips and Traps:

Preparation is the key. If you are not prepared, the audience knows it. Being toastmaster is an important role. Your performance can dampen or enhance the presentations of the speakers. Which you do is up to you.

Making an introduction is the most important part of your role. You set up the speaker, you make him/her feel comfortable, and you prepare the audience. Read the section on introductions in the Communications and Leadership Manual. One tip is to get more experienced Toastmasters to write an introduction for you. They know the need for a good introduction and will be happy to write their own.

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The TOASTMASTER has the key role in the success of the meeting. Only through advance planning can this assignment be carried out effectively. The TOASTMASTER'S primary duty is to insure a well run meeting and act as a genial host to smooth the transition between program participants. (This role should be assigned to a club member who has completed at least three manual projects.)

Before the Meeting:

About a week before the meeting, contact program participants and remind them of their assignments. These include: Sergeant at Arms, Speakers, Invocator, Table Topics Master, General Evaluator, Evaluators, Timekeeper, Grammarian, President and any other roles that may be on the programme

Obtain the necessary information to properly introduce each Speaker.

Prepare an introduction of yourself as the TOASTMASTER to give to the Sergeant at Arms.

Plan your introductions carefully and schedule the program so that it does not run overtime.

It makes sense to write yourself an outline script to work from.

At the Meeting:

Arrive early. Determine if all program participants are in attendance. If not, make needed adjustments.

Keep the meeting running on schedule. You have the authority to ask participants who have exhausted their allotted time to immediately conclude their portion of the program.

Follow the Procedure Outlined Below:

When you are presented as TOASTMASTER, thank the Sergeant at Arms and accept the gavel. Say a few words to warm up the audience.

Introduce the members with roles at the meeting. Allow each to describe or perform their function, as appropriate. When each member finishes the explanation or performance of their function thank them and lead the applause.

Introduce and give control of the meeting to the Table Topics Master Note: Table Topics is an important function of the meeting. The Table Topics Master deserves an introduction similar to the ones you prepare for each speaker.

Announce each scheduled formal speech by title and speaker. Identify which manual project the speaker is presenting, and briefly describe the purpose of the project. Introduce the speaker.

At the end of each presentation, lead the applause and offer a brief word of appreciation. Ask the audience to write a brief written evaluation of the speech. Encourage them to give positive input as well as a constructive suggestion or two.

Your function after each speech is to bridge the gap between presentations, maintaining the interest of the audience.

At the conclusion of the formal speeches, ask the General Evaluator to assume control of the meeting, and introduce the evaluators.

After the evaluations, call on the members with meeting roles to give their reports. Return control of the meeting to the President.

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The primary duty of the toastmaster is to host the meeting and introduce participants in a way that motivates the audience to listen.
Your key role as toastmaster is to maintain control of the speaking platform.
This role not only help you learn how to be a master of ceremonies, but it gives the meeting continuity and keeps it flowing.
Before the meeting
  • Work with the table topics master to select a them.
  • Provide the table topics master with a list of participants so he/she can plan to include others in the program.
  • Check with all speakers to find out their speech number and title, objectives, time, and something interesting about them that you can use in your introduction.
  • Check with the general evaluator and ask him/her to verify the other members of the evaluation team: evaluators, timer, grammarian/ah counter.
  • Prepare introductions for each speaker
  • Prepare remarks to serve as a bridge between sections of the meeting.
  • Prepare and print an agenda to hand out at the meeting.
On arrival at meeting
  • Arrive early to finish any last minute details
  • Check with speakers for last minute changes.
  • Site near the front of the room for quick access to the podium.
During the meeting
  • Conduct the meeting with sincerity, energy, and certainty.
  • Introduce the table topics master, prepared speakers, and general evaluator, who will introduce the others on the evaluation team.
  • Remain standing at the podium until each speaker arrives; shake hands with the speaker and then be seated.
  • Lead the applause before and after each table topics speaker, prepared speakers, and the general evaluator.
  • If the table topics master or general evaluator forgets the timer's report and voting, call for those when you return to the podium.
  • Present certificates to the best speakers for the day.
  • Briefly thank all of the speakers and ask the officer of the day to conduct the business meeting.

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