CLUB MEETING ROLES
The success of a club meeting depends on the program participants. In Toastmasters, you learn by participating. There are many roles to fill and all meeting participants play an important part in making the club experience educational and enjoyable.
Following are the roles you will be called upon to fulfill and tips for doing a good job. Roles and responsibilities may vary slightly from club to club, so check with your vice president education or mentor when you are assigned a role.
Taking on this role improves organizational skills, time management skills and public speaking skills
The Toastmaster is a meeting’s director and host. A member typically will not be assigned this role until they are thoroughly familiar with the club and its procedures. As Toastmaster, you:
- Acquire a meeting agenda from your Vice President Education.
- Work with the General Evaluator to ensure all club participants know their roles and responsibilities.
- Introduce speakers during the club meeting, including their speech topic, project title, objectives, delivery time, etc. during your introduction.
- Ensure smooth transitions between speakers during the club meeting.
Taking on this role improves time management skills
One of the skills Toastmasters practice is expressing a thought within a specific time. As Timer you are responsible for monitoring time for each meeting segment and each speaker. To perform as Timer, you:
- Acquire the timing/signaling equipment from the Sergeant-at-Arms and know how to operate it.
- Explain the timing rules and demonstrate the signal device if called upon to do so.
- Throughout the meeting, listen carefully to each participant and signal them accordingly.
- When called to report, announce the speaker’s name and the time taken.
- After the meeting, return the timing/signaling equipment to the Sergeant-at-Arms and give your timer’s report to the secretary.
Taking on this role improves speaking, facilitation, leadership, and time management skills
This role takes the place of Table Topics that most Toastmaster clubs have as a part of their program. There are six qualities that a good discussion should have:
- The topic intro is short. The topic not being complex.
- The topic is engaging
- The leader gets everyone to participate, giving priority to those attending who are not speakers.
- The discussion keeps moving – it doesn’t get stuck with any one person
- The discussion leader builds bridges between the participants
- The discussion leaders offers a wrap-up of the discussion. Distilling what was talked about.
Taking on this role improves critical thinking, confidence and public speaking skills
Every speaker is a role model and club members learn from one another’s speeches. As a Meeting Speaker, you:
- Prepare, rehearse and present a speech during the club meeting
- Arrive early to make sure the microphone, lectern and lighting are working and in place
- Discuss your goals, strengths and weaknesses with your evaluator prior to giving your speech
Taking on this role improves listening skills, critical thinking and positive feedback skills
In Toastmasters, feedback is called evaluation, and it is the heart of the Toastmasters educational program. You observe the speeches and leadership roles of your fellow club members and offer evaluations of their efforts, and they do the same for you. 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.
Taking on this role improves critical thinking, organizational skills, time management skills, motivational and team-building skills
The General Evaluator evaluates everything that takes place during the club meeting. In addition, the General Evaluator conducts the evaluation portion of the meeting and is responsible for the evaluation team: the speech evaluators, Ah Counter, Grammarian and Timer. As General Evaluator, you:
- Ensure other evaluators know their tasks and responsibilities
- Explain the purpose and benefits of evaluations to the group
- Identify and confirm meeting assignments with the Timer, Grammarian and Ah-Counter
- 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.