The Timer helps the Toastmaster to run the meeting on time and is vital in helping speakers to pace
their speeches. If the Timer forgets to turn the cards during a speech, a novice or even an
experienced speaker can be thrown off balance.
Prior to the meeting:
1. Read these guidelines! They relate specifically to being the Timer in our club.
2. Prepare and rehearse your 2 minute introduction.
3. Ask you mentor for help, if necessary.
At the meeting:
1. Arrive early, at least by 6.45pm, and let the Toastmaster know you are there.
2. Check the electronic timer by doing a dummy run for 1 minute. If it is not working and the
lights do not come on, ask the Sergeant-at-Arms for new batteries. If you do not know how to
work the timer, ask the Vice President of Education (VPE) or another member who has been
the Timer for help.
3. Are the timing cards on the table? Check their position will be visible to all speakers.
4. Look at the agenda. Check with the Toastmaster or VPE if there are any changes.
5. Check times of speeches with the speakers. It is essential that you know the times for the
individual speeches before the meeting begins. Make sure you have an up to date
6. If you are working on the CL manual, ask one of the members to evaluate you, give them the
manual and make sure they complete it by the end of the evening.
Introducing your role (2mins):
1. From your seat, explain, the importance of timing during a Toastmasters meeting.
2. Explain the use of the cards for each speech if the times vary - demonstrate their use. This is
very important as the members need to know at which point in their speech you will flash
each card. This helps to keep them on time. Look at the agenda for the individual speech
times. You must be specific on this point e.g. “for a 5 to 7 minute speech I will show the green
card at 5 minutes, the yellow at 6 minutes and the red at 7 minutes – the speaker is then
expected to finish taking no more than 30 seconds”.
3. Demonstrate the use of the cards during the Table Topics session. This is especially
important for guests who may be asked to give a Table Topic. e.g. “for Table Topics which
are from 1 to 2 minutes I will show the green card at 1 minute, the yellow at 1 minute 30
seconds and the red at 2 minutes. The speaker is expected to finish within 15 seconds of the
red card being shown or will be at risk of the Table Topics Master applauding them to a stop”.
In addition to Speeches and Table Topics the Timer is responsible for timing:Version 01 14/12/08
1. A 2 minute period for written evaluations. Alert the toastmaster after 1.5 minutes then again at
the 2 minute limit.
2. Speech Evaluators - 3 minutes
3. Table Topics Evaluator – depends on number of table topics to be evaluated – 30 seconds
per topic plus 30 seconds for introduction and another 30 seconds for general comments –
e.g. 8 topics would mean 5 minutes allowed for the evaluation.
4. Role players – various times - see printed agenda on the night.
During the meeting:
1. Remain alert throughout the meeting.
2. Before you begin each session:
a. Make sure the clear pocket and not the coloured card is showing;
b. Make sure you have reset the electronic timer.
3. Time the members as outlined above and note their names and times.
Your report (2mins):
1. Give the times of the opening session (total time), speeches, business session, education
topics, evaluations and role players’ introductions and reports (except the General Evaluator).
After your report:
1. After your report your job is not yet finished. You must still help the Toastmaster close the
meeting on time, so time the General Evaluator and indicate when their allotted time is over
(Usually our club allows for 10 minutes).
How this role helps you:
1. You will practice remaining alert and focussed throughout the meeting.
2. You will deliver a well structured oral explanation and report to the members; thereby giving
you practice in delivering 2 min speeches.
3. You can use it to advance your CL manual for the following project:
a. Project 4 – Time Management
At the end of the meeting turn OFF the electronic timer or the batteries will run down before
the next meeting. Leave the equipment on the table for the Sergeant-at-Arms to collect