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easy-Speak Training

Full Catalogue of Paths & Tasks

District 71 
District 91 

Author Forgotten User  Date 20 Jun 13, 11:43  Views 1189
Description Athenians Club Chairperson Notes
Category Toastmaster  Type Detail Training
Article scope
General Information



The Chairperson, together with the Toastmaster, are the "glue" that holds a London Athenians meeting together. In our club the Toastmaster introduces all of the speakers and evaluators while the Chairperson does the final preparation for each meeting and introduces all the other roles. Ideally the Chairperson and Toastmaster should work together to create a theme for a meeting and then ensure that it runs seamlessly and on time.


  • If, through extreme and unavoidable circumstances, you find that you are unable to carry out this role you will need to find a replacement. Any replacement should be someone of sufficient experience to carry out the role successfully.

Prior to the Meeting

The Chairperson takes responsibility for a meeting from when the ‘You are on the Programme” emails go out until the completion of the meeting. Before the meeting the chairperson needs to:

  • Liaise with the functionaries to ensure they are available and briefed on how to carry out their roles. To facilitate this you have been copied the emails sent to them.

  • Find replacements if people drop out (The VPE may be able to make suggestions but the Chairperson needs to do the searching). Remember, if a Reserve Speaker is used too early it may be very difficult to find a replacement for a last-minute drop-out.

  • Liaise closely with the Toastmaster for the evening (normally a less experienced member) to ensure they deal with any speaker/evaluator issues, assist with finding replacements if necessary, and obtain, by the Monday evening prior to the meeting, information on Speech Titles, Manuals, etc

  • In conjunction with the Toastmaster, complete the programme (MS-Word document) and send it to the person printing it and bringing it to the meeting by 12 O’clock on the Tuesday of the meeting. (The first version of the completed programme will be sent with this email but changes will need to be made as necessary). Note: it is advisable for the Chairperson to bring a couple of copies of the programme in case the main delivery is delayed.

On the evening – before the meeting starts

    1. Arrive by 7pm at the latest and check that all the required people are in place, or find replacements.

    1. Remind all functionaries who have not completed CL to give their manual to a member who can complete an entry for their role.

    1. Brief the President on the final form of the programme at 7.14pm

At the Meeting – First Half

Where possible, ensure that any equipment is set up in advance or during a suitable break - be ready to assist with equipment during the meeting. The President will open the meeting and welcome the guests and then introduce you as the Chairperson to run the meeting.

    1. Start by making a brief introductory address and announce any changes to the published programme. Remind everyone to turn off mobile phones etc.

    1. Then introduce: (a) The Timekeeper and (b) The Grammarian who should each be asked to explain their roles.

    1. Briefly explain the purpose of table topics and introduce the Topics Master.

    1. Show the voting slip, explain the procedure for voting and call for the Timekeeper’s report; organise somebody to collect the votes and pass the result to the President.

    1. Once the voting is done, introduce the Table Topics Evaluator

    1. Hand the meeting back to the President for the announcements and the break.

At the Meeting – Second Half

    1. Briefly announce the prepared speaking session and introduce the Toastmaster. On completion of the Toastmaster’s session, control is handed back to the Chairperson at the point shown on the programme.

    1. Call for the Grammarian’s report.

    1. Explain the purpose of the General Evaluation and introduce the General Evaluator.

    1. Pass control of the meeting back to the President.

Notes & Tips

  • The meeting is enriched if your introductions are short but interesting, informative and help us “get to know” the functionaries a little better. Keep them brief!

  • DO prepare for the role and plan the steps you will follow. Even the Pilot of Concorde uses a checklist e.g. remember the voting for the best topic.

  • It is not necessary to announce timings as these are included in the programme.

  • DO try to steer the proceedings and participants as briskly as possible to ensure the meeting finishes on time, but DO NOT try to influence timing by publicly issuing instructions “from the floor” unless an item is running badly over time. By all means, brief the functionaries in advance but try not to interfere once they are carrying out their role.

  • Table topics have a tendency to overrun so the Topicsmaster should be briefed not to start a new topic after the end time for topics has been reached and the Chairperson should quietly remind the Topicsmaster of this as the time approaches.

  • Always greet each functionary with a handshake and enthusiastically lead the applause - do the same on completion of the item.

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