Have you taken on a role in the next club meeting?
Make the most of the evening by reading the advice in the following pages.
The information here is tailored to suit the way we run meetings at Capital Communicators!
TOASTMASTER OF THE EVENING
The Toastmaster of the evening conducts the entire meeting and acts as an efficient and friendly host. As
Toastmaster, you ensure that the meeting begins and ends on time. You set the tone of the evening. If you are
positive, energetic and decisive, the meeting will go well. If you are hesitant, nervous or disorganised, the
meeting will not go well. Remember, you are in charge for the next 2 hours, whatever happens!
Handing over the floor:
Whenever a speaker takes the floor to speak, whether it is a role player, speaker, evaluator etc., you should
shake hands to hand over the floor to them, stand at the side until they begin to speak then sit down. When
they finish, stand up, shake hands again, thank them and take back the floor.
As Toastmaster, you must always lead the applause. If you do not begin to applaud, the audience will be half
hearted about it and that’s embarrassing for the speaker.
In the event of a speaker or role player going badly over time, you may “applaud them down”, i.e. begin the
applause whilst they are still speaking. This is not to be authoritarian but to help members manage their time.
It’s similar to using the buzzer as the Ah Counter – not always pleasant to do but effective! Also, use it at your
discretion. It may be that the speaker or role player is a new member or new to the role. Never applaud down
during an icebreaker.
Prior to the meeting:
1. Read these guidelines! They relate specifically to the role of Toastmaster in our club.
2. Keep up to date with changes to the agenda via the easySPEAK website at least a few days before the
3. Contact the speakers and ask them for their speech titles and introductions.
4. If you are new to the role, ask a more experienced member or your mentor to give you
5. 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.
At the meeting:
1. Arrive early, at least by 6:30pm.
2. Ask the Vice President of Education (VPE) if there are any changes to the agenda.
3. Make sure that all the role players and speakers are present. If not, find substitutes. The VPE will help
you. The roles must be filled before the meeting begins.
During the meeting:
1. At 7.00pm, take charge of the meeting and bang the gavel on the lectern to begin regardless of
everyone is seated or not. If you do not begin on time, you will find it difficult to end on time.
2. Greet the audience and introduce yourself.
3. Ask the audience to turn off their mobile phones or switch them to “silent”.
4. Say a few words about TM International, if you wish, for the benefit of guests. Try to be original
(especially if you are an experienced member and have carried out the role before), e.g. do not just talk
about how TI began with Ralph Smedley
5. Ask the audience and guests to stand up and introduce themselves and answer a simple question, e.g.
“what was the best thing that happened to you today?” stressing that they should take no longer than
20 seconds to do so. Indicate who should begin.
6. When the speaker has finished, thank them and lead the applause again. Indicate who should speak
next. Follow this until everyone has introduced themselves. Version 01 14/12/08
7. Explain the format of the evening for the benefit of guests.
8. Explain that the role players will introduce their roles.
9. Explain that you may “applaud down”, if necessary and why.
10. Ask the role players, in turn, to stand and introduce the role.
11. Lead the applause when they stand and sit down. Thank them when they finish.
12. Explain that the whole evening will be evaluated by the General Evaluator at the end of the meeting but
do not ask the GE to explain the role.
13. Invite Toastmaster/s with anniversary to speak for 1 minute each, if there are any.
14. Invite the Invocator or Jokemaster to the lectern to deliver the invocation or joke. (We do not currently do this.)
15. Time guide: this part of the evening should be completed by 7.20pm and you should be ready to
introduce the first speaker.
16. Inform the audience who the first speaker is using the introduction that was given to you by the speaker
in advance. Give the title of the speech and explain its objectives as outlined in the manual and the
Speech Objectives for the CC Manual sheet (if you don’t have one ask the Sergeant-at-Arms).
17. Welcome the speaker to the lectern with the following format:
Our 1st speaker is Hamish. With a speech entitled “100 Things to Do with a Wet Dog”.
With a speech entitled “100 Things to Do with a Wet Dog”, would you please welcome Hamish”.
18. When the speaker reaches the floor, hand over the floor to them by shaking their hand.
19. Wait until they have reached the lectern then sit down in the Toastmaster’s reserved seat at the side of
20. When the speaker finishes their speech, stand up, thank the speaker and shake hands again to regain
21. Ask the audience to complete the written evaluations on the forms provided within 2 minutes. Ask the
Timer to notify you when 1.5 minutes have elapsed and 2 minutes have expired.
22. Follow the above with each speaker in turn.
23. When the speakers and written evaluations have finished, invite the speech evaluators up to the lectern
to give their evaluations, one by one. Introduce them by name only and whose speech they will
evaluate and hand over the floor. When they finish, thank them and regain the floor.
24. After the evaluators have finished, hand the floor over to the Club President if there is any club
25. Observe the time and decide how long or short the break should be regardless of what is stated on the
agenda. You should aim to begin Table Topics (TT) by 8.20pm at least.
26. Announce the break (bang the gavel) and when the members should return to their seats.
27. During the break, calculate how much time you there will be for Table Topics and the evaluations. Aim
to have the Table Topics Session and evaluations over by 8.44pm. Calculate how many Table Topics
you will allow and inform the Table Topics Master. Base your calculation on 3 minutes per speaker
(this includes a 30 second introduction by the TT Master, speeches of up to 2 minutes and the table
Topics Evaluator’s evaluations). For example, if you begin at 8.20pm and aim to end at 9.44pm, inform
the TT Master, they have time for 8 Table Topics).
28. After the break, bang the gavel to begin the meeting again on time.
29. Introduce the TT Master and hand over the floor to them. Watch the time and indicate to the TT Master
if he is running out of time. He should finish at 8.49pm
30. Sit at the side until Table Topics is finished. Thank the TT Master.
31. Introduce the Table Topics Evaluator; tell him and the Timer how much time he has, e.g. “you have 5
minutes for your evaluation”. This is based on 30 seconds per topic plus 30 seconds for their
introduction and another 30 seconds for ribbon presentation, e.g. 8 topics is 5 minutes. Ideally, the
TT Evaluator would begin at 8.39pm and finish at 8.44pm.
32. Next, ask the role players to give their reports, leading the applause before and after the reports.
33. Next, ask the General Evaluator to evaluate the meeting from the lectern.
34. When the GE has finished, check the agenda. Does the VPE need time to try to fill roles for the next
meeting? If so, invite the VPE to ask for role players.
35. Lastly, ask the guests to stand up and say a few words about their experience of the evening, again
leading the applause and thanking them when they finish. Inform guests that they are welcome to join
the club and advise them to see the Treasurer or VPM (point them out) at the end of the meeting.
36. End the evening by thanking everyone for attending and bang the gavel to indicate The End.
How this role helps you:
1. This role will help you to enhance your leadership and management skills.
2. This role will help you to enhance your time management skills.
3. You will practise speaking off the cuff throughout the evening.
4. You may have to deal with unexpected interruptions, hecklers or emergencies.
5. You will learn to keep calm, be diplomatic.
6. You can use it to advance your CL manual for projects 4,5,7,8 and 10.