Toastmasters meetings normally involve three distinct segments: a topics session, prepared speeches, and and evaluation session. In Midleton, people like to talk, so topics sessions may occur regularly during the meeting!
Our meetings begin at 8.00pm, with opening comments from the Club President. She will quickly hand control of the meeting over to the Toast Master for the night, who is responsible for keeping the meeting going for the next 2 hours.
The Topics Session
The main purpose of the Topics Session is to encourage people to think on their feet and to get used to speaking without any preparation.
The Topics Master introduces the topic then a member of the club will be selected to discuss the topic. The chosen member must stand up and ad-lib on the subject for two minutes.
After that, other members can chime in with their opinions. Guests will not be asked to speak on a topic.
The Prepared Speeches
Prepared speeches are given by club members who typically will have had a number of weeks to prepare their speech.
While they can choose the subject of the speech themselves, they will be expected to emphasise certain aspects of their speaking style in accordance with the guidelines for that speech.
For instance, if the aim of the talk is to emphasise vocal variety, the speaker will be expected to raise and lower the tone of their voice throughout the speech.
Speeches normally last between five to seven minutes, depending on the speech objectives as outlined in the speech manual.
The aim of the speech evaluation is to provide some constructive feedback on the prepared speeches.
Speech evaluators deliver a brief talk on what they enjoyed about the speaker's style, and what could be improved in the next speech.
The evaluation for each speech normally lasts two to three minutes.
After an overall evaluation of the meeting, the Club President closes the meeting(at 10pm), and people normally retire to the bar for a drink and a chat before going home.