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:
- Read these guidelines! They relate specifically to being the Timer in our club.
- Prepare and rehearse your 2-minute introduction.
- Ask you mentor for help, if necessary.
At the meeting:
- Arrive early, at least by 7.15 pm, and let the Toastmaster know you are there.
- Check the stop watch by doing a dummy run for 1 minute. If it is not working, ask the Sergeant-at-Arms (SAA) for new batteries or a replacement for the stop watch. If you do not know how to work the stop watch, ask the SAA or another member who has been the Timer for help.
- Are the timing cards on the table? Check their position will be visible to all speakers.
- Look at the agenda. Check with the Toastmaster or VPE if there are any changes.
- If you are working on the CL manual, ask the Ah Counter or Wordmaster/Grammarian to evaluate you, give them the manual and make sure they complete it by the end of the evening.
Introducing your role (2mins):
- Deliver a two-minute speech explaining the importance of timing during a Toastmasters meeting.
- Explain the use of the time cards using one or two actual speech timing from the agenda to demonstrate their use. 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”.
- 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:
- A 2-minute period for written evaluations. Alert the toastmaster after 1.5 minutes then again at the 2-minute limit.
- Speech Evaluators - 3 minutes
- Table Topics Evaluator – this will be printed on the agenda but can be adjusted based upon the 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.
- Role players – various times - see printed agenda on the night.
During the meeting:
- Remain alert throughout the meeting.
- Before you begin each session:
- Make sure the clear pocket and not the coloured card is showing;
- Make sure you have reset the electronic timer.
- Time the members as outlined above and note their names and times.
Your report (2mins):
Give the times of the individual meeting roles as well as an overall synopsis of how the meeting as a whole has proceeded.
After your report:
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:
- You will practice remaining alert and focussed throughout the meeting.
- You will deliver a well-structured oral explanation and report to the members; thereby giving you practice in delivering 2 min speeches.
- You can use it to advance your CL manual for the following project:
- Project 4 – Time Management