Toastmaster of the Evening
Taking on this role improves your organizational, time management skills and public speaking
As Toastmaster of the Evening, you are a meeting’s director and host. You typically will not be assigned this role until you are thoroughly familiar with the club and its procedures. As Toastmaster, you:
- Contact the speakers in advance to give a description about their speech.
- Assign roles to members.
- Select a theme for the evening
- Print the meeting agenda.
- Introduce speakers during the club meeting, including their speech topic, project title, objectives, delivery time, etc. during your introduction.
- Ensure smooth transitions between speakers during the club meeting.
Taking on this role improves your critical thinking, confidence and public speaking skills
Every speaker is a role model and you can learn from another member’s speeches. As a Meeting Speaker, you:
- Prepare, rehearse and present a speech during the club meeting.
- Arrive early to make sure the microphone, lectern and lighting are working and in place.
- Discuss your goals, strengths and weaknesses with your evaluator prior to giving your speech.
Taking on this role improves your observational and listening skills
The purpose of the Ah-Counter is to note any overused words or filler sounds used as a crutch by anyone who speaks during the meeting. Words may be inappropriate interjections, such as and, well, but, so and you know. Sounds may be ah, um or er.
The Harkmaster role encourages you to listen effectively during the meeting by compiling questions and running a quiz session towards the end.
As a Harkmaster you:
- take notes during the meeting and devise questions with which to test the audience’s listening skills.
- ask about 5 to 7 questions concerning the speeches, no questions about evaluations.
Taking on this role improves you vocabulary, grammar, critical listening and evaluation skills
As grammarian, you play an important role in helping all club members improve their grammar and vocabulary. You:
- Write down the language and grammar usage of all speakers, noting incomplete sentences, mispronunciation, grammatical mistakes, non-sequiturs, malapropisms, etc. Example: “One in five children wear glasses” should be“one in five children wears glasses.”
- Introduce a “Word of the Day” that helps meeting participants increase their vocabulary; Display the word, part of speech, and a brief definition with a visual aid and prepare a sentence showcasing how the word should be used. Note who uses this word or any derivatives thereof correctly or incorrectly during the meeting.
- Long and picky reports should be avoided. You can for example group your comments, for example: “The most common grammatical mistakes I’ve heard tonight, are…”
Table Topics Speaker
Taking on this role improves confidence and impromptu public speaking skills
Table Topics is a long-standing Toastmasters tradition intended to help you develop your ability to organize their thoughts quickly and respond to an impromptu question or topic.
- Table Topics typically begins after the prepared speech presentations.
- The Toastmaster will introduce the Topicsmaster, who will give a brief description of Table Topics and then call on respondents at random.
Taking on this role improves organizational, time management and facilitation skills
The Topicsmaster delivers the Table Topics portion of the meeting, which helps train members to quickly organize and express their thoughts in an impromptu setting. As Topicsmaster, you:
- Select topics in advance of the meeting that allow speakers to offer opinions.
- Give members who aren’t assigned a speaking role the opportunity to speak during the meeting by assigning impromptu talks on non-specialized themes or topics.
- Don’t ask two people the same thing unless you specify that it is to generate opposing viewpoints.
- In clubs presenting a Best Table Topics speaker award, ask members to vote for the best Table Topics speaker.
Taking on this role improves listening, critical thinking and positive feedback skills
In Toastmasters, feedback is called evaluation, and it is the heart of the Toastmasters educational program. You observe the speeches and leadership roles of your fellow club members and offer evaluations of their efforts, and they do the same for you. As evaluator, you:
- Provide verbal and written evaluations for speakers using the Effective Evaluation manual.
- Ask those you’ve been assigned to evaluate what they will present and what they wish to achieve.
- Answer evaluation questions in the manual as objectively as possible.
- When giving any evaluation, offer praise as well as constructive criticism.
Taking on this role improves time management skills
One of the skills Toastmasters practice is expressing a thought within a specific time. As Timer, you are responsible for monitoring time for each meeting segment and each speaker. To perform as Timer, you:
- Acquire the timing/signaling equipment from the Sergeant-at-Arms and know how to operate it.
- Throughout the meeting, listen carefully to each participant and signal them accordingly.
- After the meeting, return the timing/signaling equipment to the Sergeant-at-Arms and give your timer’s report to the secretary.
Taking on this role improves critical thinking, organizational, time management, motivational and team-building skills
The General Evaluator evaluates everything that takes place during the club meeting. In addition, the General Evaluator conducts the evaluation portion of the meeting and is responsible for the evaluation team: the speech evaluators, Ah Counter, Grammarian and Timer. As General Evaluator, you:
- Ensure other evaluators know their tasks and responsibilities
- Explain the purpose and benefits of evaluations to the group
- Identify and confirm meeting assignments with the Timer, Grammarian and Ah-Counter
- Confirm the club meeting program and/or checklist with the Toastmaster
- During the meeting, take notes and report on all club proceedings to evaluate things such as timeliness, enthusiasm, preparation, organization, performance of duties, etc.