The main duties of the Toastmaster are to coordinate and conduct the entire meeting, introduce participants, and act as a genial host. The Toastmaster sets the tone for the meeting. This task is generally reserved for members who are quite familiar with the club and its procedures.
Serving as Toastmaster is an excellent way to practice planning, preparation, organisation, time management, facilitation, motivation, and team-building skills as you strive to make the meeting one of the club’s best.
Prior to the Meeting
- Communicate with the Vice President Education for a list of members scheduled to speak or fulfil meeting roles. Confirm any special theme for the meeting and any program changes.
- Reach out to the Topicsmaster to ensure they are prepared for the role. Communicate with all speakers in advance to remind them that they are scheduled to speak.
- Take time to confirm each speaker’s speech title, project, time requested, and anything they may wish to include in your introduction.
- Confirm the General Evaluator for the meeting. Encourage them to contact the other members of the evaluation team (speech evaluators, timer, grammarian, and Ah-Counter) and review their responsibilities for the meeting.
- Prepare remarks to bridge the gaps between program sections. Remember that serving as Toastmaster is one of the most valuable experiences in your club work. The assignment requires careful preparation to facilitate a well-run meeting.
Upon Arrival at the Meeting
- Arrive early to complete any last-minute details.
- Check with the speakers to address any last-minute changes.
During the Meeting
- Preside with sincerity, energy, enthusiasm, and decisiveness. Strive to begin and end the meeting on time. You may have to make adjustments to the schedule during the meeting to accomplish this task.
- Ensure each part of the meeting adheres to the established schedule.
- Lead the applause before and after the Table Topics session, each prepared speech, and the General Evaluator’s remarks.
- Introduce each speaker. After your introduction, remain near the lectern.
- Once the speaker takes their place, return to your seat.
- Introduce the General Evaluator as you would any speaker. They are responsible for introducing other members of the evaluation team.
- Introduce the Topicsmaster.
- At the conclusion of the speaking portion of the program, request the timer’s report.
- If there are more than two speeches remind members to vote on best speaker during the break.
- While votes are tallied at the end of the meeting make any announcements or give the VPE time to fill the roles for the next meeting.
- Present awards.
- Return control of the meeting to the President.