Taking on meeting roles is what helps us grow as speakers. No two roles are the same and each is designed to help
you improve in a specific area of communication. Below is brief summary of what is involved for these roles:
This is the person who records the times and operates the lights. Keeping to time is something we should all strive towards, as there are often time-limits when speaking in real-world scenarios.
The times are written next to each speaker on the agenda. This will also tell you when to activate the green, orange and red lights. If you are doing this role for the first time, make sure you arrive early to practice using the lights! Record how long people speak for and provide a verbal report at the end of the meeting.
The Grammarian listens out for effective uses of language, counts the filler words and provides a word of the day. This involves speaking twice throughout the meeting – first at the beginning to introduce the Word of the Day and then at the end to summarize how everyone did.
For the Word of the Day, it is best to choose something relevant to the theme (which can usually be found of Easy Speak if the Toastmasters enters it in). Make sure you print two copies of the word in large font and stick a copy at both ends of the room.
Table Topics Master
The Table Topics Master facilitates the portion of the meeting where members deliver brief, impromptu speeches. This person prepares the Table Topics Questions and determines the speaking order. We usually aim to have 4 – 6 table topics per meeting. Start by choosing members that do not already have a speaking role and then move on to others if there is time.
TABLE TOPICS EVALUATOR
This involves evaluating the Table Topics Speakers using the CRC method (commendation, recommendation and another commendation). There is usually one person evaluating the odd speakers and another evaluating the even speakers. Make sure you check the agenda beforehand to see which one you are doing! Because of the number of Table Topic Speakers, it is important that you keep your evaluations as concise as possible. An appropriate target is 30 – 40 seconds per speaker.
The historian provide a 1 – 2 minute report on “This Day in History”. Where possible, it is good to link this report in with the meeting theme.
This person tells a short 1- 2 minute joke. Many people struggle with being funny and this is a good way to practice. You could approach this role in a number of ways. Some people find jokes off the internet, others use a personal life experience while the odd person goes a step further and brings their own props!
We try to have 2 – 3 prepared speeches at each meeting. Each speaker presents a speech based on a project
assignment from their learning path in Pathways. The length and objectives vary depending on the project.
Each speaker has an assigned evaluator. This role involves introducing the speaker, observing their performance and then providing an evaluation using the CRC method (commend, recommend and commend).
For the introduction, you will need to contact the speaker beforehand to find out their Pathways project, speech title and whether they have any personal objectives. It is nice to also mention something personal about the
speaker to help us get to know them. At the end of the introduction, the best way to welcome up a speaker is
using this format: speech title, name, name, speech title. Make sure you lead the applause!
Each speaker will also have a written evaluation form that needs to be filled out. You will need to get this from
them beforehand. It is best to fill this out during the meeting so that you do not forget any of the details.
The General Evaluator speaks at the end of the meeting and evaluates all the people that have not yet been evaluated. This is often a long list of people, so we assign this role to members who have been with the club for a while and are ready for the challenge.
The best way to approach this role is to keep the evaluations brief and only provide a quick commendation, a
recommendation and another commendation for each speaker. Although it is tempting to give lots of feedback, doing so for each person will push you well over time.
It is recommended that you sit at the back for this role and use a table, as you will need to write lots of notes!
Toastmaster / Meeting Chair
This is the most important role of them all! The Toastmaster is the person who plans the meeting and makes sure it runs smoothly.
Finding people for roles is the hardest part of being the Toastmaster. Our VP Education will schedule as many roles as possible 2 – 4 weeks in advance. However, it is the Toastmaster’s responsibility to manage any last minute cancellations and changes.
On the night, the Toastmaster acts as the MC and manages the transitions between speakers. It is always nice to have a meeting theme to make the night more interesting. It is recommended that you enter this theme into Easy Speak a few days beforehand so that others can use it for their roles.
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