Visiting a club allows you to see how meetings work. Club meetings provide opportunities for members to practice and learn learn speaking and leadership skills by assuming a variety of roles. Each meeting role has a unique set of tasks and skills for you to employ. A mentor, will help you perform these roles, if required. Some roles may vary depending on the club.
If you are visiting, try to arrive a few minutes early so someone can give you an agenda, guest booklet and talk you through how the club meeting works. If you have any questions, ask on the day or send us an enquiry.
Toastmaster/ChairpersonThe main duties of the Toastmaster are to plan the meeting, create the agenda and conduct the meeting. They introduce roles, manage transitions between speakers and act as the MC. This role is generally reserved for members who are quite familiar with the club and its procedures. They will introduce any guests at the beginning of the meeting.
The grammarian introduces new words to members, comments on the use of interesting language used during the meeting, and provides examples of good grammar and word usage. They often produce a word of the day and report on who used it or a form of it.
The General Evaluator is the member who evaluates everything that takes place throughout the meeting except prepared speeches. This task is generally reserved for members who are quite familiar with the club and its procedures.
A hallmark of an effective speaker is their ability to express themselves within a specific amount of time. Timekeepers help speakers stay on time with the use of timing lights. This not only encourages people to be succinct but ensures the meeting finishes on time and everyone got to use their allotted speaking time.
Introductions are often performed by the Evaluator or Toastmaster though some larger clubs programme it as a separate role. A good introduction prepares the audience for a new speaker and may establish their credibility to speak on the topic.
The prepared speeches are a feature of every meeting. There are usually two or three prepared speeches each meeting though there can be just one or over four. Each speech is a project from Pathways
, the Toastmasters Learning Experience. It will have a defined set of objectives and time in which it needs to be delivered. The first speech delivered by each new member is the Icebreaker
Feedback provide great value to members. Speech evaluators provide valuable feedback to speakers. The aim is to be encouraging, fair and honest. Feedback is delivered in the form of commendations (what you do well), recommendations (areas of improvements and suggestions) and a challenge (what to focus on next time). Learning to give feedback is itself a very useful skill to learn.
Table Topics® Master
The Table Topics master is responsible for preparing and asking original, creative topics for speakers to speak on for a minute or two. This sections can be a lot of fun or can enhance the theme of the meeting, if there is one. Alternatively, they can be on random topics - the choice is yours. They will invite any guests to introduce themselves or, if they want to challenge themselves, to answer a topic. Guests do not have to speak if they would prefer not to.
Table Topics® Speaker
Members are called upon to respond to random questions or topics. Guests may speak to a topic or introduce themselves but there is no requirement to speak. Speakers are free to answer seriously, factually, comically or dramatically. It is an opportunity to get used to thinking on your feet and develop the confidence to answer any question at any time. use this opportunity to introduce themselves instead.