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Meeting Roles | Officer Roles | Mentoring

Meeting Role Descriptions

Summary of Responsibilities

  • Serve as master of ceremonies at the club meeting
  • Give all guests the chance to introduce themselves to the club
  • Before adjourning, remind all members to sign up for roles; if extra time remains, ask for announcements/comments from the audience
  • For theme meetings, announce theme to the club via email at least a week in advance
  • Involve all meeting role participants in preparing for the theme

The main duty of the Toastmaster is to act as the genial host who conducts the day's program. As Toastmaster, you set the tone of the meeting and ensure that it runs smoothly. Think about ways you could make your meeting unique.

At the end of the previous meeting, confirm the next week's meeting roles with the VP of Education. If there are gaps in the agenda, discuss how they will get filled. If you would like to change the standard meeting in any way (for instance, by adding a new role, changing the order of events, or using a theme), work with the VP of Education to create a suitable agenda for the meeting.

Over the course of the week, get in touch with all Speakers, the Table Topics Master, and the General Evaluator to ensure that they are prepared, and to gather the information you will need for their introductions. In addition, if you are trying a special meeting format, be sure to let them know about it in advance. The earlier you contact these key people, the better, as it gets everyone thinking and preparing ahead. If you learn that anyone assigned to a role is unable to fill it, have them contact the VP of Education as soon as possible and encourage them to find a replacement.

Prepare and practice introductions for Speakers, the Table Topics Master, and the General Evaluator. Introductions should be lively, colorful, and complimentary, and should prepare the audience to listen with excitement and attention. The Toastmaster is entitled to use a little artistic license to make this happen. Speaker introductions are particularly important, and should include the goals of the speech as well as information about the speaker and topic. Introductions for the Table Topics Master and General Evaluator need not be so elaborate, but should include more than just the person's name.

Finally, prepare some opening and closing remarks, and think about how you plan to bridge the gaps between program segments.

As you Arrive at the Meeting:
Arrive at the meeting by 12:15 p.m., reserve a seat for yourself near the lectern, and help greet members and guests. Confirm that all meeting participants are present. Make any last-minute changes that are necessary.

During the Meeting:
After being introduced by the President, move to the lectern and shake the President's hand. Now you are in charge of the meeting. Preside with confidence, and make the audience feel welcome.

Make brief introductory remarks and explain the purpose of the meeting. Introduce each of the functionaries (Timer, Ah Counter, and Grammarian), and lead the applause after each has explained his or her role (and the Grammarian has provided the word of the day). Try to incorporate the word of the day at least once during the meeting.

If there are guests present, invite them to stand and briefly introduce themselves, leading the applause when they are finished. Let them know that we are glad they came.

Introduce each speaker. Lead the applause until the speaker reaches the lectern, then shake hands. Once the speaker has acknowledged you and assumed control of the meeting, be seated. At the end of each speech, lead the applause again, shake hands, and offer a brief word of appreciation. Then transition to the next speaker.

After the last prepared speech, introduce the Table Topics Master and indicate how much time he or she has for the segment. (Table topics should generally wrap up at around 1:10.) Again, lead the applause before and after the segment, and shake hands with the Table Topics Master to exchange control of the lectern.

Thank the Table Topics Master and make a transition to the next section. Give your prepared introduction for the General Evaluator, who will then handle the evaluation portion of the agenda. When the General Evaluator has turned the meeting back over to you, make your closing remarks and remind everyone to sign up for upcoming meeting roles. Bang the gavel once to adjourn the meeting.

Helpful Links:
District 52's Toastmaster role sheet includes Toastmaster checklist and speaker intro guidelines (PDF)
Platform Control by Joe De Rico, ATM
Preparing an Intro from Parliament Hill Toastmasters
The Importance of Introductions from Addison Singles Toastmasters

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