Dear Toastmaster,

the following guidelines will help you prepare for your role:

You are the host and will lead the whole meeting.

The purpose of this role is to lead the whole meeting and thus practise leadership, organizational and team management skills.

The purpose of the meeting is to foster personal growth of the members by developing leadership and public speaking skills.

The purpose of the Hot Topics session is to provide the members with the opportunity to express their opinions on some preferably hot issues so that they can practise speaking in public and their performance can be observed by the evaluation team, and, for the Master, to practise leadership skills – moderating discussions and managing an event.

The purpose of the Warm Up session (if it takes place) is to provide everybody in the audience with the opportunity to speak for a short time so that they become familiar with speaking in public and their performance can be observed by the evaluation team.

You are the most important person to keep an eye on the smooth organization of the meeting, so:

PRIOR TO THE MEETING

You should

  • arrange the functionaries,
  • prepare and print out an agenda,
  • choose the theme of the meeting and prepare an introduction for the Hot Topics / (Warm Up session), remember that topics concerning directly politics or religion can be controversial,
  • inform other functionaries asap about the theme to let them prepare for their functions,
  • contact the Speaker to learn about the title of the speech, the name of the project and program and the time limits,
  • ask the Speaker what they would like you to include in an introduction to their speech, it must contain the number of the project and its objectives, and who their audience is (what kind of audience the Speaker wants to address),
  • make sure all the functionaries are coming to the meeting or arrange substitute Toastmasters,
  • prepare a brief explanation of your duties for the benefit of guests.

UPON ARRIVAL AT THE MEETING

You should

  • confirm with the Speaker the number of the project and the time limits,
  • make sure all the functionaries are present, if not – arrange a substitute Toastmaster on the spot,
  • ask the Grammarian / WoD Master if they have prepared a ‘Word of the Day’,
  • ask the Joke Master if they have prepared the humorous content,
  • choose a seat from which you can easily control everything.

If there are guests,

  • greet them and ask if and how they wish to be introduced to the audience during the meeting (unless the president does so),
  • ask if they wish to participate in the meeting and inform them what sessions they can participate in.

DURING THE MEETING

You should

  • at the beginning of your speech, acknowledge the audience (Toastmasters and guests),
  • remind everybody that it is the standard of the club to keep the mobile phones switched off or on silent mode,
  • introduce all the functionaries before the first session (let them explain their roles briefly every time for practice),
  • if there is a Grammarian, ask them to present the ‘Word of the Day’,
  • if there is an Ah Counter, ask them to demonstrate the device they will use to indicate irrelevant sounds,
  • if there is a Joke Master, ask them to kick off with a joke,
  • at the HT session be decisive and a good moderator, try to make it possible to speak for everybody who would like to take part in the discussion, tame dominating speakers,
  • be decisive and a good leader, if you think other functionaries are doing something wrong, drop them a hint discreetly,
  • always show you know what you are doing,
  • conduct the meeting according to the agenda, however, if there are any unexpected changes, take prompt decisions and make the audience feel that all is going well,
  • introduce the Masters briefly (optional),
  • remind the audience about the timing rules before each session or ask the Master of the session or the Timer to do so,
  • encourage applause when you welcome a speaker and after everyone’s speech when you are in control of the meeting,
  • stay at the lectern until another speaker you have invited takes control of the meeting,
  • introduce the Speakers properly (include project number and objectives), and who their audience is (what kind of audience the Speaker wants to address),
  • instruct the audience to complete the individual speech evaluation cards during the break (optional),
  • collect the names of the winners of the sessions from the Masters if this is the usual procedure,
  • collect the names of the members who are to be fined 🙂 (if the club does so), and announce them before the awards session; if the club levies fines, explain the fine schedule,
  • announce the winners and award trophies during the awards session / or ask the Masters of the sessions or Evaluators to do so.

If there are guests,

  • let everyone introduce themselves,
  • explain clearly and briefly your role (the purpose of the session and the activities) and the purpose of the meeting,
  • explain clearly and briefly the roles of other functionaries / or ask the functionaries to explain their roles to the audience,
  • ask the Timer to demonstrate the signal device,
  • explain briefly the purpose of each session before it starts or ask the Master to do so, so that the guests know how they can benefit from the meetings,
  • explain why it is advisable to stand up or go to the front while giving a speech,
  • explain the purpose and meaning of the applause (clapping),
  • inform the guests before each session if they can take part in it,
  • inform the guests if they can vote,
  • explain all activities in which guests can participate (voting for TT speakers),
    if the Officers forget, make sure the guests are informed about procedures of electing prospective members to membership.

You should not

  • evaluate anything or anyone in the meeting.

IDEAS

The TM asks the audience questions after the meeting about what had happened or what the speakers had said during the meeting. And distribute prizes to those who know the answers. This can be mobilizing for the members to pay closer attention to what is going on at the meeting.
‘Round Robin Technique’ – have all members evaluate the Speaker one by one.