Toastmaster’s Toolkit

As a Member of Toastmasters we ask that you:

  • Attend club meetings regularly;
  • Prepare your speeches to the best of your ability, basing them on projects in The Competent Communication, Competent Leadership and/or the Advanced Communication manuals;
  • Prepare for and fulfill meeting assignments;
  • Provide fellow members with helpful, constructive evaluations;
  • Help the club maintain the positive, friendly environment necessary for all members to learn and grow;
  • Serve my club as an officer when called upon to do so;
  • Treat my fellow club members and our guests with respect and courtesy;
  • Bring guests to club meetings so they can see the benefits Toastmasters membership offers;
  • Adhere to the guidelines and rules for all Toastmasters educational and recognition programs;
  • Maintain honest and highly ethical standards during the conduct of all Toastmasters activities. 

Opportunities

You have the opportunity to develop a variety of communication and leadership skills. Some are listed below. What are your interests and goals?

1. Improve thinking skills.

2. Improve listening abilities.

3. Build confidence & self-esteem.

4. Develop social skills.

5. Speak clearly and succinctly.

6. Develop presentation skills.

7. Give tactful evaluations.

8. Improve ability to work with people.

9. Develop debating skills.

10. Learn parliamentary procedure.

11. Be an organization leader.

12. Contribute to a newsletter.

13. Participate in speech contests.

14. Receive feedback from peers

  • Every effort is made to ensure that all members have an equal opportunity to perform every job and make speeches.

Please check the monthly schedule to see if you have a responsibility.

  • If you are unable to fulfill your responsibility, YOU are to find a replacement and notify the TOASTMASTER in charge for that specific meeting.
  • If you cannot perform when scheduled, it is your obligation to swap with someone else and notify the Toastmaster and Vice President of Education. If you forfeit your turn to speak, you will not be rescheduled.
  • Plan accordingly!

Club Meeting Agenda Template (CLICK TO DOWNLOAD)

Meetings last for one hour – from 12:30 – 1:30 PM.

12:30 PM      President

  • Call meeting to order and welcome guests
  • Call for invocation and pledge
  • Introduce Toastmaster

12:35 PM      Toastmaster

  • Introduce a theme / explain proceedings / Make Remarks
  • Word-of-the-Day Master presents word of the day
  • Introduce 1st speaker  (5-7 minutes)
  • 1st speech…
  • Introduce 2nd speaker  (5-7 minutes)
  • 2nd speech…
  • Introduce Table Topics Master

12:55 PM      Table Topics Master: 

  • Explain Table Topics Section / Goals
  • Lead impromptu speaking
  • Return control of meeting to Toastmaster

1:10 PM      Toastmaster:

  • Introduce General Evaluator
  • Members cast votes for best table topics responder

1:12 PM       General Evaluator:

  • Explain evaluation process
  • Introduce 1st evaluator
  • 1st evaluation…
  • Introduce 2nd evaluator
  • 2nd evaluation…
  • Call for Word of the Day report
  • Call for Grammarian’s report
  • Call for Timer/Joker Report
  • Return control of meeting to Toastmaster

1:20 PM      Toastmaster:

  • Call for Table Topic Master’s Report
  • Return meeting to President

1:25 PM       President:

  • Call for club business & announcements
  • Adjourn meeting

1:30 PM      Meeting adjourned

 

Miracle Mile Toastmasters Meeting Roles

Many people develop their skills by participating in meetings. The sooner you get involved in the meetings, the sooner you will feel comfortable in the club!

Each Toastmasters Club has its unique way of handling meeting assignments and roles.  Although you will find useful information in the Toastmasters International manuals and online materials for how to handle the various meeting roles, please utilize these guidelines with regard to specific role assignments for Miracle Mile Toastmasters.

Toastmaster

The Toastmaster prepares the meeting agenda, acts as host, and conducts the meeting. You won’t usually be assigned this role until you are thoroughly familiar with club procedures. Toastmasters may often choose a theme for the meeting and speak about it before introducing other speakers.

Five days before the meeting

  • Email the members responsible for Table Topics, Speakers and Master Evaluator to confirm their participation and request their prepared introductions. Ask the speakers their speech title and their delivery time for the agenda.  Verify the correct pronunciation of the names of all the functionaries.
  • Contact the Master Evaluator and make sure you’re both working from the same agenda and ask them to confirm the participation of the two evaluators, timer/joker, grammarian, invocation/pledge and Word of the Day Master.
  • Prepare the agenda and bring at least 25 copies to the meeting.
  • Please see the Sample Meeting Agenda for the Toastmaster’s role during the meeting.

Day of the Meeting 

On meeting day, show up early. You’ll need time to make sure the stage is set for a successful meeting. Put the agenda at each place setting and check with each speaker as they arrive to see if they have made any last-minute changes to their speeches – such as changing the title.

You are responsible for beginning and ending the meeting on time so watch the time during the meeting. You may have to adjust the schedule and ask the Table Topics Master to cut their time. Lead the applause for each speaker, before and after the Table Topics session, and the general evaluator.

  • When introduced by the President, take the podium and begin your remarks.
  • Introduce each speaker. When each presenter has finished, you return to the lectern so the speaker can be seated and you can begin your next introduction.
  • Introduce the Table Topics Master as you would any speaker. Remain standing near the lectern after your introduction until the speaker has assumed control of the lectern.
  • Introduce the Master Evaluator as you would any speaker. The master evaluator will introduce the other members of the evaluation team.
  • At the conclusion of the Master Evaluator’s portion of the meeting, request the Table Topics Master report their results.
  • Return control of the meeting to the club President.

Serving as Toastmaster is an excellent way to practice many valuable skills as you strive to make the meeting one of the club’s best.  Preparation is the key to success!

 

Master Evaluator

The Master Evaluator handles the evaluation portion of the meeting and serves as the evaluator of anything and everything that takes place during the meeting. People join Toastmasters because they want to learn something. If the club learning environment isn’t focused and fun, members won’t learn. Your observations and suggestions help ensure the club is meeting its goals and needs of each member. And, you get the chance to practice and improve your skills in critical thinking, planning, preparation and organization, time management, motivation and team building!

Before the Meeting

  • Five days before meeting contact the functionaries for the meeting to confirm their participation:  Evaluators, Timer/Joker, Grammarian, Invocation and Pledge and Word of the Day
  • Notify the Toastmaster by Tuesday of any to the Meeting Agenda.
  • Prepare a brief explanation detailing the purpose, techniques and benefits of evaluation so guests and new members will understand evaluation.

During the meeting  

  • Make sure all evaluators are present and that they have the appropriate speaker or leader’s manual.
  • Verify each speaker’s time and notify the timer if there are any changes.
  • Create a checklist from which you can follow the meeting. Cover each participant on the program.
  • Take notes on everything that happens (or doesn’t but should)  Look for good and less than desirable examples of preparation, organization, delivery, enthusiasm observations and general performance of duties. Don’t reevaluate the speakers – you can comment briefly. Did the meeting and each segment of it begin and end on time?

 

When introduced:

  • Accept control of the meeting from the Toastmaster.  Brief the audience on what way and how your team will handle evaluations.  Introduce each evaluator.  After each recitation, thank the evaluator for her or her efforts.
  • Following the evaluations, introduce each Functionary and ask for a report::  Word of the Day; Grammarian; Timer/Joker
  • Wrap up by giving your general evaluation of the meeting, using the checklist and notes you took during the meeting.
  • Phrase your evaluation so it is helpful, encouraging and motivates club members to implement the suggestions.
  • You may wish to comment on the quality of evaluations. Were they positive, upbeat, helpful? Did they point the way to improvement?
  • When you’ve completed your evaluation, return control of the meeting to the Toastmaster.


Invocation and Pledge

Delivering the invocation

The invocation is a prayer or inspirational thought that is delivered at the beginning of the meeting, and is combined with the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Because Toastmasters is a worldwide organization that includes people from many different religious groups, a non-sectarian approach is required, and the speaker should be sensitive to the diversity of cultures and religions in the audience.

If you are new to Toastmasters and you are nervous about the thought of speaking in front of people, you can use this role to build confidence while serving a small but important function for the club.

 

Before the Meeting

Prepare a brief invocation, no more than one minute in length. In your invocation, do not refer to a particular religious philosophy; make your reference universal. Treat it as you would any other speech – craft it carefully, memorize it and practice delivering it before the meeting.

 

During the Meeting

When called upon by the Toastmaster, stand up, ask everyone to rise and deliver your invocation to the group.

After the invocation, ask everyone to face the flag and join you in the pledge. Begin the pledge and let everyone join you.

 

Timer/Joker

As timer you are responsible for monitoring time for each meeting segment and each speaker and giving a report and a joke at the end of the meeting. You will also operate the timing signal, indicating to each speaker how long he or she has been talking. Serving as timer is an excellent opportunity to practice giving instructions and time management – something we do every day.

Before the Meeting

Write an explanation of your duties to give when called upon at the meeting. Emphasize the timing rules and how timing signals will be given for each speaker. Refer to the agenda to confirm the speakers times, which can vary based on the speech they are giving. For the benefit of guests and new members, be sure to use the clearest possible language and rehearse your presentation.

Role  Time(Min) Green Yellow Red
Speakers 5-7 5 6 7
Icebreaker 4-6 4 5 6
Evaluators 3 2 2:30 3
Table Topics 1 – 1.5 1 1.15 1:30

 

During the Meeting

  • On meeting day, retrieve the timing equipment and Timekeepers Report from the Sergeant at Arms. Be sure you understand how to operate the stopwatch and signal device, make certain the timing equipment works and sit where the signal device can be seen by all.
  • When called upon by the Toastmaster, stand and explain the timing rules and demonstrate the signal device.
  • Throughout the meeting, listen carefully to each program participant and signal them accordingly.
  • Keep track of the time each Speaker Master Evaluator, Evaluators and Table Topics Speakers on the Timekeepers report.
  • When you’re called to report by the Table Topics Master, Toastmaster or general evaluator, stand by your chair, announce the speaker’s name and the time taken. You will also be called upon to provide a joke or funny story. Please keep the joke to one minute and appropriate for a business environment.
  • After the meeting, return the stopwatch and timing signal device to the sergeant at arms.

Evaluators 

Evaluators give speakers positive feedback, encouragement and suggestions for improvement.

Before the Meeting

  • Contact the speaker and ask their speech topic and title; manual and project title, and personal objectives.
  • Review the project goals and what the speaker or leader hopes to achieve. Evaluation requires careful preparation if the speaker is to benefit. Study the project objectives as well as the evaluation guide in the manual. Remember, the purpose of evaluation is to help people develop their speaking skills in various situations.

 

During the Meeting

  • When you arrive at the meeting, speak briefly with the general evaluator to let him or her know that you are present.
  • Retrieve the manual from the speaker or leader and ask one last time if he or she has any specific goals in mind.
  • Record your impressions in the manual, along with your answers to the evaluation questions. Be as objective as possible.  By actively listening, providing reinforcement for their strengths and gently offering useful advice, you motivate members to work hard and improve. When you show the way to improvement, you’ve opened the door to strengthening their ability.
  • Remember that good evaluations may give new life to discouraged members and poor evaluations may dishearten members who tried their best.   Always provide specific methods for improving and present them in a positive manner.
  • Take the podium when introduced. Though you may have written lengthy responses to manual evaluation questions, don’t read the questions or your responses. Your verbal evaluation time is limited to 3 minutes. Don’t try to cover too much in your talk; two or three points is plenty.
  • Begin and end your evaluation with a note of encouragement or praise. Commend a successful speech and describe specifically how it was successful. Don’t allow the speaker to remain unaware of a valuable asset such as a smile or a sense of humor. Likewise, don’t permit the speaker to remain ignorant of a serious fault: if it is personal, write it but don’t mention it aloud. Give the speaker deserved praise and tactful suggestions in the manner you would like to receive the

 After the meeting 

Return the manual to the speaker. Add another word of encouragement and answer any questions the member may have. By giving feedback, you are personally contributing to your fellow members’ improvement.  Preparing and presenting evaluations is also an opportunity for you to practice your listening, critical thinking, feedback and motivation skills. And when the time comes to receive feedback, you’ll have a better understanding of the process.

People join Toastmasters to improve their speaking and leadership skills, and these skills are improved with the help of evaluations. Members complete projects in the Competent Communication and Competent Leadership manuals and you may be asked to evaluate their work. At some point, everyone is asked to participate by providing an evaluation. You will provide both verbal and written evaluations for speakers using the guide in the manual.

 

Table Topics Master

The TTM organizes a brief impromptu speaking session for the meeting. Table Topics gives members who aren’t assigned a speaking role the opportunity to speak during the meeting and get people to learn to “think and speak on their feet. The TTM challenges each member with a subject, and the speakers responds with a one-to 1-1/2-minute impromptu talk. As TTM you have an opportunity to practice planning, preparation, organization, time management and facilitation skills; your preparation and topic selection help train members to quickly organize and express their thoughts in an impromptu setting.

There are many creative ways to handle Table Topics; look online for ideas. The basic objective of the questions is not to put the speaker in a tough position; it is to provide a reasonable challenge to develop a brief spontaneous speech. Develop questions that allow the respondents to “show their stuff”.

Before the Meeting

  • Prepare up to 8 questions. The 12 members who participate in the program each week are not eligible.
  • Select subjects and questions that allow speakers to offer opinions. Don’t make the questions too long or complicated and make sure they don’t require specialized knowledge. Selects topics that allow the speaker to give an opinion or provide information.
  • Phrase questions so the speakers clearly understand what you want them to talk about. State the question briefly – then call on a respondent. This insures our members practice their listening skills.
  • Your job is to give others a chance to speak, so keep your own comments short.

 

During the Meeting

  • When you first arrive, check with the Toastmaster for any last minute changes on the Agenda and obtain a tally form from the Sergeant of Arms.
  • When called upon, take over the podium and make brief opening remarks. Set the stage for your program – state the theme, if you have one. Give a brief explanation for this part of the meeting and/or restate the time requirements for new members.
  • Keep your remarks brief but enthusiastic. Encourage speakers to use the word of the day. Be certain everyone understands the time limit and how the timing works (if the timer hasn’t already done so). Remind members to use the voting sheets to keep track of the participants and to vote at the conclusion of Table Topics.
  • Keep an eye on the Toastmaster to make sure you don’t go over the allotted time. You may need to adjust the number of questions so you end on time. Even if your portion started late, try to end on time to avoid the total meeting running overtime.
  • Track the name of speaker question and general subject each speaker talked about during their responses.
  • Recap for the audience each speaker and what they talked about and ask for them to complete their Table Topics Voting card and pass to you as soon as they can.
  • Return control of the meeting to the Toastmaster.
  • Tally the votes and report on the winner of the Table Topic Sessions at the end of the meeting.

Grammarian

The purpose of the Grammarian is to track improper grammar and filler words or expressions, words or sounds used as a crutch by anyone who speaks during the meeting. Words may be inappropriate interjections, such as and, well, but, so and you know. Sounds may be ah, um or er. You should also note when a speaker repeats a word or phrase such as “I, I” or “These words and sounds can be annoying to listeners. The Grammarian role is an excellent opportunity to practice your listening skills.

Before the Meeting

Prepare a brief explanation of the duties of the Grammarian for the benefit of guests.

 

During the Meeting

  • Bring a pen and blank piece of paper for notes, or locate a blank copy of the Grammarian’s log from the Sergeant at Arms.
  • When you’re introduced by the Toastmaster, explain the role of the Grammarian.
  • Throughout the meeting, listen to everyone for sounds and long pauses used as fillers and not as a necessary part of sentence structure. Write down how many filler sounds or words each person used during all portions of the meeting.
  • Throughout the meeting, listen to everyone’s word usage. Write down any awkward use or misuse of the language (incomplete sentences, sentences that change direction in midstream, incorrect grammar or malapropisms) with a note of who erred. For example, point out if someone used a singular verb with a plural subject. “One in five children wear glasses” should be “one in five children wears glasses.” Note when a pronoun is misused. “No one in the choir sings better than her” should be “No one in the choir sings better than she.”
  • When you’re called on by the general evaluator during the evaluation segment, stand by your chair and give your report.

Word-Of-the-Day Master 

The Word-Of-the-Day Master presents a “word for the day” at the beginning of the meeting and keeps track and reports on who used the word. One benefit of Toastmasters is that it helps people improve their vocabulary and word use. Being Word of the Day Master also provides an exercise in expanding listening skills.

Before the Meeting

  • Select the word of the day and prepare a sentence showing how the word is used. Email the word, its phonetic spelling, its class (verb, noun) and the sentence to the Toastmaster by Tuesday prior to the meeting to include on the Meeting Agenda.
  • Prepare a brief explanation of the duties of the Word of the Day for the benefit of the guests.

At the Meeting

Before the meeting begins, place your visual aid at the front of the room where everyone can see it. Also get a blank piece of paper and pen ready to make notes, or get a copy of the grammarian’s log, if your club has one, from the sergeant-at-arms. 

When introduced:

  • Announce the word of the day, state its part of speech, define it, use it in a sentence and ask that anyone speaking during any part of the meeting use it.
  • Briefly explain the role of the Word of the Day.
  • Throughout the meeting, listen to everyone’s word usage. Write down who used the word of the day (or a derivative of it) and note those who used it correctly or incorrectly.
  • When called on by the general evaluator during the evaluation segment:
  • Stand by your chair and give your report.
  • Report on creative language usage and announce who used the word of the day (or a derivative of it) correctly or incorrectly.