Our club meets three times per month (every 1st, 3rd and 4th Tuesday) during the regular season (September through June) and twice a month (every 1st and 3rd Tuesday) in July and August.
As ours is a thriving club with many members, there are a lot of roles for people to take in order to involve everyone. And, since meeting assignments vary from meeting to meeting, everyone gets practice doing everything over the course of several meetings.
One meeting, you'll be assigned to give a speech; the next, you might be timer; the next, you might be the Toastmaster of the Evening, running the whole show. It gives you the opportunity to improve not only as a speaker but also in a lot of other areas like organizing, leadership and management.
The following descriptions explain the essential parts and roles of a typical Toastmasters meeting.
Parts of a Meeting
- Allows opportunity for impromptu speeches by members
- Contains topics set by the table topics master
- Are assigned from communication manuals to provide goals for developing specific skills
- Are presented by members, and are from either the basic competent communicator manual (usually 5 to 7 mins each) or from an advanced communicator manual (usually 10 mins or more)
- There is no restriction on subject matter
- Other members provide oral and written evaluations of each speech
- Are timely feedback given by way of constructive and helpful praise, comments and suggestions
- Follow a prescribed technique to encourage speakers
Toastmaster of the Evening
- Guides and coordinates the entire meeting and acts as the host
- Introduces participants, including table topics master, speaker and general evaluator
- Selects and explains the Word of the Day
- Prepares questions around a central theme or topic
- Asks members individual questions related to the chosen topic
- Prepares a speech based on project objectives in the Competent Communication and Advanced Communication manuals
- Reviews the meeting in general
- Is assisted by the grammarian, timer, ah-counter and evaluators
- Evaluates one of the prepared speakers of the meeting
- Gives a verbal and written evaluation using the guide in the manual
- Presents a short report at the end of the meeting on members’ use of the Word of the Day, and other grammatically noteworthy usage such as clichés, poor or incorrect word usage and/or pronunciation
- Records the times of all events throughout the meeting and reports it during the evaluation session
- Counts the usage of crutch, or filler, words, such as “ah,” “uh,” and “you know.”
- Counts ballots and announces winners
- Presents a joke at the beginning of a meeting