When you are the Toastmaster of the evening, you are the genial host and it is your privilege and responsibility to conduct the entire meeting’s programme.
TOASTMASTER – THE ROLE
Before the Meeting
- Log onto easySPEAK to check over the agenda, noting any special themes or activities for the meeting
- Check with the Vice President of Education if you have questions about anything that looks unfamiliar on the agenda
- You can connect with members on easySPEAK if information about a prepared speech or educational is not updated i.e. which Pathways project, the title of their speech etc
- Arrive at the meeting early, ideally 20 – 30 minutes prior and keep an eye on role holders/speakers to make sure they’ve all arrived prior to the meeting starting
- Communicate any delays with the club officers and Welcomer
During the Meeting
- Once introduced by the President, start the program with a short and encouraging summary of the evenings agenda
- Preside over the meeting with sincerity, energy and enthusiasm. Take your audience on an exciting journey making them feel all is going well. Always lead the applause when introducing each participant, and after they conclude.
- Remain standing at the Lectern/front of the room and keep the applause going until the person you are introducing arrives to shake your hand. Then temporarily relinquish control to that person, and quickly proceed to take your seat.
- Be attentive, smile, and regularly give affirmative nods while each Speaker is speaking on stage. Encouragement is the key to instilling confidence.
- When the Speaker has concluded, he or she will indicate that by saying, “Mr. or Ms. Toastmaster.” That is your cue to relieve them and return to the Lectern. You will briefly shake the Speaker’s hand, smile and thank them.
- Maintain a positive attitude throughout the meeting.
- Lead the meeting with a quiet sense of confidence.
- Keep an eye on the time. If members are running over, ask the Timekeeper to be stricter with timing prompts i.e. bell and consider adjusting the break length, letting the Topics Master know they might need to adapt to make up time
- Take action for any issues with staging i.e. if members are hiding behind the Lectern, move it out of the way
- If you feel unsure or lost during the meeting, remain calm and confidently ask the President or another committee officer for clarification
- If there are many guests, adjust your style to provide explanations on hand clapping/ Pathways etc to clarify and set the scene
- When making remarks after Speakers, ensure you appear ‘balanced’ i.e. avoid making lengthy remarks about one speaker as this might look ‘favoured’