The main duty of the Toastmaster is to act as a genial host and conduct the entire program, including introducing participants. If the Toastmaster does not perform the duties well, an entire meeting can end in failure. For obvious reasons this task is not usually assigned to a member until he/she is familiar with the club and its procedures. Program participants should be introduced in a way that excites the audience and motivates each member to listen. The Toastmaster creates an atmosphere of interest, expectation and receptivity.
Prior to the meeting:
- Check with the Vice-President of Education to find out if a special theme has been set for the meeting and if there are any program changes. If there are no special theme, you get to pick the theme of the day.
- Call the Table Topics Master to discuss his/her duties. Let him/her know what the theme of the day will be so that the Table Topics can be relevant to the theme you chose. Also provide the Table Topics Master with a list of program participants to ensure these people will not be called on for responses.
- Call all Speakers in advance to remind them that they are speaking. Interview them to find out their speech title, manual project number, purpose to be achieved, time requested, and something interesting which you can use when introducing them (job, family, hobbies, education, why this topis for this audience, etc.).
- Call the Master Evaluator to confirm the assignment. Ask the Master Evaluator to call the other members of the evaluation team (speech evaluators, table topics master, timer, grammarian, ah-counter, etc.) and remind them of their responsibilities.
- Prepare introductions for each Speaker. A proper introduction is important to the success of the Speaker’s presentation.
- Prepare remarks which can be used to bridge the gaps between program segments. You may never use them, but you should be prepared to avoid possibly awkward periods of silence.
- Remember that performing as Toastmaster is one of the most valuable experiences in your club work. The assignment requires careful preparation in order to have a smoothly run meeting.
- At Osceola Toastmaster this process is simplified by sending out a blast email to all club members detailing Theme Of the Day and role assignments. Send this email out NO LATER THAN MONDAY. That will give all meeting participants plenty of time to get back in touch with you. That will also give you plenty of time to plan the meeting and deal with fall outs/cancellations. If people aren’t getting back in touch with you via email, you will have to follow up with phone calls.
At the meeting:
- Arrive early in order to finish any last-minute details.
- Check with the Speakers for any last-minute changes.
- Sit near the front of the room and have your Speakers do likewise for quick and easy access to the lectern.
During the meeting:
- Preside with sincerity, energy, and decisiveness. Take your audience on a pleasant journey and make them feel that all is going well.
- Always lead the applause before and after each prepared Speaker, each Table Topics session, and the Master Evaluator.
- Introduce each Speaker in turn.
- Remain standing near the lectern after your introduction until the Speaker has acknowledged you and assumed control of the meeting; then be seated.
- After each Speaker concludes his/her speech, regain the lectern. Ask Timer to time 1 minute of silence to allow audience time to write down a brief evaluation for the Speaker.
- At the conclusion of the speaking program, request the Timer’s report and ask audience to vote for Best Speaker.
- Introduce the Table Topics Master as you would any Speaker. If the Table Topics Master forgets to call for the Timer’s report and vote for the Best Table Topics Speaker, you do it.
- Briefly reintroduce the Master Evaluator. If the Master Evaluator forgets to call for the Timer’s report and vote for Best Evaluator, you do it.
- After Introducing Master Evaluator, your job is done! Relax and enjoy the rest of the meeting!
Feel free to get creative with your own agenda’s format! However, if you are more comfortable with a pre-determine format, click below to download one of our standard formats.