Toastmaster

Last Revised: August 21st, 2019

To a significant degree, the quality of the meeting depends on your leadership and planning. You have the responsibility for organizing the meeting well in advance and acting as master of ceremonies. You do not have to run a perfect meeting; Toastmasters is an arena where you can safely make mistakes. However, make a good faith effort to run a well-planned meeting, which is educational, fun, and ends on time. You will get out of the experience what you put into it. If you need help, contact your mentor. If you don’t have one, contact the vice-president education, who will help you.

Familiarity with the duties of Toastmaster and sound planning are vital to your success. If you have not served as Toastmaster recently, do yourself a favor and review the remainder of this job description and the Suggested Meeting Agenda carefully at least one week in advance. Easy Speak will makes planning your meeting within time very simple. Always ask for help if you need it. 

Early in the week, the President will confirm your participation by e-mail or phone. Be sure to return his/her message in a timely manner. If he/she does not contact you by Monday, be sure to contact the President yourself. When you communicate with him/her be certain to learn if any special items will be on the agenda, e.g., installation of new members. If such events are scheduled, you must plan the meeting with them in mind. If, by chance, you cannot be Toastmaster you must find a substitute. You may send an email through Easy Speak or ask your mentor for help.

Early in the week, you determine the meeting theme and watch for members to confirm their attendance in Easy Speak. Contact all unconfirmed participants by Tuesday with the exception of the individual Evaluators. Responsibility for contacting them rests with the General Evaluator.

Consider both e-mailing and phoning participants. If a member doesn’t get one message, they are likely to get the other. You will want to avoid depending on e-mail only; some members fail to check it regularly. Consider phoning beginning Sunday evening; this gives you an early start, and many members are home at this time. If this is not possible, please make a good faith effort to reach participants no later than Tuesday.

If any participant tells you they can not fulfill their role, you will want to ask members to tell you who their substitute will be if they cannot do their job. Finding a substitute is their responsibility. It is not yours; you will be busy enough. If any member fails to find a substitute or return messages in a timely manner, please notify the vice president education.

When you contact speakers you will need the names of their Pathways project, specific objectives (from Pathways), time limits, and titles of speeches. When you leave messages, encourage Speakers to confirm promptly even if they do not have all the information. If they do not yet have their speech time, ask them for estimates. They can always give you additional information and revised time limits later. Unless a speaker has made special arrangements with you or the vice president education well in advance, his/her time limit must not exceed nine minutes. If a speaker wants to speak longer than nine minutes and you cannot comfortably accommodate him/her, it is your responsibility to ask him/her to shorten the speech. Avoid deleting the Educational Happening to accommodate such a speaker. In the event you only have 3 speakers that week, it is much easier to accommodate a speech longer than 9 minutes.

Early in the week, you review the Suggested Meeting Agenda and use it to begin to plan a specific agenda for your meeting. Easy Speak will do most of the meeting timing for you however you will need to adjust the times so you ensure that you’re not scheduled to run the meeting past 8:30a. You can adjust the time planned for each role within Easy Speak.

At least one day prior to the meeting, you finalize your agenda within Easy Speak and print it for distribution at the meeting, making at least 40 copies. Easy Speak will prepare a meeting agenda for you and allow you to tailor the timing of the meeting by individually editing the time allotted for each role. You can easily print a detailed agenda for your reference during the meeting and a less detailed agenda which will be distributed to each member. Print 1 detailed agenda and 40 standard agendas prior to the meeting.

On the day of the meeting, you arrive early, and touch base with the President, Speakers, and, if necessary, other participants. You distribute the printed agenda. The President will introduce you.

To begin your segment, you introduce the theme of the meeting (two minutes maximum). Avoid making a speech about the theme, or you will eat into time reserved for Table Topics. Please remember that you are a master of ceremonies, not a Speaker.

At the conclusion of your role, you return control to the President.