Last Revised: December 27, 2002
To a significant degree, the quality of the meeting depends on your leadership and planning. You have 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.
Note: 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: review the remainder of this job description and the Suggested Meeting Agenda carefully at least one week in advance. 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. For instructions on how to do so, click here.
Early in the week, you determine the meeting theme and confirm all scheduled participants, including the General Evaluator. The exceptions are 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 Monday.
When you contact participants you seek their input concerning the meeting theme. However, you do not need input from the: Assistant Sergeant-of-Arms, Guest Greeter, and Closing Thought. When leaving messages, encourage members to confirm promptly even if they do not have immediate input concerning the theme; they can always give it to you later.
In any messages, 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 manuals and assignments, specific objectives (from their manuals), time limits, and titles of speeches. Summaries of all manuals, including assignment names and objectives, may also be found by clicking here. When you leave messages encourage Speakers to confirm promptly even if they do not have all information. If they do not yet have a time limits, 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.
Early in the week, you review the Suggested Meeting Agenda and use it to begin to plan a specific agenda for your meeting.
At least one day prior to the meeting, you finalize your agenda and print it for distribution at the meeting, making at least 40 copies.
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.