What are the many hats of a Toastmaster?

The “Learn-by-Doing” approach allows each member to gain a variety of skills. The following is a brief summary of responsibilities for regular meeting duties:

Toastmaster of the Evening
Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Selects the “word” and “Theme of the Evening”. Follows the agenda to keep the meeting on time. Introduces the Table Topics Master, all Speakers and the General Evaluator. Before the meeting begins, the Toastmaster should get 30-60 seconds of background information to help “set-up” or establish the credibility of the person being introduced. Announces the evening’s Best Table Topics, Best Speaker and Best Evaluator awards.

Table Topics Master
Conducts the impromptu speaking portion of the meeting. The Table Topics Master gives members and guests (if they wish to participate) a short question or subject to which they must formulate an answer. This exercise helps to enhance our ability to “think on our feet” and to present information in an organized, logical manner.

“AH” Counter
Counts the filler words (ah, um, you know, so, but, well, etc.) a speaker uses when pausing to collect their thoughts. Keeps a tally for each participant, and gives a report at the end of the meeting.

Grammarian
Keeps track of participants use of the English language, both exemplary and not so exemplary. Listens for sentence structure, slang, vocabulary, etc. Gives a report, and when necessary, some suggestions for improvement. Also reports if every member has used the word of the evening at some point during the meeting.

Timer
Keeps track of each participants time requirements and controls the timing lights. Keeps track of the time for each speaker, table topics respondent, and evaluator. Reports to the club, when asked by the Toastmaster, if the speakers were within their allotted time requirements.

Speaker
Gives a prepared speech from an assigned manual. Speeches vary in length from four to twenty minutes depending on the speaker’s level of experience. Speeches focus on various themes, with the purpose of each speech allowing the speaker to practice and build certain skills sets.

Evaluator
Gives a vocal and written (in the Speaker’s Manual) evaluation of their assigned speaker. Talks about the preparation, delivery, organization and presentation of the speech and not necessarily the content. The evaluation is simply that person’s opinion and should be positive, constructive and offer points to improve upon. Every evaluation should include one or two specific items, which the Evaluator feels would enhance the speaker’s next presentation.

General Evaluator
Introduces the individual evaluators. Asks for the “AH” Counter and Grammarian reports. Asks who the “Secret Hand Shaker” is. The General Evaluator gives a three to five minute of the entire meeting, including a short evaluation of each evaluator.

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