Toastmaster

As Toastmaster of the Meeting, you are the Master of Ceremonies of
the Education Session who introduces the Speakers so that the
audience will listen with attention and anticipation.

Responsibilities

Before the meeting…

  1. Call the Vice President. Education to obtain the names of the
    Table Topics Master, the
    prepared speakers and the
    General Evaluator. Ask if the speeches
    have any special timing requirements that you should know about.
    Find out if there are any education capsules or other special
    presentations planned for the meeting.
  2. Contact members whom you are introducing for biographical
    material (see Introducing A Speaker).
  3. While the meeting is being set up, confirm with the
    Chairperson that all meeting participants are present. Help to
    fill any vacant function.

During the meeting…

  1. Provide a 1 to 2 minute explanation of the Education Session
    which consists of: Table Topics, Prepared Speeches and Evaluations. Get into the Education Session as soon as possible. Note: Let the
    Table Topics Master elaborate on the purpose of Table Topics.

    Hold off the description of prepared speeches and manuals until
    after the intermission.

    Your presentation will be more meaningful to the audience if
    your comments are original.

  2. Introduce the Table Topics Master
    and welcome her to the lectern. Lead the applause. Return to
    your seat but do not sit until acknowledged by the Toastmaster.
    (see Lectern Etiquette)
  3. Watch the time. Be prepared to pass a note to the Table Topics
    Master letting him/her know if she should cut his/her segment
    short, or, if time allows, to ask extra questions.
  4. When Table Topics are concluded, return to the lectern. Thank
    the Table Topics Master for an interesting session. Announce the
    Intermission and the precise time at which the meeting will resume.
  5. At the end of the Intermission, call the meeting back to
    order. Announce the next part of the Education Session – Prepared
    Speeches. Avoid excessive description of the manuals– an overview
    of the basic and advanced manuals is sufficient. Again, try to be
    original. (2 minutes)
  6. Introduce each speaker in turn.
    1. Ask the evaluator to read the objectives of the speech
      project.
    2. Invite the timer to give the timing requirements.
    3. Introduce the speaker in a few sentences. Mention why
      the speaker is delivering this speech at this time.
    4. Conclude your introduction by clearly announcing the
      title of the speech and enthusiastically welcome the Speaker
      to the lectern. Remain standing at lectern until Speaker
      approaches and shakes your hand and then return to your seat.
    5. Once Speaker concludes his/her presentation, return to
      the lectern and shake his/her hand.
    6. Lead the applause, then invite the audience to provide
      feedback on the Constructive Feedback forms provided.
      Allow one and a half minutes for these written comments.

  7. At the end of the prepared speech segment, ask members of the
    audience to vote for Best Prepared Speech. Thank all the speakers
    for their participation.
  8. Introduce the General Evaluator and welcome him/her to the
    lectern while you lead the applause. Once you’ve been
    acknowledged, you may return to your seat.

Guidelines

Don’t be too wordy in your explanations of the different segments.
Refer members of the audience to the educational material on the
display table or let them know that you are available for questions
during the break. Your primary role is to act as the Master of
Ceremonies, smoothly linking together different parts of the Education
Session.

If you feel it is very important to impart certain information on the
manuals or other educational possibilities, have the Vice President of
Education schedule you or another member to present this information
as an education capsule. Guests don’t need to know everything about
Toastmasters right away. As well, members will be turned off if the
Toastmaster repeats the same information meeting after meeting.

When you introduce a Speaker, don’t be too flowery. If you make too
many compliments, you may embarrass him/her. In fact, it almost sets
the speaker up for failure since anything he says will be compared
with the high level of expectation you have established.

Remember the lectern should not be left vacant. Try to sit near the
front of the room and approach the lectern unobtrusively as soon as
the Speaker seems to be finishing.

Do not sit behind or right next to a Speaker who is delivering a
presentation. Let the Speaker have the audience’s full attention.

References

  1. Communications and Leadership manual: How to Lead as Toastmaster of a Meeting.
  2. Communications and Leadership manual: How to Introduce a Speaker
  3. A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats
  4. Master Your Meetings