We like to involve as many people as possible to help run our meetings, by having a variety of roles. Meeting roles are a good opportunity to practice public speaking, and develop your leadership skills.
Which of these roles do you think you would enjoy undertaking?
The use of language is very important when speaking to an audience; the Grammarian takes note of interesting words and phrases used during the evening, including alliterations, similes, filler words and crutches. Each meeting has a Word of the Day, which the Grammarian introduces at the start of the meeting. Speakers are challenged to use the word throughout the evening.
Table Topics Master
The Table Topics Master leads the impromptu speaking part of the evening – short 1 – 2 minute speeches on an unknown topic. The key for this role is to select a series of topics that allow others to speak. We’ve had some very creative themes for our table topics, including a pass it on story, unusual places to live and conspiracy theories.
Each of the prepared speeches has an individual evaluation, where commendations and recommendations are provided. Feedback is welcomed at Riverside as it’s a chance for us all to learn and improve. A good structure for your evaluation is the Tennis Court - introduction, commendation, recommendation, commendation, conclusion or summary.
Our meetings are always kept to time, thanks to our Timer. Essentially this role involves notifying each speaker how long they have left to speak, using a three coloured system: Green (minimum time), Amber (Consider finishing) and Red (Finish). At various points in the meeting, the Timer reports on the speech times. We recommend the Timer role for new members
The Toastmaster leads the proceedings, introduces all the speakers and provides a meeting theme. Toastmasters need to keep a keen eye on the agenda in order to ensure the meeting runs smoothly, and nothing is missed out. This is a challenging role, but one that is satisfying when completed.
Sergeant at Arms
All Toastmasters clubs have a Sergeant at Arms, who manages the physical aspect of the meetings. This includes setting up the venue, opening each meeting and organising the ballot counting. At Riverside, we have promoted our Sergeant at Arms to Colonel as way of thanks for his hard work over the last three years.
The Zoom Master is a new role in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Toastmasters meetings now have an online or hybrid element, our Zoom Master manages the technical aspects, including admitting members from the waiting room, managing screen sharing and monitoring the chat function.