Explanation of Toastmasters’ Duties


Meeting Roles and Responsibilities


Toastmaster of the Evening (TME)


The main duty of the Toastmaster is to act as a genial host and conduct the entire program, including introducing participants. If the Toastmaster does not perform the duties well, an entire meeting can end in failure. For obvious reasons this task is not usually assigned to a member until he or she is quite familiar with the club and its procedures. Program participants should be introduced in a way that excites the audience and motivates them to listen. The Toastmaster creates an atmosphere of interest, expectation, and receptivity. The Toastmaster is responsible for a Thought of the Day and providing entertaining or interesting introductions of the various participants.


*** Remember to SHAKE HANDS with every speak and LEAD the APPLAUSE for the whole night


Prepared Speech Speaker


A major portion of each meeting is centered on speakers. Their speeches are prepared based on manual project objectives and should last from five to seven minutes for projects in the basic Communication and Leadership Program manual and eight or more minutes, depending on the assignment, for projects in the Advanced Communication and Leadership Program manuals. Preparation is essential to success when you are the speaker.


*** Try to prepare the theme, title and content of the speech earlier. Rehearsal is essential before the delivery.




One of the lessons to be practised in speech training is that of expressing a thought within a specific time. The timer is the member responsible for keeping track of time. Each segment of the meeting is timed and the meeting is timed overall. The General Evaluator of the meeting will call on you to report the results of the timing. You should explain your duties and report to the Club clearly and precisely. The time allotted for each agenda item is listed on the agenda.


*** During the introduction, please introduce your role and the timing RULE printed on the agenda. You can show the different color cards to the audiences. During the reporting, please report the time for every single speaker. You may choose to report verbally or write the time on the board.


Ah Counter


The purpose of the Ah counter is to note words and sounds used as a “crutch” or “pause filler” by anyone who speaks during the meeting. Words may be inappropriate interjections such as “and, well, but, so, you know.” Sounds may be “ah, um, er.” You should also note when a speaker repeats a word or phrase such as “I, I” or “This means, this means.” The key is to note any audible pause. Report these results in the manner that seems most appropriate.


*** Please don’t mention how many unnecessary sounds that every one produces. You can ask the audience to come to you and see the report. You may also choose the speaker who produces the less unnecessary sound of the night




Being grammarian is truly an exercise in expanding your listening skills. You have two basic responsibilities: First, to introduce new words to members, and second, to comment on the use of English during the course of the meeting. Bring a “Word of the Day” and if possible, a sign (half sheet paper) with the word on it. You will be allotted 1 minute to introduce the word. During the meeting, note all grammatical errors by all speakers and report those errors during the meeting evaluation. Also listen for things that could be said better, or phased differently. This type of feedback is valuable for improving our speaking skills.


*** During the introduction, please introduce your role to the audience. During the reporting, you can choose to report verbally or write the words / mistakes on the board clearly


Table Topics Master (TTM)


The Toastmasters program has a tradition – every member speaks at a meeting. The Table Topics session is that portion of the meeting which insures this tradition. The purpose of this period is to have members “think on their feet” and speak for 1-2 minutes. The Topics Master prepares and issues the topics; originality is desirable as much as possible. Each speaker may be given an individual subject or a choice of subjects may be presented from which the members can draw at random.


*** Please state the purpose and the timing rule for Table Topics Session before asking any questions. Choose people who don’t have any roles to be the speakers




After every prepared speech, the speaker receives an evaluation. After you have presented a few speeches, you will be asked to serve as an evaluator and will evaluate one of the prepared speakers for the meeting. In addition to your oral evaluation, you will also give the speaker a written evaluation using the guide in the manual. The evaluation you present can make the difference between a worthwhile or a wasted speech for your speaker. The purpose of the evaluation is to help the speaker become less self-conscious and a better speaker. This requires that you be fully aware of the speaker’s skill levels, habits, and mannerisms, as well as his or her progress to date. If the speaker uses a techniques or some gesture that receives a good response from the audience, tell the speaker so he or she will be encouraged to use it again.


General Evaluator


The General evaluator is just what the name implies – an evaluator of anything and everything that takes place throughout the meeting. The responsibilities are large, but so are the rewards. The general evaluator is responsible to the Toastmaster who will introduce you; at the conclusion of the evaluation segment of the meeting, you will return control to him or her. You are responsible for the evaluation team, which consists of the Timer, Grammarian, Ah Counter, and Topics evaluator if your club has one. The usual procedure is to have one evaluator for each major speaker. Methods for conducting the evaluation sessions are limitless. Review the Effective Speech Evaluation manual for more information.




Optional Meeting Participants


Your club may have other meeting participants, such as Jokemaster or Parliamentarian Check with your club officers for guidelines for any additional positions the club may establish.