Meeting role descriptions

Toastmaster Of the Evening

One of the toughest roles, but it's similar to the Icebreaker. You might be afraid of it at first, but once you've done it, it'll be much easier in the future.

You are essentially the leader and coordinator of the evening, which can be a big challenge to overcome, but if you stick with it you can do it.

At home:

  • You can always ask other members!
  • Check the agenda; are the roles filled out? (some clubs ask members who attend the meeting to take a role in advance, this is possible but not usual in our club)
  • Print out at least 20 pieces of the agenda (the treasurer can re-finance your costs if you wish to)
  • Think out "questions of the evening" which everyone can answer with one-two sentences during the introduction round. (Examples from the past: What would you do if you weren´t here right now? What is your favourite drink? Etc.)
  • You may check yourself as the administrator of the evening in easyspeak (we can explain how to do it) and make changes to the agenda

Before the meeting:

  • Arrive a bit earlier if possible and assure that the room is already prepared by the Sergeant of the Arms. If he is not attending, you have the responsibility to make sure that the room is arranged prior to the meeting... Let the arriving members help you!
  • Empty spots on the agenda? Ask members to take roles. In case of need members may have more than one role or ask guests if they would like to take one to run the meeting smoothly.
  • Ask the grammarian about the "word of the evening".
  • Delegate at least one or two members to be responsible for inviting guests.

We start at 7:10 pm 😊

  • Small introduction and explanation what TM is about (international organisation)
  • Introduce the word of the evening
  • We start with an introduction round. Name, "how long have you been a Toastmaster", the question of the evening and they may use the word of the evening. Explain why we are clapping so much as some of the newer guests may wonder.
  • Introducing the speaker. Ask the Evaluator to read the objectives and then ask the speaker to enter the stage. A big applause shall follow the introduction of the speaker. We call the speaker by his or her name and name the speech title as: Name - Speechtitle - Speechtitle - Name (you can see an example in the videos of the Toastmasters World Championships of Public Speaking)
  • Introduce the Table Topics Master.
  • Monitor the time and decide how long the table topics session should last. Adapt the meeting to meet the time frame set up within the agenda.
  • After the Break: invite the General Evaluator to lead the second part of the evening
  • After the General Evaluator: Make a Toast.

You made it!

Table Topics Master

You have chosen the role of Table Topics Master which means you are asking questions for impromptu speeches.

You may introduce the role with these key factors:
- Members have to answer; guests may refuse

- Ask members first so that guests have time to see how Table Topics work.
- Explain the timing: minimum is one minute (green light), optimum is 1:30 (yellow), and after two minutes they will see the red light (2:30 is the absolute maximum then)
- Often, the questions are philosophical or require some special knowledge. Explain that they can use fantasy or abstract imagination, and the answer doesn´t need to be the truth or their opinion.

How do I fulfill these roles?
- Prepare about 6 questions. The time for Table Topics is the time left until the break; it depends on how long the speeches and introduction round were.
- The questions may be from different topics or from one topic, as you like. You may also use different approaches. You may implement a fun factor, challenge, or experiment so the speakers and the audience enjoy the questions and answers. (giving 3 words that need to be used in the speech; a story the next speaker has to continue; activities that seem impossible and force the speaker's phantasy, e.g., how to put an elephant in the refrigerator, etc.)
- There is a discussion about how to find a good balance between guests and members. It is up to the Table Topic Masters. The guests may be motivated for future meetings, but the members paid to practice and be on stage.
- First, give the question so everybody thinks quickly about the answer, and only then pick up the speaker.
- As the first speaker, ask a member so the quests have an example of this role.
- We try to pick up members without a big role (Toastmasters of the Evening, Speakers) as they already have a long stage time.
- For online speakers, stay on the stage. The room should never stay empty.
- You may need to repeat the question for the speakers.

Both for Prepared and Impromptu Speeches

One of the most important roles as a good evaluation helps us to improve. Yet, how do you do it effectively?

Form your speech into an opening, a body and a summary.

Tell your evaluation in a motivating way while avoiding personal attacks (our immediate reaction to an attack is a defensive regardless what is said later). Be respectful. Speak to the speaker, adapt to his personality and speech.

Find the strong points and bring them to the light.
Forming the words in a motivating way brings more benefits. You can replace the word 'mistake' easily by changing it to say 'where you could improve..."
Use the "I view" (I think, I feel,..) instead of telling "you" in an negative sentence (I feel it was too short instead of -You were too short).
Try to be motivating, find also some positive aspects and be not critising (only). For some speakers, to stand in the front of the audience can be a big success or step. Then, you can mention that!
The recommendation is to focus on one-two main points to improve as if we count more of them, it is difficult to remember it. Propose a solution for a problem. If you don ́t have a solution, don ́t speak about the problem.
You may use notices during your speech.
You are evaluating the presentation, not the person. ("You were inspiring," is about the person. "I observed how passionately and energetically you inspired the audience with your personal story," is about the behavior. )

Try to bring a self esteem to the person.

Some construction you could use:
"my reaction was" ("I" instead "you were")
"it made an impression on me that"
"I feel, that .."
"I suppose ..." (Recommendation instead "you must, you should")

Try to avoid:
Your mistake was..
You must... Your beginn was bad...

Prepare notes when evaluating the speech. Note down the positives and suggestions that you want to talk about and talk about 3 or 4 most relevant and important points. This helps to maintain the evaluation within the time limit.

Also, refer to the "Effective Evaluation" from the Toastmasters International website for useful tips and techniques.

General Evaluator

To get feedback is an important part of the meeting. You are now the leader of the second part and call every evaluator and all other roles on to the stage. Describe every role briefly.

Afterwards, your role is to give feedback on everything else regarding the meeting.

How was the room set up? The first impression?  Were guests taken care of throughout the evening and greeted properly? The start? (Your function begins prior to the start of the meeting) How did the Toastmaster of the Evening and the Table Topics Master perform their tasks? The Evaluators and all other roles? What is your general impression?

Your time limit is 3-5 minutes and after that, you will hand over to the Toastmasters of the Evening who will finish the evening.

Ah Counter

Many of us use them, even though we don´t like them. One of the ways how to avoid the usage of filler words is to know how many we used. Your task is to count the filler words ("ah, eh, so, like" or other (repetitive) words/sounds you notice ) throughout the entire evening. At the end you will present the results within 1-2 min. You can also address tips on how to reduce using these filler words.

You also want to distinguish between a prepared speech or an impromptu speech (f.e. during a prepared speech 0 filler words, but during an impromptu speech 10 filler words).

At the end, you will present the results within 1-2 min.

A useful article concerning this is: 10 Ways to Eliminate Filler Words


Listen carefully! Towards the end of the meeting the entertainer of the night will ask all kinds of questions with regards to anything that may have been said during the meeting.

Find out information which could of made it funny to answer them.

How do you do it? There are several ways. You may simply ask questions; you may combine some information; you can ask the audience to count something (how many ...?); you may provide the answer and ask for the question;.. 


To be able to stick to a given timeframe and deliver your speech is vital. If you exceed your speech time you may lose your audience. It is your job to keep an eye on our time schedule and time every speaker. Indicate the speech times by operating our speech lights!

What do the colors stand for:

Green - the minimum expected, under the optimum,

Orange - you are approaching the optimum

Red signalises the time limit was reached. During a contest, the contestants are disqualified if they stop speaking before the green light and 30s after the red light is reached.

Therefore it is essential to practice speaking within a certain time frame and help the speaker by indicating through the lights how much time is left.

Also, pay attention during the table topics session and notify the table topic master when the last question should be asked before the break starts. Remind the Toastmaster of the evening when the end of the break is close and help him to inform the attendees.

Write down all times and give a review on how we performed.

There are more ways on how to do it. You may explain why it is important to be on time, to read out loud the speaker's times, to comment (all speakers were within the time limit, the majority of the evaluators exceeded their time frame, table topics of guests were under 1 minute - tell it in a motivating way; ...)