Meeting Roles: The Toastmaster

An engaging Toastmaster welcome

The main duty of the Toastmaster is to act as the host and make introductions

  • The Toastmaster creates an atmosphere of interest, expectation, and receptivity.
  • Participants should be introduced in a way that encourages the audience to listen to them.
  • Usually this task will not be assigned to you until you are familiar with the Club and its procedures.

Before the meeting

  • Check with the Vice President Education to find out if a special theme has been set for the meeting and if there are any programme changes.
  • Create the agenda. Bear in mind there may be last minute changes.
  • Contact all Speakers in advance to remind them that they are speaking. Ask for their speech title, manual project number, purpose to be achieved, time requested and something interesting which you can use when introducing them (job, family, hobbies, education, why this topic for this audience etc.).
  • Prepare introductions for each Speaker. A proper introduction can add to the success of the Speaker’s presentation.
  • Prepare remarks which can be used to bridge the gaps between programme segments. You may never use them, but you should be prepared to avoid possibly awkward periods of silence.
  • Remember that performing as Toastmaster is one of the most valuable experiences in your Club work. The assignment requires careful preparation in order to have a smoothly-run meeting.

At the meeting

  • Arrive early in order to finish any last-minute details.
  • Check with the speakers for any last-minute changes.
  • Sit near the front of the room for quick and easy access to the lectern.

During the meeting

  • Preside with sincerity, energy and decisiveness. Take your audience on a pleasant journey and make them feel that all is going well.
  • Be familiar the Agenda carefully so that you do not miss any
  • Always lead the applause before and after each presenter.
  • After your introduction of another presenter, remain standing near the lectern until you have shaken hands – signifying your hand over of control of the meeting – then be seated.
  • When another presenter has finished, shake hands again to signify that control of the meeting is returning to you.

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