Toastmaster Role

Taking on this role improves organization, time management and public speaking skills. The Toastmaster is the meeting's director and host. A member typically will not be assigned this role until they are thoroughly familiar with the club and its procedures. Please email the VP of Education, if you have any questions about the role.

Three Roles Overall: Keep It Simple Silly!

  • HOST: In charge of the party

    • All organized

    • Theme

    • Contact club

    • Roles filled

    • Agenda

  • EMCEE: Facilitate the flow of the meetings

    • Make sure guests understand how the meeting runs, how to read the agenda, and how to fill out the feedback forms.

    • Make everyone comfortable and look good

    • Intros and out-tros – leading the applause

      • Make comments after each person/part and then make transitions into the next part of the meeting

  • TIME: Completely in charge of time

    • Start the meeting on-time

    • Keep people moving

    • Table topics length

    • Closing

It is not “ about you” – you are not the focus of the meeting.

Ring leader for the other acts –

Week of Meeting (Mon or Tues)

  • Choose theme for meeting and put it on the schedule

    1. Prepare for a 1 minute meeting introduction and 1 minute theme introduction

  • Email club about the theme, assigned roles, and seek people to fill roles if any open roles.

  • Email the speakers individually to confirm their speaking role.

  • Reference the Toastmaster notes to help guide you through the meeting either by:

    1. Selecting the "Toastmasters" tab on the Master Schedule, scroll past the Agenda and follow the notes from your computer.

    2. Print out the notes and fill in roles, times, etc with a pen.



  • Practice your delivery

    • Be aware of body language and paint a picture for the audience. Also, vocal variety is something to utilize here.

  • Practice your timing

    • Comedic timing is a very hard thing to get down but it can make or break a joke.

    • For example) Peanuts

  • Know your audience

    • True for every time you speak. If you’re going to tell borderline jokes, make sure your audience has a similar sense of humor. But try to be appropriate when at the meeting.

  • Overall time

    • Shouldn’t be more than a minute

  • Smile. Or don’t smile. Make it effective.


  • Same rules apply: treat it as a speaking role and try not to read from your materials

  • Can be a little longer in duration 2-3 minutes but try not to go too long

  • Shoot for something interesting and positive

  • (in your Competent Leader Manual), ask someone to evaluate your role…Get credit towards your CL accreditation!

Remember that this role is “kicking off” the entire meeting. It more or less sets the tone and energy level for the duration so make it up-beat & positive. The joke/inspiration role is the cheerleader of our meeting.


The purpose of the Ah-Counter is to note any overused words or filler sounds used as a crutch by anyone who speaks during the meeting. Words may be inappropriate interjections, such as and, well, but, so and you know. Sounds may be ah, um or er. As Ah-Counter you:

  • Print a copy of the Ah-Counter’s script and log or ask the sergeant at arms to print it out. If a log is not available, be prepared to take notes.

  • When introduced during the club meeting, explain the role of the Ah-Counter. See the Ah-Counter script below for guidance.

  • In the Ah-Counter’s log, record overlong pauses, overused words and filler sounds relied upon too often by all speakers during the meeting. Examples include: and, well, but, so, you know, ah, um.

  • During the evaluation portion of the meeting, report your observations when called upon.

Generic “Ah” Counter Script

The purpose of the “Ah Counter” is to note words and sounds that are used as a ‘crutch’ or ‘pause filler’ by anyone who speaks. During the meeting, I will listen for words and count the inappropriate expressions such as ‘well’, ‘so’, ‘you know’ I will also note when a speaker repeats a word or phrase such as ‘I, I’, ‘This means, this means.’ This is know as a ‘double clutch.’ At the end of the meeting, I will report the number of times that each speaker used these expressions.

Grammarian/Word of the Day

There are three basic responsibilities of the Grammarian:

  1. Introduce a “Word of the Day” and encourage members to use during the meeting. (example of WOD)

    1. Display in letters large enough to be seen from the back of the room. You can use Page 3 to print out your word for display.

    2. Define the word (adjective, adverb, noun, verb) and use in a sentence.

    3. Potentially related to the theme of the meeting

    4. The goal is to select a word that will increase our vocabulary -- a word that can be incorporated easily into everyday conversation (making adjectives and adverbs preferable) but is different from the way we usually express ourselves.

  2. During the meeting:

    1. Make note of the use of English during the course of the meeting - both effective and ineffective

      1. Makes notes of the particularly skillful, creative and eloquent usage of the language

      2. Makes note of other incorrect usages of the language if not part of the speech: incorrect grammar, incorrect sentence construction, incomplete sentences, sentences that change direction in midstream, misplaced phrases and words, improper pronunciation of words

    2. Notes who and how many times used the word throughout the meeting

  3. At the end of the meeting:

    1. Grammarian delivers report on the excellent and ineffective language usages (if possible, offering the correct usage) and the number of times and by whom the word of the day or its derivative was used.

Timer Role

The timer is responsible for monitoring time for each meeting segment and each speaker. As Timer, you:

  • Acquire the timing/signaling equipment from the sergeant at arms and know how to operate it.

  • Explain the timing rules and demonstrate the signal device if called upon to do so.

  • Throughout the meeting, listen carefully to each participant and signal them accordingly.

  • When called to report, announce the speakers' names and the time taken.

  • After the meeting, return the timing/signaling equipment to the sergeant at arms.

Before the meeting:

  • Get with each speaker as well as the TT master and evaluator to confirm the times.

    • Typically: Speeches (5-7); Table Topics (1-2); Evaluators (2-3)

  • Make sure you are prepared to talk about your role emphasizing the rules for timing, lighting, disqualification, etc.

  • Timing rules – timer begins at first word spoken, grace periods – 30 seconds

    • Lighting – Green (hit your requirement); Yellow (1 min left); Red (30 seconds to wrap up)

    • Disqualification – exceeded the 30 seconds allotted. Allowed to start clapping.

  • Prior to the meeting, set-up your timer with lights in an unobstructed view of the podium/speaking area

During the meeting:

  • You will be called on in the beginning to explain roles and the timing that will be allotted for that the specifics speakers, etc today

  • Throughout the meeting, you are responsible for all timing – typically the table topics, speakers and evaluator

  • Either preceding or following the General Evaluator’s report, they will call on you to report all the timing done for the meeting and announce those who disqualified, etc.

Timing Prepared Speeches

The Evaluator should announce the time parameters for the speech. (i.e., “5-7 minutes”)

  • If this doesn’t occur, ASK before the speech begins.

    • All Basic Manual speeches are 5-7 minutes except the Icebreaker is 4-6 minutes and #10 is 8-10 minutes. Advanced manual speeches vary.

GREEN LIGHT Minimum time reached i.e. 5 min

YELLOW LIGHT Midway between minimum and maximum i.e. 6 min

RED LIGHT Maximum time reached. I.e. 7 min

Evaluations and Table Topics

The Toastmaster should announce the time parameters for each of these. This represents the MAXIMUM time and is when the red light should come on. If the time is not announced, ASK!

Voter Role

Since we conduct hybrid meetings, we will use Slack to collect votes. During Table Topics, write down everyone that gave a response. Once Table Topics is complete, then post 3 polls in the Slack #meeting channel. Use the following commands in Slack:

/poll “Best Table Topics” “Name 1" “Name 2” "Name 3" "Name 4" anonymous

/poll “Best Evaluator” “Name 1" “Name 2” anonymous

/poll “Best Speaker” “Name 1" “Name 2” anonymous

  • Explain your role at the beginning of the meeting when called upon to do by the Toastmaster.

  • You do not typically vote for any awards. When there is a tie for the award, you can use your voting rights to decide the winner.

  • Since we are voting on Slack, guests don't have to vote unless you want to collect their votes via Zoom or on paper.

  • Prepared Speakers:

    • If there is only one speaker, that speaker wins by acclamation.

    • Educational speeches are not considered for voting.

  • Table Topics Speakers:

    • Guests are allowed/encouraged to be part of Table Topics and they can win this award.

  • Evaluators:

    • If there is only one speech, then obviously there will be only one evaluator and he/she win by acclamation.

  • Announce the winners at the end of the meeting when called upon to do so by the President and distribute awards.

Zoom Host

Currently, our meetings are in-person and on Zoom, so we need to have a Zoom meeting available. Every meeting, there is a Zoom Master to make sure the Zoom meeting is started, accepts Zoom attendees. and to handle voting.

Before the Meeting:

  1. Confirm you have the login and password for the DTSE Zoom account. If you don’t have login info, please email the officers for the login info.

During the Meeting:

  1. Start the Zoom meeting about 15 mins before the start of meeting

  2. Accept attendees to the Zoom meeting

  3. When the meeting starts, please post these links in the chat:

Zoom info:

Zoom Link


856 371 1800

Speaker Role

Every speaker is a role model, and club members learn from one another's speeches. As a meeting speaker, you:

  • Prepare, rehearse and present a speech during the club meeting.

  • Arrive early to make sure the microphone, lectern and lighting are working and in place.

  • Discuss your goals, strengths and weaknesses with your evaluator prior to giving your speech.

Table Topics Master

Toastmasters International's definition of the role and script.

Table Topics is a long-standing Toastmasters tradition intended to help members develop their ability to organize their thoughts quickly and respond to an impromptu question or topic. The Table Topics Master gives members who aren’t assigned a speaking role the opportunity to speak during the meeting. The Table Topics Master challenges each member with a subject, and the speaker responds with a one- to two-minute impromptu talk.

  • Before the meeting, check with the Toastmaster to find out if a theme meeting is scheduled. If so, prepare topics reflecting that theme.

  • Select subjects and questions that allow speakers to offer opinions. Don’t make the questions too long or complicated and make sure they don’t require specialized knowledge.

    • Some examples of Table Topics:

      • Name a time you did…

      • Present a situation and let them take the story from there.

During the meeting:

  • The Toastmaster will introduce the Table Topic Master, who will give a brief description of Table Topics and then call on respondents at random.

    • Briefly state the purpose of Table Topics and mention any theme.

    • Encourage speakers to use the word of the day in their responses.

    • Be certain everyone understands the minimum (1 min) and maximum (2 min) time they have for their response and how the timing device works (if the timer hasn’t already done so).

  • To save time, please directly call on members to participate instead of asking for volunteers. You should follow this order. If you are short on time or have a lot of people attending a meeting, you can members that are serving as Evaluators, Toastmaster, and Speakers since they have an opportunity to speak for minutes during the meeting.

    1. Members that don't have a role in the meeting

    2. Small roles (jokes, ah counter, timer, grammarian)

    3. Evaluators (speaker and general)

    4. Toastmaster

    5. Speakers - Only use if less than 6 people in a meeting.

  • You may give the question first before selecting participants

  • You may wish to invite guests to participate after they have seen one or two members’ responses. But let guests know they are free to decline if they feel uncomfortable.

  • Watch your total time. You may need to adjust the number of questions so your segment ends on time. Even if your portion started late, try to end on time to avoid the total meeting running overtime.

  • Remind participants they can have around 30 seconds to gather their thoughts.

  • List of questions

  • Examples of questions you can ask

  • More examples

[Go to the lectern; shake hands with the Toastmaster]

Thank you, Mister/Madam Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters, and welcome Guests!

Table Topics enables a member to develop the skills of impromptu speaking. Table Topics help train members to quickly organize and express their thoughts. You can think of the table topic speech as a mini-speech with an opening, a body, and a conclusion. This also provides a speaking opportunity for any member who is not on duty in the meeting agenda. Guests may also participate if they wish.

Each speaker is required to speak for 1 to 2 minutes. Each speaker is encouraged to use the Word of the Day in your speech. Today’s Word is ______________. [Questions……….]

[Select a member with no role, followed by small roles, then larger roles. Invite guests as well}

Evaluator Role

Toastmasters International's definition of the role and script.

Please review the Evaluator module on Pathways to understand what is expected as an Evaulator

Before the meeting

During the meeting

  • Read through the Speaker Questionnaire (SQ). Pay special attention to the objectives and the evaluation questions at the end.

  • Introduce the speaker with information from the Speaker Questionnaire. If SQ isn't complete, please improv an introduction.

  • Make notes while watching the speech.

  • Deliver encouraging and constructive feedback during your 2 to 3 minute evaluation. Your goal is to educate and motivate the speaker. You want to lift and elevate that speaker. Want them to feel they delivered their speech effectively, but there are some areas to work on.

  • Start positive with areas of strengths (up to 3) and give/show examples and how that affected you, add suggestions for improvement (up to 3) and give/show how if possible, and end it with encouraging words or obtainable goals for the next speech to challenge them.

  • An evaluation is an opinion. You are not a judge or an authority on speaking. You are giving an evaluation on a speech to state what worked well and how it made you feel and offer some advice, motivation, and education. Your experience of the speech is what counts and you want to relate that back to the speaker. Even if you might have limited speaking experience, you do have a lifetime of listening experience, so your opinion matters.

  • When writing an evaluation here are areas to think about: how did they open the speech, did they grab my attention, have they established their objectives, did the speech flow, did it stay on topic, what was the main point of the speech and was that consistent throughout the speech, did it hold my interest/was I engaged, did they conclude, how convincing was the speech, what you liked, what could be improved, speech organization (opening, body, closing), vocal variety, eye contact, and emotion.

    1. How did the speech affect you and the emotion it brought on you. Give examples of what worked well and how it affected you.

  • When giving an opinion use phrases such as "I suggest", "I enjoyed it when", "I think" and avoid saying "You should have".

  • Give feedback on speech performance and not on the subject matter.

  • Rather the have definitive statements (such as you need to say or do this…), use "what would work better for me is…" and “I saw you did...”

  • Think about the level the speaker is at and what they can do to develop a little further for the next speech. Recommend to be less critical to members that have only done a couple of speeches.

  • Don't give a summary of the speech.

  • The evaluation is a performance so don't focus on the speaker. Present to the room and tell the room what the speaker did. Make the evaluation for everyone in the room.

  • You can also give feedback using the GLOVE framework:

    1. Gestures

    2. Language (grammar and wording)

    3. Organization

    4. Vocal Variety

    5. Enthusiasm

After the meeting

  • Offer to be contacted about follow-up suggestions and advice from the speaker.

General Evaluator

Toastmasters International's definition of the role and checklist.

The General Evaluator evaluates everything that takes place during the club meeting. In addition, the General Evaluator conducts the evaluation portion of the meeting and is responsible for the evaluation team: the speech evaluators, Ah Counter, grammarian and timer. As General Evaluator, you:

  • Ensure other evaluators know their tasks and responsibilities.

  • Explain the purpose and benefits of evaluations to the group.

  • Identify and confirm meeting assignments with the timer, grammarian and Ah-Counter.

  • Confirm the club meeting program and/or checklist with the Toastmaster.

  • During the meeting, take notes and report on all club proceedings to evaluate things such as timeliness, enthusiasm, preparation, organization, performance of duties, etc.

Role Description: It is their job to ensure that all members of the evaluating team are familiar with their roles and understand their responsibilities.

They are also accountable for providing an informative critique of the entire meeting highlighting the positive examples of preparedness, organization, timeliness and enthusiastic participation while offering advice and bringing awareness to any aspect that did not flow quite right or could be handled better next time.

Before to the meeting:

    • Contact the speech evaluators to remind them of their assignments and responsibilities

    • Remind everyone that evaluations should always be positive performed in a positive light with a genuine desire to improve a speakers skills and in a way that does not threaten a person’s self esteem

    • Prepare a brief verbal explanation of the purpose, techniques and benefits of an evaluator’s role focusing on the positive nature of evaluation that reinforces good habits and offers support and guidance to overcome speaking flaws and pit-falls

Day of:

    • Ensure all evaluators are present and have the appropriate materials

    • Arrange a substitute if an evaluator is missing

    • Check to see if any evaluators have questions and confirm the length of each speaker’s speech with the timer

    • Choose a seat in the back of the room with a good view of the meeting

During the meeting:

    • Stand, deliver a prepared explanation of your role.

    • Generic Script: “The purpose of the General Evaluator is to evaluate everything that takes place throughout the meeting. During the meeting, I will take notes on everything that happens and doesn’t happen. I will evaluate each participant on the meeting program and look for good examples of preparation, organization, delivery, enthusiasm, observation, and performance of duties. At the end of the meeting, I will give my report.”

    • Use your prepared evaluation checklist and take notes on everything that did or did not happen throughout the meeting

    • Focus on good and not so good examples of preparation, organization, delivery, enthusiasm, observation and general performance of duties

Giving the evaluation:

    • Begin by reintroducing each evaluator and thanking them for their efforts