Staff Resource Fair

A Typical Toastmasters Meeting

Members participate in running every meeting and sign up for different roles (listed below). The Club President calls the meeting to order and ensures that the meeting starts and ends on time. The President will introduce guests, visitors and then the Toastmaster of the meeting. 


  1. Toastmaster (TM): The TM sets the tone for the meeting and strives to create an atmosphere of interest, expectation, fun, and receptivity. The TM may choose to have a theme for the meeting and prepares the agenda and ensures that the participants are prepared for the meeting. The TM should email the members before the Thursday meeting to ensure all functionaries are ready to perform their duties (or have found a replacement). 
  2. Speaker(s): One of the major Toastmasters duties is to give a series of prepared speeches (projects) from the Toastmasters Pathways. Each speech generally lasts from 5-7 minutes (can vary depending on speech requirements) and has a list of specific goals or objectives. The speaker should contact the TM prior to the meeting with the speech name, time, project and manual information. The speaker can also provide the TM with a written introduction. 
  3. General Evaluator (GE): The GE has two roles: (1) Introduce the speech evaluators and call for reports from the meeting functionaries Ah Counter, Grammarian and Timer and (2) evaluate the overall happenings in the meeting.
  4. Speech Evaluator(s): Evaluation requires careful preparation to benefit the speaker. Study the project objectives as well as the evaluation guide in Toastmasters Pathways (the speaker should provide this to you). By actively listening, providing reinforcement for their strengths and gently offering useful advice, you motivate members to work hard and improve. 
  5. Table Topics Master (TT): The TT challenges each member with a subject and/or question, and the speaker responds with a one- to two-minute impromptu talk. The topics may be related to the meeting theme or they can be free form.

If you are new to the club and want to participate but not ready to give a speech, we recommend you sign up for one of the below roles. These are critical to the functioning of the meeting (but do not require as much preparation or speaking). 

  • Word of the Day (WOTD) and Grammarian (GR): The GR introduces a word to members (often related to the meeting theme) and comments on how to use the word during the course of the meeting. Throughout the meeting, the GR writes down mentions of the WOTD (or a derivative or it) and note who used it correctly and incorrectly. Note any awkward use or misuse of the language (incomplete sentences, sentences that change direction in midstream, incorrect grammar or malapropisms) with a note of who erred.
    • For example, point out if someone used a singular verb with a plural subject: "One in five children wear glasses" should be "One in five children wears glasses." Note when a pronoun is misused: "No one in the choir sings better than her" should be "No one in the choir sings better than she." A malapropism example is: "We hear the ocean is infatuated with sharks" (i.e. should be infested).
  • Thought of the Day: This person will provide the club with an inspiring quote or amusing joke to set the tone for the day's meeting (often related to the meeting theme).
  • Ah Counter: The Ah Counter notes any word or sound used 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." You should also note when a speaker repeats a word or phrase such as "I, I" or "this means, this means." These words and sounds can be unpleasant to listeners. The Ah Counter role is an excellent opportunity to practice your listening skills.
  • Timer: The Timer is responsible for keeping track of the time for each timed portion of the meeting: table topics, prepared speeches and evaluations. The Timer records all times on the timer's sheet and reports the times when called upon.    

To learn more about Toastmasters, check out our new member guide.


Toastmasters is a journey of possibilities and achievements to build a better you!