Instructions for the Toastmaster

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Basically, your role is to lead the meeting, provide a safe atmosphere for learning, maintain energy, and give the speakers credibility by introducing them with interest and enthusiasm.

Your part in planning the meeting

You are in charge of getting speakers for the meeting (which is normally not a problem in our club).

As soon as you accept the role of Toastmaster, the VPE will assign you as Meeting Manager of that meeting, so that you can make any necessary changes to the agenda.

Encourage the speakers to enter their speech titles in EasySpeak well before the meeting. (Titles are needed when applying for TM awards, so those are good to have in EasySpeak.)

Be prepared to introduce each speaker. Ask each person in advance how he or she would like to be introduced. (This is especially important if we have a guest speaker.) If a member is completing his or her final speech in a manual, be sure to mention that.

Before the meeting

Print a “Role Sign Up Sheet” from EasySpeak. To do this, select My Participation > Sign Up for Meetings. Then click Sign Up Sheet (top left) and print the resulting screen.

Print copies of the agenda and bring enough for everybody (including unexpected guests). To do this, click the Agenda button, which opens a print-friendly version of the agenda in your browser. Then use your browser’s print function to print it.

If you don’t have access to a printer, ask the VPE or another board member who is attending to bring them.

Optional: Print a detailed copy of the agenda for yourself and the General Evaluator. (Click Detail in EasySpeak to get that version.) This has all the times printed in the left column.

Arrive early at the meeting in order to:

  • Meet with the General Evaluator to go over the agenda and deal with last-minute changes.
  • Talk with speakers whose speeches do not yet have titles, and get those titles.
  • Touch base with the President (or representative) to make sure he or she is going to welcome the guests and get their feedback afterwards.

While performing your role

After you take over from the President, go through the agenda very briefly, pointing out last-minute changes or unusual items.

Before each prepared speech, ask the assigned evaluator to briefly explain the project. Then introduce the speaker.

Lead the applause.

Shake the hand of each speaker, both when they approach and when they leave the “stage” (unless they forget – no need to call someone back to the stage for that).

The last thing you do before you hand back to the President is to encourage members to sign up for roles at future meetings. It can be useful to write on the white board before the meeting which roles you will be looking for.

After the meeting

Write the details on the Role Sign Up Sheet and give it to the VPE (or email the details to her within a day after the meeting). This is important because planning the next meeting begins immediately after the previous one.


If you can, include a personal story or anecdote when you first take over from the President – something that ties in with the meeting.

You’ll need to follow the agenda. If you check it while on “stage”, look up from the agenda before speaking. Avoid talking to the page in your hand.

During the meeting, step in and gently make corrections if someone forgets something while performing their role.

When you return to the stage after table topics or a prepared speech role, it is nice if you can insert a comment that will ease the transition.

After the meeting, ask another member to fill in your Leadership manual, if you want credit for the role.

Are you wondering whether you are ready to perform this role?

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