Sergeant at Arms
As Sergeant-at-Arms, you have one of the key roles in the meeting since you establish the all-important first impression of the club. Your function involves a lot of work and you’ll find it easier if you have help.
Before the meeting…
Call VP Education to find out the name of the Chairperson and if any special events are planned. Do you need to arrange for any special equipment such as overhead projectors?
Contact Chairperson for biographical material to introduce Chairperson properly.
(See Introducing the Speaker)
At the meeting…
This involves arriving early to lay out all the materials needed during the meeting: club banner, lectern and gavel, timing lights, stopwatch and timing rules, any educational display material, agendas, ballots and evaluation sheets, award ribbons, name tags and head table name plates. You are also responsible for preparing refreshments.
Greet all members and guests warmly as they arrive at the meeting. Ask each guest to sign the guest book and a guest card or you can assign another member to take care of that if you’re too busy. Introduce guests to other members of the club who can explain meeting events. Let each guest know that at the end of the meeting he/she’ll be asked to comment on the meeting.
Set-up of Equipment:
Help set-up any special equipment members might need such as overhead projector, flip chart, extra table etc.
During the meeting…
Call Meeting to Order:
Make every effort to begin the meeting on time. (Check with the Chairperson to see if (s)he is ready.) Bang the gavel on the lectern and, in a confident friendly manner, announce that the meeting is called to order.
Announcing the room etiquette:
In general, room etiquette means showing respect for the speakers during the meeting. Most importantly, people should neither leave nor enter the room while the meeting is going on. This is clearly requested by the post on the door and the audience are asked to adhere by it.
Introduction of Chairperson:
Welcome the audience and then introduce the Chairperson in a few sentences. (Under 1 minute.)
Good evening, fellow Toastmasters and welcome guests. It’s the first meeting of the new year and I know we’re going to have a fantastic meeting tonight. To preside over this event, we have a person who is extremely well qualified for the role.
She has been a Toastmaster for only nine months but she has already achieved her CTM level. She’s employed in Internal Audit at McGill, is involved in training Work Study students, and is currently the President of our club. So if anyone knows about leadership, it’s her. Please welcome warmly our Chairperson for this evening, Toastmaster……………
Collection of Votes for Best Speakers & Evaluators:
Program the phone (or collect and count the ballots) for Best Table Topics Speaker and Instant Evaluator, and Best Prepared Speech and Best Speech Evaluator. Get phone results (or, if using ballots, count them as quickly as possible, enlisting the help of another member if needed). Write the name of the winner(s) on a slip of paper and give it discreetly to the Chairperson.
After the Meeting…
Clean up Meeting Room:
Enlist the aid of the other members of the club to clean up the meeting room and refreshments room.
You help establish the mood for the meeting. So be as enthusiastic and welcoming as possible, both as you welcome guests, and as you call the meeting to order.
As stated earlier, you’ve got a lot of responsibility in the meeting. Ask other members to assist you.
- Master Your Meetings — Creating the Right Environment
- When you are Sergeant-at-Arms