As Toastmaster of the Meeting, you are the Master of Ceremonies of
the Education Session who introduces the Speakers so that the
audience will listen with attention and anticipation.
Before the meeting…
- Contact the Table Topics Master, The 3 Prepared Speakers, and the General Evaluator for information you can use to introduce them. Ask if the speeches
have any special timing requirements. Find out if there are any education capsules or other special presentations planned for the meeting.
- While the meeting is being set up, confirm with the Chairperson that all meeting participants are present. Help to fill any vacant function.
During the meeting…
- Provide a 1-2 minute explanation of the Education Session which consists of:
1) Table Topics,
2) Prepared Speeches and
Get into the Education Session as soon as possible. Note: Let theTable Topics Master elaborate on the purpose of Table Topics. Hold off the description of prepared speeches and manuals until after the intermission.Your presentation will be more meaningful to the audience if
your comments are original.
- Introduce the Table Topics Master and welcome him/her to the lectern. Lead the applause. Return to your seat but do not sit until acknowledged by the Toastmaster.
- Watch the time. Be prepared to pass a note to the Table Topics Master letting him/her know if she should cut his/her segment short, or, if time allows, to ask extra questions.
- When Table Topics are concluded, return to the lectern. Thank the Table Topics Master for an interesting session. Ask VP Membership if there are any new member applicants. If so, pass the floor to VP Membership. If not, announce the intermission and ask the timer to let us know when the intermission is ended (if the meeting is on time, ask the timer to time 10 minutes for the break).
- At the end of the Intermission, if there has been a new member voted in, VP Membership will call the meeting back to order and welcome the new member before turning the floor back to you. If, however, there are no new members, you will call the meeting back to order.
- Speak briefly about the Toastmaster programs for the guests and new members – describing Pathways (and perhaps mentioning the old manuals too) Avoid excessive description – an overview of the program is sufficient. Again, try to be original. (2 minutes)
- Announce the next part of the Education Session – Prepared Speeches.
- Introduce each Speaker in Turn:
a) Ask the evaluator to read the objectives of the speech
b) Invite the timer to give the timing requirements.
c) Introduce the speaker in a few sentences. Mention why the speaker is delivering this speech at this time.
d) Conclude your introduction by clearly announcing the title of the speech and enthusiastically welcoming the Speaker to the lectern. Remain standing at lectern until Speaker approaches and shakes your hand and then return to your seat.
e) Once Speaker concludes his/her presentation, return to the lectern and shake his/her hand.
f) Lead the applause, then invite the audience to provide feedback on the Constructive Feedback forms provided. Ask timer to give us one minute for these written comments.
- At the end of the prepared speech segment, ask the Timer if there were any timing disqualifications. Thank all the speakers and advise the audience that they will have a chance to vote on who (of the qualifying speakers) they believe gave the Best Prepared Speech.
- Introduce the General Evaluator and welcome him/her to the lectern while you lead the applause. Once you’ve been acknowledged, you may return to your seat.
Don’t be too wordy in your explanations of the different segments. Your primary role is to act as the Master of Ceremonies, smoothly linking together different parts of the Education Session.
If you feel it is very important to impart certain information on the
manuals or other educational possibilities, have the Vice President of
Education schedule you or another member to present this information
as an education capsule. Guests don’t need to know everything about
Toastmasters right away. As well, members will be turned off if the
Toastmaster repeats the same information meeting after meeting.
When you introduce a Speaker, don’t be too flowery. If you make too
many compliments, you may embarrass him/her. In fact, it almost sets
the speaker up for failure since anything he says will be compared
with the high level of expectation you have established.
Remember the lectern should not be left vacant. Try to sit near the
front of the room and approach the lectern unobtrusively as soon as
the Speaker seems to be finishing.
Do not sit behind or right next to a Speaker who is delivering a
presentation. Let the Speaker have the audience’s full attention.
- Communications and Leadership manual: How to Lead as Toastmaster of a Meeting.
- Communications and Leadership manual: How to Introduce a Speaker
- A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats
- Master Your Meetings