One of the key features of a Toastmasters meeting are the Toastmaster Roles. Members have the opportunity to volunteer to undertake any of these roles. Below is a list of the different roles that can be found, with links to more detailed documents explaining them.
The Toastmaster is the meeting's director and host. Taking on this role improves organisational skills, time management skills and public speaking skills. it is your role to ensure the smooth running of the meeting and to introduce speakers and work with the Timekeeper to keep the meeting running to schedule.
The main purpose is to help the Speaker improve.
Secondary purposes are to help everyone else in the audience improve, and to
further hone your own public speaking skills. Otherwise you might as well just
have a private chat with the Speaker afterwards.
The General Evaluator evaluates the conduct of the meeting, including the Toastmaster and all
the evaluators. The General Evaluator usually has 8-9 minutes to give the meeting evaluation,
so it's important to be prepared and organised.
Being Grammarian is an exercise in improving your listening skills.
You have two basic responsibilities:
1. to comment on the positive and negative uses of English during the meeting;
2. to introduce a new word and explain the correct use of it.
These are designed to help your fellow members improve their use of language.
The Sergeant at Arms organises the meeting. Responsibilities include arranging the room at least ten minutes before the meeting begins, making sure the lectern is in place with the gavel, the ensuring the lights and cards are set up etc.
Table Topics are impromptu speeches. The purpose of the Table Topics section is to help
members think on their feet and speak on a given subject for between one and two and a
half minutes. The Table topics master must draw up the topics for the evening’s session.
The Timekeeper is responsible for keeping track of time throughout the meeting.
One of the skills in speech training is expressing a thought within a specific time. The
Timekeeper helps those at the meeting practice this. As well as recording the times, the
Timekeeper should regard each report to the meeting as a mini-speech opportunity.
The Table Topics Evaluation would be expected to take 5-6 minutes and is a brief summary evaluation of the TT speaker’s skills with points for improvement and commendations on particular techniques or strategies used.
The Table Topics Evaluator is included in the Best Evaluator voting.
This role sets a fun tone for the meeting. One of the most powerful tools that a speaker has is the use of humour. Laughing is healthy, gets the energy flowing and helps people to be more open to the speaker's message.