Toastmasters - Collected Wisdom

These are summaries of the collected wisdom of contributors to a Toastamsters newsgroup which operated between 1995 and 2008 and ToastmastersPrime, a Google group which commenced in 2008. This is not an official Toastmasters site, but is an edited collection of posts from the newsgroup and the Google group. These groups provide an unofficial means of communicating for an enthusiastic group of Toastmasters from throughout the world.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Additional meeting roles

In October 2006, Mark asked:
What are some of the unusual meeting roles or titles
to roles that are performed in a Toastmasters meeting. Some that I've

Listener - Someone who listens to the meeting, and then asks
questions to the members to see if they were paying attention. This
was something that was used in a specialized club. I took it to
another club and used it when there was two speakers, and I was one of
the three evaluators. I popped the pop quiz, and it was enjoyed by

Snackmaster - The person who is responsible for snacks at the

It opened the flood gates.

Eric was the first to mention Table Topics Evaluator. Joy added: A couple of the Australian clubs I visited had Table Topics Evaluators. One of them had two evaluators, which made the job easier, as they alternated speakers to evaluate.

Joy told us that in one of her clubs the listener is called the Radarperson, and said she had picked up the idea from an Australian club she had visited where it was called Critical Listener. She also said that at another of her clubs there is an unnamed assignment where someone at the start of the meeting tells a Mini-story.

John (your blog host) contributed:

Most of our (District 70, Australia) clubs have a Chairman who presides over the bulk of the meeting, with the Toastmaster only covering the prepared (manual) speeches and their evaluation.

At some clubs, there is also the Thought Judge, who chooses the best "thought for the day" which is offered as each of the members introduced themelves.

We have a number of gourmet (advanced) clubs where each of the courses is evaluated and a masked wine tasting is conducted. These clubs meet in a different restaurant each month.

If the club has a full business meeting (rare these days) a Parliamentarian comments on the business procedure.

From time to time these assignments are also offered at the Professional Speakers club I belong to:

Reading - 2 to 3 minutes from a book or article;

Jokemaster - prepares and tells a joke - usually one or two minutes long.

Point of view - a member presents a statement on a controversial topic. In a club I was in years ago, the point was presented for a minute then others could question or oppose for a total of two minutes.

Betsy remembered: We used to have a chiropractor in our club, and he informally watched everyone's posture and often commented on it as a part of his evaluations (or privately after a meeting). I thought it was really helpful... I'm a bit of a sloucher and always thought it gave me a"relaxed" look... It wasn't until I saw some videos that I realized how changing my posture really made a difference in my speeches.

Iona said: The Wizard of Ahs counts the ums and Ahs in speeches.

Regina told us about the Word Master who provides the word of the day and counts the number of times it is used. The Tip Master gives a tip on speaking, leadership, or performing a meeting role. The Video Operator captures assignments on the club's camera. The position rotates, so all can pick up some skills using the camera.

Alison mentioned the Hot Seat Speaker. If four speakers are on the program, and one can't make it for some reason or other, then the hot seat speaker jumps in. The speaker is usually one who will be speaking at the next meeting.

Do you have unusual roles at your club? Post a comment to share them.

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