How to be a Toastmaster (Master of Ceremonies)

This guide is for the new member of Toastmasters to help prepare for the role of Toastmaster in a meeting.  This is an important role but not difficult as long as you are prepared with the speaker’s details and briefed the evaluators.

What is the purpose of Toastmaster?

The role of the Toastmaster is to take charge of the part of the meeting where club members present their prepared speeches and receive evaluations. The Chairman hands control of the meeting to you, then you introduce each speaker in turn, then call up the evaluators, and finally you hand control of the meeting back to the Chairman.

The Toastmaster role gives you experience to chair a conference introducing speakers or be the Master of Ceremonies at a wedding or special function.

Before the meeting

A meeting agenda will have been sent to club members with details of speakers and evaluators. Contact the speakers before the meeting, usually a day or two before the meeting and ask the following information:

1. Which speech manual are your working from? New members start with the Competent Communicator manual.

2. Which assignment (speech number are you doing?) and name, for example “Ice breaker” or “Getting to the Point”

3. What are the objectives of the speech? These are printed in the manual on the first page of the assignment.

4. What is your speech title?  Every speech should have a title.

5. The timing of the speech – 4-6, 5-7,  8-10. Ask!

On the day before the meeting starts

Make sure the evaluators have the speaker’s manuals. New Toastmasters sometimes to forget to give their manual to the evaluator. And some experienced Toastmasters who are evaluators may not be aware they are evaluating!   The Chairman will review the attendance at the beginning of the meeting but your job is easier if you do the checking.

I will give you some suggested words (shown in italics like this) but feel free to adapt to your own style.

The Toastmaster Role

The Chairman will introduce you. Go up to the front of the meeting and introduce this part of the meeting.

Good Morning Fellow Toastmasters and Guests. Welcome to the Prepared Speeches part of our meeting. Our speakers have prepared their presentations from Toastmasters manuals and will be evaluated by an experienced member of the club. This morning we have (1/2/3) speakers  ………….., ………………….. and ……………….

Our first speaker is ………………………….. . He/she will be speaking from the

………………………      ………manual doing project number ……………. which is ………………………
(e.g. Competent Communicator)                                                                                                        Assignment title

The objectives of this assignment are:

It is a  …………….. minute speech (4-6, 5-7, ??).Timer can we have a green light on ………….

yellow light on ………….. and red light on …………

……………speech will be evaluated by …………………

The title of ……………. speech is …………………………………………

Please welcome …………………. with his/her speech……..(repeat title)………….

Wait near the lectern and for the person to come up to the speaking area, then shake their hand. Then sit down. Make sure you sit near the front of the room so you don’t have to waste time walking long distances.

After the speaker has finished return to the front, thank them for their speech then introduce the next speaker using the same pattern as above.  You may want to make some brief comments about the speech.

Calling up the evaluators

Once the speakers have finished, you will call up the evaluators.

And now to hear the evaluator for our first speaker………….., please welcome………………………

 Wait near the lectern and for the evaluator to come up to the speaking area, then shake their hand.

Then sit down.

Repeat these steps for the remaining evaluators.

Wrapping up

After the last evaluator thank the speakers and evaluators.

Lets give a final round of applause to our speakers and evaluators.

Hopefully the audience will applaud enthusiastically. Hand the control of the meeting back to the Chairman. The quickest way is to look at the Chairman and say Mister Chairman.  Then return to your seat.

Print three copies of this form (How to be the Toastmaster PDF download of this article for printing), and use one for each speaker. This will help you perform the role and ensure you have all the details.

Speaker Number 1    /    2    /   3               (Circle)
Speaker Name
Speech Manual Competent Communicator orAdvanced Communicator ……………………………………..
Speech Assignment Number
Speech Objectives
Time  4 – 6   /    5  – 7  /     6 –  8  /   8 – 10 /
Evaluator
Speech Title
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