The roles for each club meeting are described below. The Sergeant at Arms and President roles are assigned to club officers. All other roles rotate weekly within the membership. Members are expected to know their roles in advance and prepare accordingly by checking their role assignments online.
Sergeant at Arms
Prepares the meeting room as needed beforehand and gavels the meeting to order at the designated time. Introduces the President.
The President or acting president opens the meeting, sees that a member introduces all attendees, and introduces the Toastmaster. At the end of the meeting, he or she tends to any club business and then closes the meeting.
At the President’s behest, a designated member introduces all members in attendance. The introducer is encouraged to do this deftly without reference to notes. Refer to the Club Roster Google doc for preparation assistance.
Prepares the agenda in advance, prints and distributes 15-20 copies as needed, acts as Master of Ceremonies to run the meeting, and introduces the speakers. The toastmaster should be familiar with each speaker’s intent and briefly relate such detail as part of the speaker introduction. Click here for a more thorough description.
Lightens the mood with an appropriate joke.
Evaluates use of grammar during meeting; identifies weak or incorrect usage as well as noteworthy examples of clever or creative usage. The Grammarian provides a “word of the day” to enhance vocabulary.
Counts filler words and phrases such as “ah” “um” “you know” “like” etc. used by any speaker. The Ah counter “squeaks the Budda” to immediately alert speaker of an infraction. Guests and first-time speakers are spared the Budda.
Runs the “traffic light” timer for speakers, evaluators, and table topics speakers. Speakers are expected to speak within timed parameters, speaking at least until the green light shines, heeding the warning of the yellow light, and stopping before or very shortly after the red light. A beep from the timer indicates the speaker has exceeded his or her time allotment and should stop immediately.
The time keeper records and reports the length of time for each prepared speech.
Vote Counter/Video Recorder
Tallies votes for best speaker, best table topic delivery, and best evaluator.
This role is also assigned to record each speaker using the club’s video camera.
Speaker – usually three per meeting
Delivers a prepared speech to the club according to the prescribed curriculum.
Table Topics Master
Prepares questions in advance for other Toastmasters to answer extemporaneously. The Table Topics Master may call on anyone, and favors those who don’t have speaking roles at the meeting. Guests are invited to participate if they choose.
Runs the evaluation part of the meeting. Introduces evaluators, requests reports from grammarian, ah counter, and time keeper, and evaluates the success of the club meeting.
Evaluator – one per speech
An evaluator provides feedback on the speaker’s strengths and opportunities for improvement, focusing more on delivery than on content. The evaluator secures the speaker’s manual in advance and records notes in the appropriate section of the manual. The manual also serves as a guide for the evaluator report, indicating issues on which to focus. Evaluations should be honest, but also positive and encouraging.
Blue Ridge Toastmasters does not designate a greeter, but rather relies on the membership at large to greet all guests, ensure that everyone has an agenda, and answer questions.
For more in-depth descriptions of roles, see the meeting role section at Toastmasters.org.