Isn't Toastmasters a program we should share with family, friends & colleagues?
Outlined below are some of the Toastmaster Traditions:
Each member diligently and cheerfully performs jobs and assignments for the betterment of her/himself and the club.
Every member should participate in at least one inter-club activity per year and be active on at least one club committee.
When elections are held, every effort should be made to have two nominees for each office.
No club member shall succeed her/himself in any one office. (Web master excepted.)
Installation of new officers shall be a gala event with guests in attendance, where the outgoing president is roasted by the membership.
The past president shall receive from the club a Past President Pin and appropriate plaque or trophy.
If a member finds she/he is unable to fulfill an assignment or elected duty, it is her/his responsibility to find a replacement sufficiently in advance to insure that the job gets done.
When you are Toastmaster...
The job of Toastmaster is to act as a Master of Ceremonies and is one of the most important assignments. If the Toastmaster does not perform his/her duties well, a whole meeting can be jeopardized. Therefore, this task is generally assigned to a member who is quite familiar with club procedures.
The primary duty of the Toastmaster is to act as a genial host and conduct the entire program. The speaker introductions should prepare the audience to listen with anticipation and attention, which makes it easier for the speaker to do his/her best. This creates an atmosphere of interest, expectation and creativity.
Suggestions to help the meeting run smoothly: Establish a theme for the meeting and notify all meeting participants prior to the meeting. Follow meeting agenda. Briefly introduce your theme and begin meeting. Introduce speakers by giving their first and last name, brief personal background (or anecdote related to theme,) title of speech, objective of speech, evaluator and time requested. Remain standing until speaker arrives at lectern and greet him/her with a handshake, then be seated. Lead applause before and after each speaker.
Since the meeting is run on a time schedule, the Toastmaster must coordinate the time of all activities. This includes telling the Table Topics Master to adjust the number of questions based on the number of speakers presenting, and to limit the Toastmasters comments if necessary.
When you are Table Topics Master...
Toastmaster has a tradition that every member should have the opportunity to speak at each meeting. We make every effort to insure this with the Table Topics portion of the meeting.
Points to remember: Table Topics Master and Grammarian should coordinate with the Toastmaster so that the meeting theme, word of the week and table topics have continuity. At the meeting, begin with a brief explanation of the purpose of Table Topics. It helps if this portion of the program is light in nature. Topic or question should be brief and relatively easy for response. The goal is not to stump the participant. Invite a guest to participate if they desire. This is traditionally done at the close of Table Topics. Call for the Timer and Grammarian's reports. As you conclude Table Topics, remain at the lectern to shake hands with the Toastmaster.
When you are Timer...
One of the lessons to be practiced in speech training is that of expressing a thought within a certain interval. All Table Topics, Speeches and Evaluations are timed.
At the request of the Toastmaster, the Timer explains the purpose of the function and how the lights will indicate information to the speaker.
Points to remember:
When reporting on the formal speeches, it helps to announce the requested time and the actual time (minutes and seconds) spoken. It is not necessary to announce the exact times for Evaluators.
When you are Grammarian...
Grammar covers many areas and the Grammarian has an important and difficult job. The habits that are brought forth are often years old and of completely unconscious nature. The Grammarian's task is to make the members conscious of these habits.
Points to remember: The "Word of the Week" should tie in with the theme of the meeting. At the request of the Toastmaster, explain the purpose and function of Grammarian and present the "Word of the Week" by giving a definition, correct spelling and possible uses of the word in a sentence. At the conclusion of Table Topics, report the names of participants who used the "Word of the Week" in their answer. At the end of the meeting you will be asked by the Toastmaster to make additional comments about forms of speech that you feel the membership should practice. Listen for: Misuse of words Incorrect pronunciation Clichés (overused phrases or words) Poor sentence structure Excellent use of language
When you are Ah-Counter...
The purpose of Ah-Counter is to call attention to the members' Ah's, Um's, xerox words (double words e.g. the the) etc.
Points to remember: At the Toastmasters request, explain the purpose and function of the Ah-Counter's duties. Keep written track of all infractions. At the end of the meeting, you will be asked by the Toastmaster to report on the number of infractions for everyone who participated that day. The Ah-Counter's duties begin at the opening of the meeting (you do not have to wait to be introduced) and stop at the very end of the meeting.
When you are a Speaker...
A major portion of each meeting is centered around three or more speakers. Their speeches are either prepared or impromptu and typically last from five to seven minutes. The Speaker: Is responsible for finding their own replacement if they are not able to speak and for notifying the Toastmaster of the change. Is encouraged to work through the manual. Should inform the evaluator about what particular elements they are working on, i.e., voice, gestures, elimination of notes, etc. Should provide the evaluator with their manual in order for the evaluator to make written comments about the speech. Will tell the Toastmaster how many minutes are required for the speech. May at some point be requested to give an impromptu speech. Every effort should be made to fulfill the request and gain from this experience.
When you are General Evaluator...
The General Evaluator is just what the name implies, a critic of anything and everything that took place throughout the meeting. You are responsible for coordinating a team of Evaluators. Remember: Notify your scheduled evaluators prior to the meeting to be sure they are prepared. Have them contact their assigned speaker for instructions and manual purpose. Remind evaluators to collect the speakers' manuals in order to provide them with written comments. Introduce evaluators by giving their first and last name, a brief anecdote related to the theme, and the name of the speaker they are evaluating. The General Evaluator's general meeting criticism and positive points can cover the meeting starting time, functionaries, Toastmaster, the President, the manner in which guests were greeted, anything and everything. This is an ideal time for you, as the General Evaluator, to speak your mind on some subjects concerning the conduction of meetings, even though they may not be pertinent to that meeting.
When you are an Evaluator...
Each Evaluator will review one of the formal speeches of the meeting. The purpose of this constructive criticism is to bring to the awareness of the speaker the effects of the speech, speech habits, and progress to date. The criticism presented by the Evaluator can make a difference between a worthwhile or a wasted meeting for some members. Ten Commandments of Effective Speech Evaluation Read the project objectives and evaluation guidelines. Confer with the speaker before the speech. Listen carefully. Recognize the speaker's strengths. Provide verbal reward for improvement. Suggest positive directions for growth. Recommend alternative actions. Reinforce the speaker's commitment to self-improvement. Be positive and supportive. Make the speaker feel good about themselves. Suggestions: Ask the speaker which particular elements they would like you to critique. Choose a few major points and focus on those in your evaluation. Be clear and concise. Practice being a diplomat. Observe: Appearance, Approach to the Lectern, Opening and Closing, Speech Structure, Gestures and Eye Contact, Vocal Variety, Adherence to Manual Objectives. If the speaker was presenting a manual speech and did not fulfill its requirements, suggest the speaker repeat it. Try not to rely on "I'm looking forward to your next speech" as a conclusion for your evaluation. As you finish your evaluation, remember to remain at the lectern and shake the hand of the General Evaluator.
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