March 13, 2010

Meeting Format

Meeting Format

A typical Toastmasters meeting is divided into four segments:

  1. Prepared speeches from the Communication and Leadership program are presented by members to improve particular aspects of their public-speaking ability. There are ten speeches which make up the first segment of a Toastmaster career.
  2. Table Topics, which gives members without speaking roles that evening the opportunity to practice impromptu speaking skills by answering questions asked by the Table Topics Master.
  3. Evaluations by Club members provide constructive feedback to both prepared speakers and meeting leaders. An evaluator, usually a more experienced Club member, gives an oral evaluation and provides written comments to each speaker. All members present give written feedback to each speaker as well.
  4. A business portion for addressing the business of the Club.

Each meeting is supported by members who take turns serving in the roles necessary to conduct our meetings, including:

  • Toastmaster – prepares and leads the overall program. Serves as MC and ringleader, as it were.
  • Table Topics Master – leads the impromptu speaking segment by asking questions to those who do not have assigned speaking roles.
  • General Evaluator – evaluates the meeting overall
  • Speech Evaluator – evaluates a particular speaker
  • Table Topics Evaluator – evaluates the Table Topics segment, giving feedback to both the Table Topics Master and select respondents.
  • Timer – simply put, keeps track of each speaker’s time and provides immediate feedback in the form of signals.
  • Grammarian – listens for grammatical mistakes used during meetings. The Grammarian also provides the “Word of the Day”, a word members attempt to incorporate into the meeting when speaking.
  • “Ah” Counter – keeps track of, um, crutch words and, … uh, you know, unsavory speaking habits used by, like, each member of the group… uh… yeah.