»Sergeant at Arms
You are responsible for ensuring each guest is well looked after before, during and after the meeting.
To ensure our guests feel they are visiting a welcoming and supportive club with people interested in them.
To encourage them to discuss their particular interests in developing their communication & leadership skills.
To provide relevant information about Broadgate Speakers (and Toastmasters in general / other clubs) so they can see how and if they would benefit from visiting us again and joining.
To provide information about visiting again and, when appropriate, the procedures / payments for joining.
To record guest's contact details (unless they wish not to leave them) so we can tell them about future meetings.
To escort guests up to the bar after the meeting to answer any questions that they may have and introduce them to our social side.
Collect and count ballot slips. Inform President of each winner before the President is called to draw the meeting to a close. (As guest introductions normally follow after Table Topics voting, you won't be able to count these until after you have introduced the guests.)
Before calling upon guests to introduce themself, first tell us why you decided to become a member yourself and why you chose to join Broadgate Speakers if you've visited other clubs.
Explain that members simply stand where they are and introduce themselves. If there are more than 7 guests, explain that we will only applaud after each speaker has spoken to save time.
Check with the Club Secretary and Vice-President Membership on names of likely new visitors or returning visitors.
Consider which members may be attending and able to help you to look after guests i.e. not already busy.
Check that the welcome sign, guest book (+ pens), several copies of the introductory information sheet and the membership application form are readily available.
Arrive at least 15+ minutes before the formal start of the meeting.
When guests arrive
1) Introduce yourself to guests and try to engage them in conversation or pass them to someone else who can give them a simple explanation of what happens in a meeting and what we would like them to do i.e. listen to the participants, introduce themselves publicly.
2) Encourage them to put their contact details in the guest file, give the information sheet, and introduce them to the President and VP Membership.
3) Before / in the break / after the meeting, ask them about their interest in the club / developing their communication skills etc
4) Provide relevant info about how we could meet their interests / objectives
5) Encourage them to return to another meeting of Broadgate Speakers or other more suitable Toastmasters club. If appropriate, explain how to join Broadgate Speakers.
6) Mention that we usually have a drink afterward the meeting in the bar and they are welcome to join us.
The Toastmaster (for the whole evening) is responsible for the smooth and timely running of the meeting, for introducing all participants except in the Topics session and for setting the tone of the evening.
In some clubs the role is split into a Chairman for the first half and the conclusions and then the Toastmaster just looks after the second half/the speeches and evaluations. This is not normally the case at Broadgate Speakers.
Using the published programme as a checklist, contact all the participants at least 3 days before the meeting - to check they are attending and to prepare a suitable introduction to each. If appropriate, offer advice and support on handling their role.
If a participant cannot perform her or his role, arrange a suitable replacement and, if necessary, liaise with the Education Vice President
Check whether there are any special requirements, e.g. for equipment, and liaise with the Sergeant-at-Arms.
Check with the EVP / President on who is printing, copying and bringing the programme sheets. Offer to help!
AT THE MEETING - FIRST HALF
Arrive at least 15 minutes before the meeting starts and check on final preparations with all involved (and the President / EVP on any late changes).
Where possible, ensure that any equipment is set up in advance or during a suitable break - be ready to assist with equipment during the meeting.
The President will open the meeting and welcome the guests and then introduce you as the Toastmaster/Chairman to run the meeting.
1) Make a brief introductory address and announce any changes to the published programme. Remind everyone to turn off mobile phones etc.
2) Using the most recently published programme as a checklist, introduce:
a) The Timekeeper … and then
b) The Grammarian
who should each be asked to explain their roles.
3) Briefly explain the purpose of table topics and introduce the Topics Master.
4) Call for the Timekeeper to report on who spoke, what about and for how long in the Topics session.
5) Introduce the Table Topics Evaluator(s).
6) Announce a 10-minute break and be sure to restart on time.
AT THE MEETING - SECOND HALF
1) Restart the meeting on time and outline the programme ahead
2) **If you are the Chairman hand over now to the Toastmaster to handle the next part of the meeting - until the end of the evaluators i.e. point 10).
If you are the Toastmaster for the whole evening then keep going!
Give an explanation of the value of preparing and delivering speeches, how the Manuals work, the use of the Feedback Slips etc
3) Introduce the first speech, its objectives, the speaker and his/her background, the title of the speech, repeat the title and give a big welcome to the speaker with her/his name and loud applause!
4) Let the speaker hand back to you when s/he completes the speech and then ask the audience to complete their feedback - asks the Timekeeper to time 60 seconds.
5) Repeat the process with subsequent speeches.
6) After the last speech and the 60 seconds for feedback…welcome the Timekeeper for/her report.
7) Explain the value of Evaluating and then introduce each evaluator with their name, their background, whose speech they are evaluating and welcome them with their name and applause.
8) NB There are no gaps for writing feedback on the evaluators.
9) Call on the Timekeeper to announce the names and timings of the evaluators (including the Topics Evaluator)
10) **If you are the Chairman get the Toastmaster to hand back to you now.
11) Move to the final reviews of the meeting and call on the Grammarian to give his/her report.
12) Explain the purpose of the General Evaluation and introduce the General Evaluator.
13) Conclude and pass control of the meeting back to the President.
NOTES AND TIPS (for the Toastmaster)
The meeting is enriched if your introductions are short but interesting, informative and help us 'get to know' the officials a little better. Keep the links and introductions brief - this role is about facilitating others to speak, as well as yourself.
Typically, the introductions should include:
Summary of his / her general background
and/or summary of speaking achievements
Speech objectives (defined in manual + any extras)
Title of speech …and repeat it
Evaluator's name and who they are evaluating
Summary of her/his background / achievements
The Toastmaster (or the Chairman and Toastmaster between them) has responsibility for checking that all the participants are attending and are well prepared for the meeting. Any changes to the plans and participants should be made in co-operation with the EVP.
DO prepare for the role and plan the steps you will follow. Use the most up-to-date version of the programme as a checklist - it contains the running order together with all timing information.
DO try to steer the proceedings and participants as briskly as possible to ensure the meeting finishes on time, but do not try to influence timing by publicly issuing instructions unless an item is running badly over time.
DO NOT shorten the break unless you are prepared to restart at the stated time - statements about timing must have credibility.
Check with the EVP / President on when and if any short 'education spots' or longer 'education speeches' are planned and who will introduce them.
If you feel you need to have a 'theme' for your introductions, keep it subtle, brief and unobtrusive as well as cheerful.
Always greet each official, as well as the speakers, with a handshake and enthusiastically lead the applause - do the same on completion of the item.
In a programme that can include contributions from 20 - 25 people, the control of timing is extremely important. This is also an important lesson for speakers to learn, both in and outside of Toastmasters: listeners always like a speaker who doesn't over-run!
The Timekeeper's function is to provide timing signals to most of the participants and to report specifically on the timing performance of topics speakers, prepared speakers and evaluators. The reports also remind the audience of the names of each person (and their subject).
Using the most up-to-date programme as a checklist, review the activities to be timed - all timings are printed down the right hand column in the form: e.g. 3 / 4 / 5 is for Green light at 3 minutes // Amber at 4 // Red at 5. Once a light is turned on, it remains on until superceded by the subsequent light. In the case of the red light, it remains on until the speaker leaves the stage.
AT THE MEETING
Aim to arrive 15 minutes before the formal start of the meeting to check on arrangements and familiarise yourself with the operation of the lights and stopwatch - liaise with an experienced club member if you need help. You will need to collect the stopwatch and bell from the President, who currently looks after these.
The stopwatch is controlled using left and Right buttons as follows. R - Start, R - Stop, L - Reset.
The bell is rung 15 seconds after the red light for a table topic or evaluation, and 30 seconds after the red light for a speech after which we applaud the speaker off the stage. The bell would not normally be used for the General Evaluator, unless they are in excess of the red light for at least 2 minutes.
1) Start operation of the timing lights when the President opens the meeting and for every subsequent function where timings are indicated.
2) After your introduction by the Toastmaster / Chairman, explain the role of Timekeeper and the times on the programme and demonstrate the lights. Remember:
to take a copy of the programme up on stage so you can demonstrate the timings
to ask another Toastmaster (in advance) to demonstrate the lights while you are at the front speaking
3) Keep a running record of meeting progress and a specific record of the times for each table topics speaker - with their names and subjects.
4) When called by the Toastmaster /Chairman, briefly announce the names, subjects and times for the table topics speakers and comment on any that seriously overran the target time. This is an important opportunity to remind club members (new and old) of people's names.
(If necessary, comment also on any lapses in the overall timing of the meeting including the start time, the overall timing of the topics session etc.)
5) For reference keep a record of the time taken by the Topics Evaluator(s).
6) Report back with the names of each speaker, their subject and time taken.
7) Report on the name & time of each evaluator including the Topics Evaluator (s)
Remember: The timekeeping role is a valuable speaking opportunity and it can be a challenge to bring some clarity and originality to it.
The Grammarian (alias Wordsmith) has three duties, which, in order of priority, are
Report on the use of language throughout the meeting and especially comment on the most interesting, unusual or effective uses of language. If necessary, perhaps also mention any grammatical errors or 'inappropriate' use, such as bad language.
Set a 'word of the day' and report on its use. Ideally, the word should not be in everyday use but not so obscure or unpronounceable that it is difficult to use.
Report on hesitations (UM's and AH's) but only those that seriously distract from the speaker's message.
AT THE MEETING
1) When you are introduced, explain the role of Grammarian and announce the 'word of the day' giving its meaning and some examples of its use.
To assist the audience, display the 'word of the day' prominently wherever it will assist the audience and speakers to remember it. You might want one for the front and the back of the room.
2) Listen carefully to all of the speakers and report back with your findings and comments, when called upon towards the end of the meeting.
NOTES AND TIPS
DO record several examples of effective language and use of 'the word of the day' during the meeting, but then only choose and comment enthusiastically on a few (perhaps just 6 - 8) examples that you would like the audience to remember and savour. Do NOT exceed the time allowed!
An adjective or adverb often works well as the word of the day (e.g. 'active' 'actively') as these are easier to use than verbs or nouns ('act'/ 'action').
It is hard to see biro pen on an A4 piece of paper in a big room - try to use a thick felt tip or print in LARGE and BOLD.
Do NOT publicly identify any speaker for overuse of 'um/ah' although you might like to have a quiet word in private with excessive offenders.
This is an important role, providing an excellent opportunity to develop good listening skills and the ability to transmit information and praise.
The Topics Master is responsible for running the 'table topics' session, the purpose of which is twofold:
To develop the skills of impromptu speaking
To provide a speaking opportunity for anybody who is not otherwise included in the meeting programme.
Prepare sufficient topics to accommodate the number of topics speakers shown on the programme (often 6 - 10). Make sure you have a few extra in case some speakers under-run.
Our plans are based on 1.5 mins per speaker and no more than 2 mins per topic including your intro & applause etc.
Any variation in format or timing should be agreed with the EVP and Toastmaster/Chairman who will adjust the programme accordingly.
AT THE MEETING
Arrive at least 15 minutes before the formal start of the meeting in order to speak to members (and perhaps guests) as they arrive. Prepare a list of people wishing to participate in the topics session, giving priority to those who are not on the programme already.
1) When you are introduced, make a brief 'scene setting' address. If the Chairman/Toastmaster has not already done so, mention the purpose of topics but then introduce the general theme of your session - max 2 minutes.
2) Call upon the topics speakers, as follows:
- A couple of experienced speakers first
- Other members with no other speaking role
- Willing guests (do not pressure anybody to speak)
- You may want to save an experienced speaker to the end to round up on a positive note.
WARNING: Do NOT exceed the planned number of speakers unless time permits and the Chairman/Toastmaster agrees.
3) For each topics speaker:
Introduce the speaker by name* and describe the assignment (10 - 15 secs)
Greet the speaker - repeat name and applaud on to the stage
…..Thank and applaud the speaker on completion of their topic
(*Try saving the speaker's name until after describing the assignment - this is good for experienced speakers as it gives them a bigger challenge).
4) Finally thank all participants and hand back to the Chairman/Toastmaster.
NOTES AND TIPS for Topics Masters
Table Topics is particularly for those who have no other opportunity to speak during the meeting. Certainly do NOT include the Topics Evaluator(s), but you can substitute latecomers for those on your list who already have speaking roles.
DO arrive early to speak to potential participants. (If possible, try to anticipate before the meeting whom you might encourage to participate)
Table Topics should provide a good way for newer members and less confident speakers to start gaining confidence. DO encourage and help them.
It should also provide opportunities for more experienced speakers to stretch their abilities so DO give them more demanding topics.
DO have a wide selection of topics and adjust them according to the speaker.
Do NOT impose Table Topics on a reluctant speaker.
Subject matter is entirely the responsibility of the Topics Master but experience shows that a good overall performance is achieved if:
i) The topic allows the speaker to speak from his/her own experience.
ii) The topics session follows a common theme allowing the less experienced speakers to have some preparation time.
Some Topics Masters prefer to set only 'challenging' topics which may result in excellent performances from a few speakers but frighten less confident speakers and guests. Take care.
Before the meeting, when deciding on the topics, DO try answering them yourself to see if they work!
DO try to keep your explanations and instructions precise, clear and brief.
It is not necessary to announce timings as these are on the programme.
Always greet each topics speaker with a handshake and enthusiastically lead the applause - do the same on completion of the topic. • Do NOT go over the allotted time - the best way to control timing in a topics session is firstly to keep your instructions and comments as brief and as clear as possible, and secondly to control the number of speakers.
This is a creative role that is good for trying different variations on themes and it does give you a good opportunity to take control of part of the meeting.
The Topics Evaluator(s) is (are) responsible for the evaluation of the Table topics segment of the meeting.
If a long topics session is scheduled, two topics evaluators are sometimes appointed.
Discuss the theme(s) of the session with the Topics Master.
If two topics evaluators have been appointed, ensure that you both agree which speakers you are evaluating (odds 1st/3rd/5th etc and evens 2nd/4th/6th etc is the usual method).
As you will only have about 20 - 30 seconds to comment on each speaker, you might want to decide in advance the particular aspects that you will be looking out for.
AT THE MEETING
1) Take notes on each topic and prepare a 20-30 second report on each.
2) When introduced by the Chairman/Toastmaster, do NOT comment on the running of the topics session by the Topics Master as the General Evaluator will do this later.
3) You should comment briskly on each individual contribution - there will probably only be time for 1 quick commendation, 1 recommendation and then 1 or 2 final commendations.
Points that may be covered include:
Overall impression of the contribution / any obvious good or weak points
Construction - did the contribution have a beginning/middle/end?
Did the contribution stick to the subject given?
Quality of presentation / confidence / eye contact / vocal variety, etc.
Quality of content / interesting / original / informative / humorous
4) You might want to make some general comments that were typical of several speakers and would help them improve their skills.
5) Make a brief concluding comment on your overall impression of the session
Speech Evaluators have the important responsibility of evaluating individual prepared speakers.
Evaluators are usually quite experienced speakers who will have completed at least three or four prepared speeches.
If this is one of your first evaluations, consider the advice given in 'Effective Speech Evaluation' (which should have been received with your New Member Kit and Manual) and ask more experienced members for advice and help.
Whenever the opportunity arises, attend an Evaluation Workshop that the club or Area will run from time to time.
BEFORE THE MEETING
1) If you already know the speaker, some reflection on her / his past performances may assist with your evaluation.
2) Get the speech number and title from the speaker and discuss his / her objectives, including any specific points the speaker may raise with you.
3) Familiarise yourself with the speech objectives beforehand (most speeches will be from the first manual, so you can read your own).
AT THE MEETING
1) Borrow the speaker's manual for your written evaluation.
2) Listen carefully and record your immediate impressions - consider the questions in the evaluation guidelines and try to answer them.
3) The general format of evaluation that we use has become known as: COMMEND-RECOMMEND-COMMEND. In your oral evaluation, begin and end with encouragement and praise to reinforce the speaker's strengths. Avoid direct criticism but make constructive and positive recommendations where there is obvious room for improvement. If you cannot think of anything they have done wrong, then comment on what they have done well that they could do even more of, or better.
4) Remember the public evaluation should be partly directed to the audience for their consideration and benefit, not just a discussion with the speaker. Try to keep to time - you can make additional points to them in person or by writing in their manual.
5) Complete the written evaluation while the speech is fresh in your mind and before the speaker leaves the venue. Talk to the speaker after the meeting to clarify and add any points and especially any extra recommendations.
The General Evaluator is responsible for the evaluation of the entire meeting.
In practice, this means evaluating every participant, except prepared speakers who have individual evaluators and topics speakers who are evaluated by the Topics Evaluator.
Using the programme, familiarise yourself with the structure of the meeting which may vary from time to time and may also be different from that used at other clubs.
You should also try to be familiar with the Speak Up! Speak Out! Meeting Guidelines that describe each role as performed in our club. Be aware that we try to be an informal club - for example there is no expectation that men will wear ties or suits.
In particular, unlike some other clubs our General Evaluators work alone as observers of the meeting and not as managers of an evaluation team.
AT THE MEETING
1) Arrive early as the meeting normally starts promptly at the planned time.
2) Take notes on everything that happens (or fails to happen) at the meeting and pay particular attention to the overall management of the meeting as well as the performance of those taking on official roles.
Your report should comment on the quality of preparation, organisation, delivery and general performance of each individual.
Although the General Evaluator does not evaluate prepared speakers or topics speakers, you might occasionally want to add something important that an individual evaluator may have missed.
You should try to recognise and encourage examples of good performance but we also need recommendations on ways to improve what we do.
3) When called upon by the Chairman/Toastmaster to give your report, you may want / need to begin with a very brief explanation of your role.
As General Evaluator, you should also set an example of good timekeeping. We usually allow 10 minutes, so there is very little time to comment on each person. The light signals are usually Green at 6 mins, Amber at 8 mins and Red at 10 mins.