6 pointers for when you are Toastmaster of the Evening

Last week I sketched out 5 Steps to Preparing for the Toastmaster of the Evening assignment. It is now the day of the meeting. I have found that the 6 pointers below combine very well with the preparation you’ve already done to ensure a polished execution of this very important assignment.

1. Arrive early – be there well before the meeting starts because there is much to do.

Sit at the front of the room - example of good seats in a U-shaped room arrangement
Sit at the front of the room – example of good seats in a U-shaped room arrangement
Remember to get a seat close to the front of the room where the lectern is. The speaking area should never be left unattended.

2. Speech titles and timing – if you haven’t already done so, remember to get the speech titles and timing of speeches from each speaker for your introductions of the prepared speakers. It’s also a good idea to know from which manual each speaker’s assignment is from and the level they are speaking at.

Ask the timekeeper to test the lights before the meeting to make sure that they all work.

3. Aim to educate – to provide clarification to visitors and new members, explain each part of the program as it is introduced, and its purpose.

In some clubs it is customary for the Toastmaster and the person assuming control of the lectern to exchange a handshake. This isn't required, but it's sometimes done to help new members recognize when control of the lectern passes from the Toastmaster to the speaker and vice versa - taken from article "Toastmaster - You are the emcee"

4. Pay attention to the time – it is your responsibility to ensure that the meeting keeps to the time on the program; adjust the agenda during the meeting (if the meeting is running over time) to ensure this happens.

5. Lead the applause – applaud the speakers from the moment they leave their seat until they get to the lectern, and when they return to their seat, until they are seated once again.

Remain standing near the lectern after your introduction until the speaker has assumed control of the lectern, then be seated. The general evaluator will introduce the other members of the evaluation team - taken from article "Toastmaster - You are the emcee"

 6. Remember to have fun!

What techniques work for you when you’re Toastmaster of the Evening?

Share them in the comment section below so that together we can build a rich experience database.