Che and I slept in only a bit today because of Father’s Day. After much phoning around yesterday (yes, I know, booking for Father’s Day lunch at the last minute is leaving much to chance) I found a place that was not yet fully booked. As usual it was fantastic being with family.
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.
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.
I attended the TWP Toastmasters Club meeting this evening where I was Toastmaster of the Evening**.
It’s been a while since I fulfilled that role, and in preparing for it, I was reminded of a few things that if done, will make for a well run and enjoyable meeting.
Like all toastmasters assignments, preparation is key. Here’s a simple 5 step checklist to keep handy when preparing for this assignment
1. Program – get the draft program about a week before the meeting – even though it may change, it will at least give you a structure to prepare for.
2. Theme – is there a theme? If yes, prepare your notes with this in mind. A theme provides scope for research.
3. Timings – check the timings – are they realistic? If the Vice President Education (VPE) is trying to squeeze too much into the evening, it will make your evening more challenging. After all, it will be your responsibility to keep the meeting running to time. If the timings are not realistic, chat to the VPE and suggest cutting a peripheral session or decreasing the length of the recess, for example.
4. Prepared speakers – phone those doing prepared speeches. Confirm their speech titles, and remind them to let the Sergeant at Arms know if they have any speaking requirements.
5. Notes – ensure you get the final program a couple of days before the meeting, and prepare an outline of the evening on paper. This is your script. Off course, there’s a good chance that the program will change, but the outline shouldn’t.
Preparation for this important role is key to a smooth meeting and will keep any fluttering butterflies in your stomach flying in formation.** The Toastmaster of the Evening is akin to that of an Emcee (MC) at a wedding. The President will hand over to the Toastmaster of the Evening early on in the meeting and it is up to this person to keep the meeting flowing, the audience entertained, and the meeting running to time. Tomorrow’s post: A checklist of what to do on the evening.