Role Description

General guidelines for Meeting Roles in Lucan Toastmasters

Guidelines for all roles:

  • Respond to Toastmaster/General Evaluator as appropriate in advance of meeting to confirm role.
  • If you are delivering a speech, ensure you bring a copy of your evaluation form to the meeting or provide in advance by email to your evaluator.
  • Be aware of timing for all your roles as a few mins here and there can lead to a meeting running late.
  • Arrive at least 15 mins early to introduce yourself to the other people doing roles and to help set up the room. If possible, also stay a few minutes after the meeting to talk to guests, other members and to help clean up the room.
  • Ensure you confirm your role on the website at least one week before the meeting.
  • If you have to pull out of a role within one week of the meeting, try to find a replacement and let the VP Education know as soon as possible.
  •  These descriptions follow a typical meeting in Lucan Toastmasters. Feel free to add your own style to the role!

The role of the Toastmaster is to chair the meeting and ensure it runs on time.

Before the meeting

You may want to contact members on the agenda beforehand and ask them a question or an interesting fact. This information is useful in introducing speakers and people doing roles.

Confirm with the VP Education if there have been any last minute changes to the agenda.

Aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start time to talk to people doing roles & speeches and possibly account for any last minute agenda changes. Ensure everyone know the time frames of their roles. Confirm introductions and ensure that you have the title of the speeches correct and that you can properly pronounce the names of everyone you will be introducing. Agree with VP Education and Topicsmaster the approximate end time for the topics session.

Help the President start the meeting on time, by encouraging people to take their seats 1-2 mins before start time.

President opens the meeting & hands meeting over to the Toastmaster

Welcome the members & guests, give a brief introduction to the programme for the evening (topics, break, speeches and evaluations). Ask people to turn their mobile phones off and point out the fire exits. Introduce the Grammarian, the Timer and Lights and then hand the meeting over to the Topicsmaster. Aim to hand the meeting over to Topicsmaster within 5 minutes of the meeting starting.

After table topics

Thank the Topicsmaster and introduce the Sergeant at Arms. Announce the break. 1-2 mins before the end of the break, encourage people to take their seats so that the meeting can resume on time.

Introduce speeches

Welcome everyone back. Introduce the speeches and the speech objectives. (You may ask the Evaluator to read out the objectives, or you may do this yourself). Give a brief background on each speaker, introduce the speaker and give the title of their speech.

After each speech, ask everyone, members and guests, to take one minute to complete the evaluation form. Ask the timer for one minute on the clock while the evaluation forms are being filled in.

Introduce the General Evaluator (GE)

After the final speech, hand the meeting over to the GE. The GE asks for speech times, introduces each evaluator, asks for the Grammarian report and then gives an evaluation of the meeting. The GE should aim to hand meeting back to the Toastmaster 5 mins before the end.

Hand meeting back to the President

Thank the GE, make brief closing remarks and hand the meeting back to the President. The President the gives out the awards, may announce some club business

and closes the meeting.


The role of the Topicsmaster is to ask various topics during the topics session so that members can practice off the cuff speaking.

Before the meeting

Prepare your topics in advance. Topics can be as humorous, thought-provoking or creative as you like. A good tip is to avoid overly-complex or narrowly phased questions. Refrain from asking questions that may cause offence. Refrain from using long sentences with multiple clauses. The best topics are often statements under 10 words. You should prepare around 20 topics for a normal 40 mins topics session.

Aim to arrive at least 15 mins before the start time to talk to the Toastmaster about the timing of the topics session and put the names of members who are in attendance in the glass for selection. Give priority to those members who aren’t on the agenda. Therefore, do not call upon the following people until all other names have been called: the Speakers, the Evaluators, the General Evaluator, the Grammarian and the President (Other roles have little or no speaking opportunity and are therefore included).

Help the President & Toastmaster start the meeting on time, by encouraging people to take their seats 1-2 mins before start time.

Toastmaster introduces the Topicsmaster

Give a brief overview of the Topics session. Read out a topic and then select a member’s name from the glass/list. The general guidelines to running the session are:

  •  Limit responses to one answer per topic
  •  Have a number of simple stand alone topics for guests who may like to try theirhand at impromptu speaking
  •  Have fun!

Topicsmaster hands the meeting back to the Toastmaster

The Topics session should generally end 3 mins before the break time. Thank everyone for participating and hand the meeting back to the Toastmaster.
At the end of the meeting the President will ask you to award a ribbon to the best first response of the evening
Timer & Lights

Aim to arrive at least 15 mins before the start time. Ensure the traffic lights system is plugged in and become familiar with how it works. Ensure you have a bell.

Help the President & Toastmaster start the meeting on time, by encouraging people to take their seats 1-2 mins before start time.

If you are joining remotely via zoom, ensure you have a clear method of indicating time, ideally coloured branded backgrounds.

During the meeting

It is the Timer’s responsibility to time certain sections of the meeting and to report on times when requested by General Evaluator.

You may be asked to describe your role. If so, give a brief overview, saying that you will ring the bell when the time is up in the topics session and that you will operate the lights for the benefit of the speakers, evaluators and General Evaluator.

During the Topics session, ring the bell after 2 mins for members and one minutes for guests.

For the speeches, turn the lights to green, amber and red on the times indicated on the agenda. Make a note of all speech times as you will be asked for them by the General Evaluator.

For the evaluations, turn the lights to green, amber and red on the times indicated on the agenda. Make a note of all speech times as you will be asked for them by the General Evalutor.

During the general evaluation, turn the lights to green, amber and red on the times indicated on the agenda.


The grammarian role generally has a number of objectives:

  1. Count use of filler words throughout the meeting. Filler words are crutch words we use when we don’t know what to say. Examples include: ’em’, ‘ah’, ‘um’, ‘like’, ‘you know’, ‘kind of’ etc.
  2. Introduce and encourage use of “word of the day”.The “word of the day” is a word we try to use in the meeting to develop our vocabulary and to brush up on our off the cuff speaking skills.
  3. Note good use of English such as rhetorical devices, alliteration, repetition, assonance as well as colourful phrases.
  4. Point out poor use of English in a sentence and suggest the correct use of the word or phrase.

Before the meeting

Arrive at least 15 mins early, introduce yourself to the Toastmaster. If you have the word of the day printed or written out, hang it in a place that can be seen by the members.

During the Meeting

At the beginning of the meeting, you will be asked by the Toastmaster to explain your role and introduce the word of the day. During the meeting, count the number of times each person uses the “word of the day” and the number of filler words used by everyone during the meeting.

At the end of the meeting, when asked by the general evaluator:

  • –  Report how many times number of filler words were used.
  • –  Report how many times the “word of the day” was used and who used it the most number of times.
  • –  Comment on the use of language.
  • –  Comment on any poor use of English.
Speech Evaluator

The role of the evaluator is to give a speaker encouraging and helpful feedback. An overview of the role is given here, but there are lots more tips to giving a good evaluation. These can be found in your Toastmasters manual, talking to other members, from evaluation workshops or online.

Before the meeting

Consider contacting the speaker before the meeting to ask them about their personal objectives and what type of feedback they’d like. The agenda should be finalised one week in advance. You can see who you are evaluating on the website or you can ask the VP Education directly.

Speak to the speaker again on the evening of the speech.

During the meeting

During the speech, take notes and prepare your feedback for the speaker. Make notes of areas in which the speaker did well and areas that could be improved. Be constructive and specific in your suggestions and most importantly: be encouraging!

After all the speeches are completed you will be called upon by the general evaluator to provide your feedback to the speaker. You have 2-3 mins to deliver your evaluation. You should aim to speak for no longer than 3.30 minutes.

After the meeting

Fill out the speaker’s manual in the relevant speech section.

Follow up with the speaker after the meeting to congratulate them on their speech and further explain any feedback given.

General Evaluator 

Before the meeting

Arrive at least 15 mins early, to introduce yourself to the Toastmaster and ensure you are familiar with the agenda.

During the meeting

After the speeches the Toastmaster will hand control of the meeting over to the General Evaluator.


  • –  request speech times from the Timer to assist the evaluators with their evaluations
  • –  introduce each of the evaluators
  • –  request evaluation times from the Timer
  • –  ask the Grammarian for the grammarian report

General Evaluation

The main goal of the general evaluation is to give feedback to the evaluators and to point out anything noteworthy in the meeting, e.g. anything that was done very well or anything that could be improved upon. You have 5 mins to give the evaluation, so you may need to prioritise your most important points. Aim to hand control back the meeting to the Toastmaster 5 mins before the meeting is due to end.

At the end of the meeting

The President will ask you to award a ribbon to the best evaluation of the evening.


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