Meetings

Our club meets every Tuesday morning for one hour with each program item scheduled to the minute. We are very conscious of starting and finishing on time as our members have to go to work, university or other activities.

A weekly agenda is published by VPE and sent to members subscribed to the club mailing list. If you would like to visit our meeting, please contact our VPE or one of the committee members and request an agenda.

This is what happens at a typical meeting:

7.15 The Sergeant-at-Arms calls the meeting to order and introduces the meeting theme which is revisited in the Table Topic Session.

7.17 The Chairman manages the meeting program, calls for apologies, checks that every role has been assigned, then introduces other people in turn.

7.20 “My Two Minutes”  is a two minute talk. This role is a great opportunity to share something with members – be it a joke, toast, information or story.

7.23 The Toastmaster introduces members delivering prepared speeches then later introduces each evaluator. The Toastmaster tells the audience the speaker’s objectives, time and speech title.

Evaluators read the speech objectives before hearing the speaker then delivers both an oral and written evaluation of the speech. Evaluation is an important part of training within Toastmasters, and a good Evaluator will listen carefully and give praise for good points and advice on areas that could be improved in future.

7.55 Table Topics is the impromptu speaking part of the meeting and an opportunity for you to think on your feet. The Table Topics Master  prepares a series of questions on the meeting theme. Members (and guests, if willing!) are asked to speak for one minute on the question. After the Table Topics session all meeting attendees are asked to vote for their favourite speaker and the winner is given the floating “Yak Yak award” which is a small yellow toy duck.

8.05 The Grammarian reports on language and grammar used throughout the meeting including things to avoid such as cliches

8.07 The Ah Counter reports on filler words that don’t provide value or meaning to a sentence e.g. ums, ahs and even meaningless so’s and and’s.

8.10The Timer operates the timing lights during the meeting giving visual feedback to speakers. Then the timer reports the actual times taken by each role. One of the most important aspects of public speaking (and probably one of the most abused) is the ability to speak to time. Learning to speak to time is an important learning experience in our club.

8.12 The General Evaluator gives valuable feedback on the various meeting roles with the exception of the speakers who have already been evaluated. Everything in the meeting is evaluated and this is part of the Toastmasters educational experience: prepare, perform then receive feedback.

Finally the Chairman concludes the meeting by announcing the Yak Yak award for best Table Topic, asking club leaders and members for club business and asking visitors for comments.

Apart from the Sergeant-at-Arms, members take turns to do the roles of Chairman, Two Minutes, Toastmaster, Speaker, Evaluator, Table Topics, Grammarian, Ah Counter, Timer and General Evaluator.

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