Perth (Banyandah) Toastmasters Meeting Agenda
Following is a typical Banyandah Toastmasters agenda:
Sergeant at Arms
Project Speech 1
Project Speech 2
Project Speech 3
Evaluate Speech 1
Evaluate Speech 2
Evaluate Speech 3
Table Topics Evaluation (odd numbers)
Table Topics Evaluation (even numbers)
Club Business and Close
While all members are called Toastmasters, the Toastmaster for the evening is nominated for each meeting. This assignment involves organising the meeting and some preparation. The Toastmaster prepares the agenda and arranges for the speakers, evaluators, timekeepers and other players to arrive on time, and introduces each speaker as they come to the lectern. He or she acts as a genial host or “master of ceremonies” during the meeting. When new members feel ready to take on this role they are invited to do so but this is not usually until after they have completed several speeches and their confidence has grown.
This part of the meeting is aimed at learning how to “think on your feet”. The Table Topics Master (see below) has a series of scenarios or questions which he/ she puts to the other members in the audience. The Topics Master will then select a member at random to stand up and respond to the question for a period of about 1-1½ minutes. Guests are invited to participate if they would like to, however the Topics Master will give the option to anyone present to not participate/pass if they wish to.
Project (Or Manual) Speech
On joining Toastmasters new members are issued with the Competent Communicator (CC) Manual which has 10 project speeches or assignments in it.
The first is called “The Icebreaker” and simply calls for the new member to speak about a subject they should be familiar with – themselves. This also serves as an introduction of that member to the club.
Later project speeches teach the member to concentrate on different aspects of speech making such as body language, use of visual aids and voice projection. All aspects are consolidated in the 10th and final project speech in the introductory manual. On completion of the final speech, the Toastmaster has earned the title of Competent Communicator (CC). This is an occasion for great celebration for the whole club when a member achieves CC status.
This is however, only the beginning because the next step is to complete the Advanced Communicator Manuals to qualify for the Advanced Communicator (AC) Awards which include the Advanced Communicator Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. There are 15 of these manuals each of which has 5 speaking assignments. Each manual focuses on a different type of speech e.g. speaking to inform, technical presentations, acting in a facilitator role, interpretive reading, storytelling and interpersonal communication.
The role of the speech evaluator is to give constructive feedback to the member giving the speech so that the member can improve their communication techniques.
The speech evaluation follows a standard three part format. The speech evaluator commends the speaker on those aspects of presentation which he or she felt were done well by the speaker. Next, the evaluator makes constructive suggestions for improvement ie recommendations. Finally, he or she will give a conclusion which summarise the main points and finishes the evaluation on a strong, encouraging note.
In this role a Toastmaster aims to give an evaluation of the meeting as a whole. He or she will note whether the meeting started on time and if enough preparation had been made beforehand. What was the feeling of the meeting -was it warm and friendly?
The general evaluator will give a constructive assessment of those roles not already evaluated ie the Toastmaster of the day, the Table Topics Master and Table Topics Evaluator, and the Speech Evaluators. He or she will ask for a brief report from the Grammarian and the Timekeeper during the general evaluation session.
Normally this assignment is given to a member who has completed a number of project speeches and has done a number of speech evaluations. Sometimes this assignment is carried out by a guest from another Toastmasters club.
In this important role the objective is to give feedback on time taken for speaking assignments, and to work in conjunction with the Toastmaster of the day to keep the meeting running on time. This assignment is a good start for a new member.
Grammarian/ Um Er Counter
This assignment can also be done by a new member. It involves introducing a word for the day and giving the dictionary meaning (or meanings of the word). The grammarian notes the number of times the word is used by those at the meeting and also notes good and weaker usage of words and grammar.
The Grammarian may also take on the role of the Um/Er counter who keeps note of the “ums” “errs” and other speech irregularities and noises uttered by the members! The Um/Er counter’s job can also be done separately from the Grammarian’s job. The purpose of counting these and providing feedback is to help the member reduce or hopefully eliminate these bad speaking habits, so that they can improve their vocal delivery.
The purpose of this role is to test the listening skills of the members. During the general evaluation session the harkmaster asks the members present a number of questions based upon what was said during the meeting. This tests their ability to listen actively to the speeches and other assignments done during the meeting. This role can also be carried out by new members.
Sergeant At Arms
This member calls the other members to order at the start of the meeting and also after the break (if the club has a break during the meeting). He or she sets up the room prior to the meeting and greets members and their guests as they arrive. The Sergeant at Arms (SAA) also arranges for food and drinks at club meetings and meals at speech contests.