Innisfree Toastmasters Meeting Roles

Roles explainedLike all speaking clubs, the success of Innisfree Toastmasters club depends entirely on the program participants. In Toastmasters, you learn by participating. There are many roles to fill and all meeting participants play an important part in making the club experience educational and enjoyable.

Below are a list of the roles that our club require to be fulfilled. Each role is entirely voluntary, there will never be an obligation to speak. However, if you wanted to test the water so to speak, there are a number of roles such as Ah-Em counter, Invocation and Word Master you might want to try.

Ah-Em

The purpose of the Ah-Counter is to note any word or sound used as a crutch by anyone who speaks during the meeting. Words may be inappropriate interjections, such as and, well, but, so and you know. Sounds may be ah, um or er. These words and sounds can be annoying to listeners. The Ah-Counter role is an excellent opportunity to practice your listening skills.

Timer

One of the skills Toastmasters practice is expressing a thought within a specific time. As timer you are responsible for monitoring time for each meeting segment and each speaker. You’ll also operate the timing signal, indicating to each speaker how long he or she has been talking. Serving as timer is an excellent opportunity to practice giving instructions and time management – something we do every day.

Take on this role and the new habits formed will serve you well in your private life and your career. People appreciate a speaker, friend or employee who is mindful of time frames and deadlines.

Invocation

The Invocator tells an inspiring up to two-minute story that sets the tone for the day’s meeting. The theme of the story is entirely up to speaker. It can range from a short poem, a quote from a book, talking about someone who inspired them, or even a humours story.

As previously mentioned, if you are new to Toastmasters and are nervous about the thought of speaking in front of people, you can use these small but valuable roles to build your confidence.

Toastmaster

The Toastmaster role is quite important as it is their responsibility to take over the meeting from the President, introduce themselves and each speaker throughout the rest of the schedule. If a speaker will not write his or her own introduction, you will write it. Introductions must be brief and carefully planned.

Of course, you want to avoid awkward interruptions or gaps in meeting flow so your last preparation step before the meeting is to plan remarks you can use to make smooth transitions from one portion of the program to another. You may not need them, but you should be prepared for the possibility of awkward periods of silence.

Speakers x 3

No doubt you’ve guessed that the speaking program is the centre of every Toastmasters meeting. After all, what’s Toastmasters without the talking? But members don’t just stand up and start yakking. They use the guidelines in the Competent Communication (CC) manual and the Advanced Communication Series (ACS) manuals to fully prepare their presentations.

The CC manual speeches usually last 5-7 minutes. ACS manual project speeches are 5-7 minutes or longer depending upon the assignment.

You’ll enjoy a growing sense of confidence as you repeat these steps with new speech projects. Don’t be afraid to do the work, enjoy the applause and reap the educational benefits. Your courage will be rewarded!

Topicsmaster

With TABLE TOPICS™, the Topicsmaster gives members who aren’t assigned a speaking role the opportunity to speak during the meeting. The Topicsmaster challenges each member with a subject, and the speaker responds with a one- to two-minute impromptu talk.

Some people underestimate the Topicsmaster role’s importance. Not only does it provide you with an opportunity to practice planning, preparation, organization, time management and facilitation skills; your preparation and topic selection help train members to quickly organize and express their thoughts in an impromptu setting.

You may wish to invite visitors and guests to participate after they have seen one or two members’ responses. But let visitors know they are free to decline if they feel uncomfortable. It is best to check with guest during the break the find out if they are willing to participate.

Table Topics Speaker

Most of the talking we do every day – simple conversation – is impromptu speaking. Yet for some members, TABLE TOPICS™ is the most challenging part of a Toastmasters meeting.

Table Topics continues a long-standing Toastmasters tradition – every member speaks at a meeting. But it’s about more than just carrying on an anxiety-ridden tradition. Table Topics is about developing your ability to organize your thoughts quickly and respond to an impromptu question or topic.

The Topicsmaster will state the question or topic briefly and then call on a respondent. Each speaker receives a different topic or question and participants are called on at random. When you’re asked to respond to a topic, walk to the lectern and give your response. Your response should last one to two minutes.

General Evaluator

The General Evaluator’s role is to evaluate everything that takes place during the club meeting.

During the meeting, use your checklist and take notes on everything that happens (or doesn’t, but should). For example: Is the club’s property (e.g. trophies, banner, educational material) properly displayed? Were there unnecessary distractions that could have been avoided? Did the meeting, and each segment of it, begin and end on time?

Study each participant on the program, from the person giving the inspiration or running the business meeting to the last report by the timer. Look for good and less than desirable examples of preparation, organization, delivery, enthusiasm, observation and general performance of duties.

Being general evaluator is a big responsibility and it is integral to the success of every single club member. People join Toastmasters because they have a goal – they want to learn something. The club is where they learn. If the learning environment isn’t focused and fun, members won’t learn what they joined to learn. Your observations and suggestions help ensure the club is meeting the goals and needs of each member

Evaluator x 3 (one for every speaker)

People join Toastmasters to improve their speaking and leadership skills, and these skills are improved with the help of evaluations. Members complete projects in the Competent Communication and Competent Leadership manuals and you may be asked to evaluate their work. At some point, everyone is asked to participate by providing an evaluation. You will provide both verbal and written evaluations for speakers using the guide in the manual.

Evaluation requires careful preparation if the speaker or leader is to benefit. Study the project objectives as well as the evaluation guide in the manual. Remember, the purpose of evaluation is to help people develop their speaking or leadership skills in various situations. By actively listening, providing reinforcement for their strengths and gently offering useful advice, you motivate members to work hard and improve. When you show the way to improvement, you’ve opened the door to strengthening their ability.

By providing positive feedback, you are personally contributing to your fellow members’ improvement. Preparing and presenting evaluations is also an opportunity for you to practice your listening, critical thinking, feedback and motivation skills. And when the time comes to receive feedback, you’ll have a better understanding of the process.

 

© 2013 Toastmasters International. All rights reserved.

http://www.toastmasters.org/meetingroles.aspx

News

Until next time…
Our final meeting of the 2016/2017 year took place on Wednesday 7th June in the Sligo Park Hotel. It was another very enjoyable meeting and we also had our AGM on the night where we elected members to fill the various committee roles for the coming year.

Our first meeting back for the 2017/2018 year will be on Wednesday 6th of September commencing at 8pm sharp in the Sligo Park Hotel.

If you wish to make contact with Innisfree Toastmasters at any stage you may contact our Club President Ronnie Gillanders on 087-9893067.
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Open Night
An Open Night was held by Innisfree Toastmasters on Wednesday 15th February in the Sligo Park Hotel.
A number of guests came along on the night to see how the club works and how anyone can benefit from the skills we develop as Toastmasters,
Skills such as communication and leadership are learned by all members as they go through their Toastmasters journey.
Guests are welcome at all of our meetings.
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And we’re back…
Our first meeting of 2017 was held on Wed 4th Jan and it was a fun filled night of speaking and indeed some reminiscing as Joss gave us a wonderful talk about “The song that takes you back” and we were treated to the song in question.
I look forward to this becoming a regular feature at our meetings as I am quite sure that all members will have a favourite song which takes them back.
Your Club President, Brian Fallon
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Happy New Year
Happy New Year and welcome fellow Toastmasters to a brand new year. I hope this year brings all that you hope for.
The start of a new year can often be a time for goal setting and a nice quote that I read recently and which you might follow throughout the year is:
“Eat when you are hungry,
Drink when you are thirsty,
And sing and dance as often as you can”
I look forward to seeing you all again this year and to lots more exciting meetings.
Your Club President, Brian Fallon
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Club Competition:
We had our club contest night on Wednesday 5th October. The contests which took place on the night were the Humorous Speech & Table Topics.
Winners on the night were Owen Greene, Tony Monaghan and Eddie McGurrin. We wish them all the best for the next stage of the competition.
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Open Night:
We had a wonderful open night on Wednesday 21st September. All of our guests on the night got an opportunity to come and see a meeting in progress.
Guests are welcome to come to any meeting of Innisfree Toastmasters including our competition nights, bring a friend and chat to us over a cup of tea at the break.
All our meetings commence at 8pm in the Sligo Park Hotel on the 1st & 3rd Wednesday of each month. We always welcome guests to our meetings, no need to let us know you are coming, just show up and enjoy!
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Club Meetings

Innisfree Toastmasters meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month from September through to June of each year at the Sligo Park Hotel from 8pm to 10pm.

Our upcoming meetings for 2017/2018:

September – 6th & 20th
October – 4th & 18th
November – 1st & 15th
December – 6th & 20th
January – 3rd & 17th
February – 7th & 21st
March – 7th & 21st
April – 4th & 18th
May – 2nd & 16th
June – 6th & 20th

Guests are always more than welcome.

Please come along to see what Innisfree Toastmasters is all about. Free to first time visitors.