The Chair of the meeting welcomes all our Toastmasters and guests. He/she will set the tone of the club and present an anecdote of the theme. After, the Chair will introduce the Toast, the guests, the Grammarian, Timer and Quizmaster. Finally, he/she will open the business section of the meeting.

At the end of the meeting, the Chair will present awards and will call on a member for Inspiration/Humour.


People join Toastmasters to improve their speaking and leadership skills. These skills are improved with the help of evaluations. Members complete projects in their Pathways education program 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. You’ll always give a written evaluation for leadership roles, though verbal evaluations for leaders are handled differently from club to club. Sometimes verbal evaluations are given during the meeting and sometimes they are given privately, after the meeting. Check with your vice president education (VPE) or the Toastmaster if you’re not sure of your club’s method.

Learn more about being an Evaluator.

General Evaluator

Where an Evaluator provides feedback for an individual member, the General Evaluator provides feedback about the whole meeting.

If you think of a club meeting as a project, then you can see the general evaluator as a kind of project manager. As GE, your responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring the speech and leadership project evaluators know their responsibilities

  • Supervising the timer, grammarian and Ah-Counter

  • Evaluating everything that takes place during the club meeting

  • Making sure each activity is performed correctly

Learn more about the General Evaluator


One benefit of Toastmasters is that it helps people improve their grammar and word use. Being grammarian also provides an exercise in expanding listening skills. You have several responsibilities: to introduce new words to members, to comment on language usage during the course of the meeting, and to provide examples of eloquence.

Learn more about being the Grammarian


The role of the Quizmaster is to listen intently to everything that is said during the meeting and to create five or six questions to ask the audience. These questions are intended to test the audience’s listening skills.

This role provides the opportunity for all at the meeting to actively practice and test their listening skills. As the Quizmaster, you lead the audience by exemplifying active listening. As the meeting progresses, jot down simple questions based on what was said or done, the content of any assignment or what was learned.

Near the end of the meeting, you will be called to stand and ask the club your questions, in the form of a “question and answer” period. Briefly and concisely, thank the General Evaluator and then allow approximately 5 to 10 seconds per question and answer. Quickly pose the question to the entire audience. Expect rapid answers to be called out from the audience and keep a running tab of who answered the questions. If no response is given to a question, provide the answer and move onto the next question.

When your time is up, briefly thank the audience for their participation and pass control of the lectern to the General Evaluator before being seated.


The questions should be based purely on good listening skills and the audience’s ability to pay attention. The questions should not be trivial, but neither is it about testing the audience’s skills at details.

It is good to ask questions on important points that were learned during the evening. For example, “According to Carl’s educational session, what is the most important job of an evaluator?”

Use your imagination to make the assignment both entertaining and a method of revision.

You can limit who can answer, award small prizes or make it a written assessment.

IMPORTANT: If the meeting is running overtime, keep your report short by asking fewer questions.

Smile and have fun!

Table Topics Master

Table Topics is one of the most fun parts of a Toastmasters meeting. As Table Topics Master your responsibility is to coordinate the theme of the meeting with the Toastmaster and prepare at least ten topic questions for the impromptu speaking portion of the meeting.

During the Meeting

Arrive at least 10 minutes early to make a list of all people eligible for Table Topics.  Ask the Toastmaster and General Evaluator for any last minute changes in the schedule.  As any scheduled speakers and/or functionaries if they would be interested in participating in Table Topics.

After You Are Introduced

  • Give a one-minute introduction of Table Topics (tie in theme of the meeting)

  • Ask any guests if they would be interested in participating

  • Assign your topics, giving situation first and calling on the person last to keep everyone on the edge of their seat.

  • Call on members without functions first. If there are not enough members present, you may call on members with functions, starting with the Wordmaster and Grammarian.

  • The General Evaluator or schedule speakers should not be called on unless they have given you permission to do so.

  • The Table Topics portion will last until 7:25 pm to ensure enough time is available for the speaking and evaluation portions of the meeting. You may go longer, after conferring with the Toastmaster. Examples of appropriate extension of time would be if there are only 1 or 2 schedule speakers for that morning giving normal timed ( 5-7 ) speeches. If running late, stop after a minimum of three topic questions have been asked.

After the last Table Topics speaker:

  • Ask for the names of qualified speakers from the Timer and the Wordmaster

  • Call for the “Best Table Topics” vote

  • Thank participants and return control of the meeting to the Toastmaster

Get some tips for great Table Topics questions


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.

Here’s how to succeed as timer:

  • Before the meeting, contact the Toastmaster and general evaluator to confirm which members are scheduled program participants. Then contact each speaker to confirm the time they’ll need for their prepared speech.

  • On meeting day, retrieve the timing equipment from the sergeant at arms. Be sure you understand how to operate the stopwatch and signal device, make certain the timing equipment works and sit where the signal device can be seen by all.

  • The Toastmaster of the meeting will usually call on you to explain the timing rules and demonstrate the signal device.

  • Throughout the meeting, listen carefully to each program participant and signal them. Generally, Table Topics speakers should be +/- 15 seconds of allowed time; prepared speakers must be +/- 30 seconds. However, these times may vary from club to club. In addition, signal the chairman, Toastmaster and Topicsmaster with red when they have reached their allotted or agreed-upon time. Record each participant’s name and time used.

  • When you’re called to report by the Topicsmaster, Toastmaster or general evaluator, announce the speaker’s name and the time taken. Mention those members who are eligible for awards if your club issues awards.

  • After the meeting, return the stopwatch and timing signal device to the sergeant at arms. Give the completed timer’s report to the secretary so he or she can record it in the minutes (if this is done in your club).

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.


As the Toastmaster, you’ll introduce each speaker. If a speaker will not write his or her own introduction, you will write it. Introductions must be brief and carefully planned. Contact speakers several days before the meeting to ask about:

  • Speech topic and title

  • Manual and project title

  • Assignment objectives

  • Speaker’s personal objectives

  • Delivery time

  • A response to the meeting’s theme

You need all of these elements to create your introductions. Remember to keep the introductions between 30-60 seconds in length.

Learn more about being the Toastmaster