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Club Meeting Roles


The main duty of the Toastmaster is to act as the host and make introductions.

The Toastmaster creates an atmosphere of interest, expectation, and receptivity. We encourage you to observe a few meetings before signing up for this role.

If you are new club member and want to take on this role, please reach out to us at downtowntorontotoastmasters@gmail.com to prepare for the role.

Before the meetings

  • Contact the Speakers to collate below information. The club will support you through this process
    • Speech Title, Speech Timing, Pathways Learning Path, Pathway Level, Short Bio
    • Generally, there are two prepared speeches per meeting. If there are cancellations, work with the club’s support to find volunteers.
  • Prepare a brief explanation of the theme of the day and what it means to you.
  • Prepare a Word of the Day. Ideally, WOD should tie to the theme of the meeting.
  • Go through the Speaker Bios in advance.

During the meetings

  • Download below script to help you run the meeting.

Few tips:

  • Encourage members and guests to use chat tool to share comments and feedback with the speakers
  • Use transitions (like summarizing takeaways from Speakers, evaluators) to make meeting more engaging and naturally flowing

Resources to help you prepare

Toastmaster Role Summary and Notes

A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats


The Toast is a mini-speech with a definite structure to it – introduction, body and conclusion. The purpose of proposing a toast is to honour a someone or something.

  • The toast should last about 30 -60 seconds. If possible, try to tailor your toast towards the theme of the meeting.
  • End with requesting all attendees to raise their glasses and toast to a key message that you have.
  • Tip: Try to avoid proposing a toast to controversial persons or subjects.

Table Topics Master

Table Topics are impromptu speeches. The purpose of the Table Topics section is to help members and guests think on their feet and speak on a given subject for between 1 – 2 minutes.

It also allows speaking opportunities for those who are not programmed for other roles on the Agenda including guests

As a Table Topic Master you will challenge each participant with a subject or question to help them hone their impromptu speaking.

Before the meeting

  • Draw up a list of Topics. Try to have topics which are close to the theme of the day.
  • Ideas can be found in The Toastmaster magazine, national papers or websites.
  • Select topics that will inspire the speakers and encourage them to give their opinions.
  • Prepare 8-10 questions.

During the meeting

  • When introduced, briefly state the purpose of the Topics session and theme of the table topics. (You can also remind people to use the Word of the Day 😊)
  • Before starting request volunteers. Guests are encouraged to participate, so let them know.
  • Number of volunteers vary depending on the day.
  • Try to have short enthusiastic transitionary comments in between 2 table topic speeches.

If in doubt, reach out to downtowntoastmasters@gmail.com with your questions.

Resources to help you prepare

Tackling the Topicsmaster Role

Being the Best Table Topicsmaster

A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats


The Timer tracks and logs timings of various speeches. Including Toast, Speakers, Evaluators and Table Topics participants.

Before the meeting

  • You need a stopwatch or a cellphone and a piece of paper or digital notebook to record the time
  • You need digital Green/Yellow/Red backgrounds for online meetings. If you are scheduled to be a timer and do not have these backgrounds reach out to the club at downtowntorontotoastmasters@gmail.com

During the meeting

The following roles are to be timed:

  • Speaker (Time ranges from 4-6, 5-7, or 8-10 minutes depending on the speech). Check for the speech timings before the speeches.
  • Table Topics participants (Time ranges from 1-2 minutes)
  • Speech Evaluators (Time ranges from 2-3 minutes)

Timing will begin with the speaker’s first definite verbal or nonverbal communication with the audience.

This usually will be the first word uttered by the speaker, but would include any other form of communication, such as sound effects, a gesture, a staged act by another person, etc.

Resources to help you prepare

Download Timer Zoom Backgrounds (Green, Yellow, Red)

How to Time

The Timer's Toolkit

A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats


The grammarian plays an important role in helping all club members improve their grammar and vocabulary.

As grammarian you:

  • Introduce new words to meeting participants and monitor language and grammar usage
  • You also track the use of “Umms” “Ahs” and filler words “So, like etc when not being used naturally into the sentence
  • You should highlight the use of “Word of the Day”
  • In this club the “Ah-counter” is part of the Grammarian’s role

Resources to help you prepare

The Grammarian’s Gift

A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats


A major portion of each meeting is centered around two or three Prepared Speakers. Most speeches typically last from five to seven minutes but if your speech is of custom length, tell the Toastmaster know.

Preparation is essential!

As a Speaker you:

  • Are responsible to prepare speech based on the Pathways Learning Path guidelines
  • Are responsible for notifying the Toastmaster of the meeting or Downtown Toronto Toastmasters Club in case of replacements
  • Should inform the Evaluator if you are looking to improve a specific area or working on a specific skill
  • Must tell the Toastmaster of the meeting how many minutes are required for the speech
  • Once the Speech, ensure to log in the speech on your Pathways Base Camp on Toastmasters.com. If you have any questions on this reach out to the VP Education of your club or email the club.

A few tips:

  • Check the schedule to see when you are on the programme (e.g., Speaker 1 vs Speaker 2)
  • Are responsible for notifying the Toastmaster of the meeting or Downtown Toronto Toastmasters Club in case of replacements
  • When you begin your speech, acknowledge your fellow Toastmasters and guests
  • o Plan your speech closing as carefully as your opening. Those finishing touches will bring on the applause and really make a mark!


Icebreaker is the first Project in Level 1 across all 11 learning paths in Pathways.

This introductory speech is a great way to give fellow club members information about your background, interests, and ambitions.

We encourage all new members to start working towards Icebreaker (but work at your own pace)

This speech is 4-6 mins long

Resources to help you prepare

5 Easy Tips for Crafting a Speech

The five things you must know about public speaking

A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats

How to Build a Speech

Speech Topics are Everywhere

Prep Talk

  • Your purpose as an evaluator is to provide honest reaction in a constructive manner to the person’s efforts.
  • You are not a judge or an authority on speaking or leadership. When you evaluate, you are simply giving your own reaction to the person’s speaking or leadership efforts. An evaluation is an opinion, nothing more.
  • This opinion should mention the effect on you, what the speaker or leader did well, areas where the speaker or leader could improve, and specific recommendations for improvement
  • Mention something the person did well in addition to something which could be improved. Some Toastmasters like the “sandwich” approach, where a suggestion for improvement is sandwiched between two positive comments. Evaluate only areas that the speaker or leader has the power to change.
  • Be specific.

Resources to help you prepare

Effective Evaluation.pdf

A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats

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