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.

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News

EUROPE DIRECT SOAPBOX CONTEST 2017:

Photo: Eddie, Kieran and Jonathan of PSS

This years national final was won by our own Public Speakers Sligo representative Kieran Timmons who took first place at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham opposing the motion “Brexit – Ireland’s opportunity”.  Kieran learned his public speaking skill in Toastmasters!

Open Night

Our 2nd open night will take place on Wednesday 17th January 2018 in the Sligo Park Hotel.  We welcome all comers to sample a Toastmaster meeting.  No need to book, just come along at 8pm.   We had lots of guests at our last open night who came along to find out what we do and how we can people help overcome the fear of public speaking as well as build confidence in all areas of life. Guests are always welcome at our meetings.

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All change

We have changed our club name to Public Speakers Sligo. We feel that this name very clearly promotes what our club is about.  So we say a fond farewell to Innisfree Toastmasters and a warm welcome to Public Speakers Sligo – PSS for short. We are still part of Toastmasters International which is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping people become better communicators and leaders.  If you want to know more about our club and how it can help you why not come along to one of our meetings. We meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 8pm in the Sligo Park Hotel.

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Until next time…

Our final meeting of the 2017 half of the season is on 20th December and we will return on the 3rd of January to the beautifully refurbished Sligo Park Hotel.

If you wish to make contact with PSS Toastmasters at any stage please contact our Club President Ronnie Gillanders on 087-989 3067.