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Each segment and role is timed, and it is the timer’s responsibility track and record all times.

Prior to the Meeting

  • Ask the General Evaluator (GE) if he/she will invite you to give a brief explanation of the timing rules and signals at the beginning of the meeting for the benefit of the guests. If so, prepare the explanation.

Upon Arrival at the Meeting

  • Get timing equipment – 3 colored cards – from our store material.
  • Sit where the signal device can be seen easily by all speakers (usually in the center of the meeting room).

During the Meeting

  • If agreed to with the General Evaluator, explain the timing rules and demonstrate the signal device.
  • Throughout the meeting, signal to each program participant the green, amber, and red times, according to the agenda (and including 30-second grace periods*). Record each participant’s name and time.
  • Be prepared to answer when the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME) asks you if the candidates for the best speaker, the best table topic speaker and the best evaluator are all within time (and therefore eligible for awards).
  • When the GE asks you to give your report at the end of the meeting, take the stage. Valid comments include everything pertaining to timing such as: whether or not the meeting started on time, whether some speakers or evaluators exceeded their time limits, whether the dinner break ended on time, etc.


If the speaker goes OVER his/her time limit by more than thirty seconds, he/she is disqualified from the “Best” vote. If the speaker speaks UNDER his/her time limit by more than thirty seconds, he/she is disqualified,

In Table Topics, the speaker has to speak at least one minute, no less.