It is an honor and a challenge to lead the meeting as the Master of Ceremonies, in Toastmasters terms the Toastmaster of the Evening. The primary duty of the TME is to act as a genial host, introducing speakers in a way that elicits the attentive receptivity of the audience.
Prior to the Meeting:
Most important! You are responsible for ensuring that roles for the meeting are filled and confirmed ideally at least 2 weeks in advance of the meeting. The VPE or other officer will notify you of the TME assignment ideally at least one month in advance of the meeting whenever possible.
You will see that as TME you are the “Meeting Manager”. This means that you have full rights to edit the agenda of the meeting, as well as to allocate speech slots and all roles, in the event that a confirmed speaker or functionary cannot attend.
If you need help navigating Easyspeak as the Meeting Manager, call the President, VPE, or VP of Membership, or another member you know has experience in Easyspeak. (It’s a great tool, but not always entirely intuitive.)
You may use Easyspeak to allocate roles, and then you should ensure that all program participants confirm their roles. In case of delay or doubt, please email or call members. Certainly write or call to confirm last-minute assignments.
It is common in an international club for work and other obligations to preclude attendance at the last minute. If a prepared speaker or other participant drops out at the last minute, ask the person in the “Hot Seat” to replace them. If more than one person drops out, approach other members in advance of the meeting.
At exceptional meetings when attendance is very low, around 10 people, feel free to omit minor roles (such as Listener or Grammarian), and opt instead to allot more time to Table Topics, for example.
Ask the speakers if they need the flipchart or the beamer. Inform the Sergeant at Arms (SAA) 3 days before the meeting
Print the agenda from EasySpeak on the day of the meeting and distribute it at the meeting. (approx. 30 copies–verify number of attendees in EasySpeak and add several extra for guests). Before you print the agenda, make sure that an extra 2 minutes is added to each speech segment, to provide the necessary time for introductions prior to, and club evaluations after, each speech. You can copy and paste the agenda into MS Word (or another program) to delete the information at the top of the Easyspeak page which does not need to be printed, but must be displayed in Easyspeak
Arrive no later than 20 minutes prior to the meeting to distribute agendas and discuss roles with participants
Upon Arrival at the Meeting
- Verify that the room is arranged according to speaker/other needs
- Distribute an agenda to each place-setting
- Verify that all functionaries are present and that equipment is in working order (eg. timing device, beamer)
- After the President opens the meeting, keep the schedule flowing according to the times listed in the agenda.
- On rare occasions when no officer is present to preside at the meeting, invite the guests to stand and introduce themselves
- Give a brief (1″) overview of the evening program, including any special theme (debate, contest, speech marathon, etc.)
- Inform participants of any unprinted, last-minute amendments to the program
- Use appropriate salutations/titles for all functionaries, including speech evaluators
- The TME introduces the prepared speaker. The TME will announce the objectives of the speech, call the speaker on stage, say the title of the speech, repeat the title of the speech and say one more time the name of the speaker.
- When the prepared speaker is finished, stand to shake his/her hand and ask the timer for 1 minute for club evaluations.
- Then introduce the next speaker.
- After all of the speakers have finished, ask the Timer if they all kept to their times, to verify that nobody was disqualified
- Everyone who adhered to his speech time frame qualifies to be voted as “Best Speaker”
- Ask everyone to cast their ballots for the “Best Speaker”
- Invite the Jokemaster to tell a joke while people vote for “Best Speaker”
- Break for dinner – we always want our dinner breaks to be minimum length 30 minutes so that all participants can enjoy their food.
- Resume the meeting, inviting the Speech Evaluators to give their assessments
- After the last Speech Evaluation, ask the Timer if all the Speech Evaluators were in time
- Those who adhered to the evaluation time frame qualify to be voted as “Best Evaluator”
- Ask everyone to cast their ballots for “Best Evaluator”
- Adjust other meeting segments (Table Topics, for example) as required to ensure the meeting ends on time, keeping attendees and the Timer up to date with any unforeseen changes
- Once the GE has finished his/her evaluation, introduce the Jokemaster, if applicable. When the Jokemaster is finished, make your final comment and turn the remainder of the meeting over to the President
- On rare occasions when no officer is present to serve in the President’s role: invite the guests to stand and share their observations; address necessary club business; close the meeting.
After the Meeting
- Ask an officer to sign your project record
- At home again, enter the winners (Best Speaker, Evaluator, and TT Speaker) into the Easy-Speak agenda page, and close the meeting
Congratulations! This is an authoritative role which helps you to cultivate leadership skills and stage presence.