Training sessions at Toastmasters clubs around the world are very similar although some serve a meal, evening clubs tend to have slonger meetings, and lunch time clubs are all about time and using less of it.
The Sergeant-At-Arms calls the session to order and introduces the Toastmaster.
The Toastmaster is the master of ceremonies:
- opens with some positive remarks to set the tone and possibly introduce a theme
- reviews the agenda
- welcomes guests
- calls for executive reports
- calls for the Word of the Day.
- introduces the Ah Counter, Grammarian and Timekeeper roles.
- Ah Counter highlights our uses of words and sounds such as “ah” and “um.”
- Grammarian monitors our creative and erroneous uses of language.
- Timekeeper monitors overall meeting time and the time for each activity, signalling with lights or cards how much time is left for each activity.
- introduces prepared speeches. One or two members present prepared speeches from the Competent Communicator (CC) manual, or one of the Advanced Communicator (AC) manuals. Before each speech, an evaluator describes the speech project objectives. Speeches are usually 5 - 7 minutes in length. The Timekeeper gently ensures that we keep within time.
- introduces the Table Topics Master.
The Table Topics Master guides us through speaking of the cuff, impromptu speeches, improvisation - however you'd like to refer to it. Members with unassigned or minor roles are called on to briefly respond (1-2 minutes) to questions or scenarios. This enables members to increase their confidence and proficiency in unplanned speaking situations.
The General Evaluator leads the evaluation section of the meeting during which we provide feedback in front of the group:
- Speech Evaluators provide positive, specific, helpful feedback for prepared speeches (speakers also receive written feedback from all other participants).
- Ah Counter reports on our use of crutch words and sounds
- Grammarian reports on creative and erroneous uses of language.
- Timekeeper reports on the length of each role, particularly speeches and Table Topics responses.
Finally, the Toastmaster closes out the meeting:
- asks Guests an opportunity to share their response to the training
- reminds guests that they just spoke in public (it starts small and get ready to grow)