The Toastmaster is the emcee of the prepared speech session. When Toastmasters International refer to the Toastmaster it is usually a reference to the role we call the Chairman in District 70.
The Toastmaster, like any emcee, is there to set the stage for the speakers, not for themselves. The role is to introduce each speaker, lead the applause, thank the speakers, and introduce the evaluators.
Before the Meeting
- Ensure you know who the speakers are.
- Get the speech details from each speaker, including the manual they are speaking from, which speech project they will be doing, and the title of their speech.
- Depending on club protocol you may be asked to introduce the speaker more fully, so ensure you have some background information to give a more full and detailed introduction
- Ask each speaker whether they have any specific requirements such as the removal of the lectern, or specific placement of the lectern, or props, on stage
During the Meeting
- Introduce the Prepared Speech Session
- Introduce the first speaker, the manual and speech project they are doing and the timing of the speech outlining = green light on, amber light on and red light on.
- Introduce their evaluator, and ask the evaluator to read the objectives of the speech project
- Introduce the speaker, the speech title repeating the speech title and speaker’s name before leading the applause
- Shake the speaker’s hand as they take the stage
- Retire to a seat to the side of the stage area, to ensure a quick re appearance at the conclusion of the speech.
- At the conclusion of the speech, shake the speaker’s hand, or not according to club protocol. Thank the speaker and repeat the above process for each speaker.
- When all speeches are included invite each evaluator to the stage to deliver their evaluations, leading the applause each time.
- At the conclusion of the final evaluation, hand back to the meeting chair.
- Move to the front of the room when introduced by the meeting chair.
As Toastmaster it is important you remember that this is a session in which speakers must be given every opportunity to shine. The Toastmaster is really there for the benefit of the speakers, to give them a proper introduction and to lead the applause.