OK, so you’ve now joined Toastmasters. Congratulations! You’d like to sign up for a meeting role, but you’re not sure what to do. You’ve shown up for a few meetings, and have seen a few agendas. You know that there are some roles such as Timer, or Ah/Um Counter, but you may be thinking to yourself: Just what are those roles, exactly?
If you read absolutely nothing else about Meeting Roles, then I highly recommended Toastmasters International’s Club Meeting Roles page. This page is a treasure trove for learning about club meeting roles. You’ll find logs, scripts, and supplemental materials, along with a handy document called A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats.
The roles included on the Toastmasters International site are:
- Ah-Counter (also known as Ah/Um Counter)
- Table Topics Speaker
- Topics Master (also known as Table Topics Master)
- Meeting Speaker (also known as Speaker)
- General Evaluator
Some clubs may also have the following roles:
- Invocation (I’m not sure why this is called “Invocation” rather than “Invocation Speaker”)
- Joke Master
My club has Listener and Invocation roles; however, I’ll need to do some research for the Joke Master role, as my club doesn’t offer it.
In addition, there’s also the Sergeant at Arms/ballot counter/Zoom master role (or roles). This works a little differently than the other roles, especially for virtual meetings.
This site is meant to supplement what’s on the Toastmasters International site, rather than reinvent the wheel. In some cases, I’ll make recommendations based on my personal experience.
For example, I don’t use the logs that are on the Toastmasters International site. For in-person meetings, I tend to use the paper agenda provided by the Toastmaster to scribble down Ah/Um counts, or the time for each speech. For virtual meetings, I like to write down this information in a notebook. Your mileage may vary, and if you find the logs helpful, great!
I have found the scripts, on the other hand, to be very useful. I certainly took advantage of them when I was a beginning Toastmaster, who was afraid of saying much of anything in public.
As you progress through your Toastmasters journey, you’ll find that you enjoy some roles more than others.
Question: Which of these roles is your favorite, and why?