As a new Toastmaster, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the variety of roles and responsibilities that are needed during any typical club meeting. If the Vice President Education – and each of the members – are doing their job, you would have immediately been given an opportunity to fulfill one of those roles. If that is case, or you waited a few meetings before volunteering, you still need some guidelines in order to prepare before the meeting.
There are more resources for learning about roles than there are roles themselves. Use the search feature at toastmasters.org and type in the name of any meeting role and several results will be returned. Typically, the first entry is a role description from Toastmasters International. You can also find each meeting role organized at the site.
Branching out, you can search Google for meeting roles and find descriptions as written by different Toastmasters from clubs around the world. YouTube is a great resource for watching speakers, but there are several videos available to see how other members serve in meeting roles too.
Our own club site, lvchambervoices.com includes a Documents page outlining several meeting roles including Toastmaster, General Evaluator, Timer, and Table Topicsmaster. In time, other members may choose to create outlines for the remaining roles.
Don’t forget your greatest resource as a Toastmaster – your club members. The most experienced members of your club have served in these roles several times. Newer members are a great resource because they may have only served in a particular role once and can tell you to prepare for very particular points. If you are scheduled to serve in a role at a future club meeting, sit next to the member serving in that role at the next meeting. Pay close attention to how they approach the responsibility and talk to them after the meeting. The experience will be fresh in their mind and they will be glad to help you prepare.
There are resources every place you look. Find the ones that work best for you and you will become a resource for others.
Brian Rice, ACB, ALB
Vice President Public Relations