Instructions for the Toastmaster of the Evening

Basically, your role is to lead the meeting, provide a safe atmosphere for learning, maintain energy, and give the speakers credibility by introducing them with interest and enthusiasm.

Before the meeting

Print copies of the agenda and bring enough for everybody (including unexpected guests). If you don’t have access to a printer, ask the VPE or another board member who is attending to bring them.

Optional: Print a detailed copy of the agenda for yourself. (Click Detail in EasySpeak to get that version.) This has all the times printed in the left column.

Be prepared to introduce the speakers. Tip: If there is a guest speaker, ask that person in advance how he or she would like to be introduced. If a member is completing his or her final speech in a manual, be sure to mention that.

Arrive early at the meeting in order to:

  • Meet with the General Evaluator to go over the agenda and deal with last-minute changes.
  • Talk with speakers whose speeches do not yet have titles, and get those titles.
  • Touch base with the President (or representative) to make sure she is going to welcome the guests and get their feedback afterwards.

While performing your role

After you take over from the President, go through the agenda very briefly, pointing out last-minute changes or unusual items.

Before each prepared speech, ask the assigned evaluator to briefly explain the project. Then introduce the speaker.

Lead the applause.

Shake the hand of each speaker, both when they approach and when they leave the “stage” (unless they forget – no need to call someone back to the stage for that).


If you can, include a personal story or anecdote when you first take over from the President – something that ties in with the meeting.

You’ll need to follow the agenda. If you check it while on “stage”, look up from the agenda before speaking. Avoid talking to the page in your hand.

During the meeting, step in and gently make corrections if someone forgets something while performing their role.

When you return to the stage after table topics or a prepared speech role, it is nice if you can insert a comment that will ease the transition.

After the meeting, ask another member to fill in your Leadership manual, if you want credit for the role.

Are you wondering whether you are ready to perform this role?

More information and tips

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