Roles in Buddies
Sergeant at Arms
You keep track of the club’s physical property, such as the banner, lectern, timing device, and other meeting materials. You arrive early to prepare the meeting place for members, and you stay late to stow all of the club’s equipment. You are also in charge of the meeting place itself, obtaining a new space when necessary, and maintaining contact with the people who allow you to use the space for your club meetings. The sergeant at arms also has a role to play during business meetings, speech contests, and other special club events. For example, the sergeant at arms escorts potential new members outside of the club’s meeting place while the members vote on admitting them to the club. The sergeant at arms stands at the door while contestants compete in speech contests to ensure that the speaker is not interrupted by latecomers. Stay current on all new developments via The Leader Letter and the announcements published on the Toastmasters website.
In Buddies online club, the Sergeant at Arms is responsible for opening meetings and welcoming guests….Learn more.
Toastmaster of the Day
Taking on this role improves organization, time management and public speaking skills.
The Toastmaster is the meeting’s director and host. A member typically will not be assigned this role until they are thoroughly familiar with the club and its procedures. As Toastmaster, you:
- Acquire a meeting agenda from your vice president education.
- Work with the General Evaluator to ensure all club participants know their roles and responsibilities.
- Introduce speakers during the club meeting, including their speech topic, project title, objectives, delivery time, etc. during your introduction.
- Ensure smooth transitions between speakers during the club meeting…Learn more.
Taking on this role improves organization skills, time management and facilitation skills.
The Topicsmaster delivers the Table Topics® portion of the meeting, which helps train members to quickly organize and express their thoughts in an impromptu setting. As Topicsmaster, you:
- Select topics in advance of the meeting that allow speakers to offer opinions.
- Give members who aren’t assigned a speaking role the opportunity to speak during the meeting by assigning impromptu talks on non-specialized themes or topics.
- Don’t ask two people the same thing unless you specify that it is to generate opposing viewpoints.
- In clubs presenting a Best Table Topics speaker award, ask members to vote for the best Table Topics speaker…Learn more.
Taking on this role helps you get focused on the task at hand and stay in the moment.
This is a special role for online clubs using Zoom as their teleconferencing tool…Learn more.
Chat and Body language monitors
Ever wondered how you could get rid of your attention deficit and get fully involved in a particular task? If so, these two roles are right for you.
The chat monitor helps the meeting organizers by moderating Zoom’s chat box. She makes sure that the right message goes to the right person at the right time. He decides when is the time to raise hand for emergent messages and when is not. She also actively engages in text cheerleading or quiets booing.
The body language monitor observes the use of body language throughout the meeting and condenses her findings into a two-three minute report at the end of the meeting in an upbeat and friendly tone to encourage proper body language use in public settings. Here is a Toastmasters guide to good gestures for a speech.
Taking on this role improves time management skills.
One of the skills Toastmasters practice is expressing a thought within a specific time. The timer is responsible for monitoring time for each meeting segment and each speaker. As Timer, you:
- Acquire the timing/signaling equipment from the sergeant at arms and know how to operate it.
- Explain the timing rules and demonstrate the signal device if called upon to do so.
- Throughout the meeting, listen carefully to each participant and signal them accordingly.
- When called to report, announce the speakers’ names and the time taken…Learn more.
Taking on this role improves vocabulary, grammar, critical listening skills and evaluation skills
The grammarian plays an important role in helping all club members improve their grammar and vocabulary. As grammarian you:
- Introduce new words to meeting participants and monitor language and grammar usage
- Write down the language and grammar usage of all speakers, noting incomplete sentences, mispronunciations, grammatical mistakes, non-sequiturs, malapropisms, etc. Example: “One in five children wear glasses” should be “one in five children wears glasses.”
- At the end of the meeting, give your complete report when called on.
- Optional: Introduce a “Word of the Week” that helps meeting participants increase their vocabulary; display the word, part of speech, and a brief definition with a visual aid and prepare a sentence showcasing how the word should be used. Note who uses this word or any derivatives thereof correctly or incorrectly during the meeting…Learn more.
The purpose of the Ah-Counter is to note any overused words or filler sounds used as a crutch by anyone who speaks during the meeting. Words may be inappropriate interjections, such as and, well, but, so and you know. Sounds may be ah, um or er…Learn more.
Taking on this role improves active listening, critical thinking and positive feedback skills.
Evaluation is the heart of the Toastmasters educational program. You observe the speeches and leadership roles of your fellow club members and offer evaluations of their efforts, and they do the same for you. As evaluator you:
- Ask those you’ve been assigned to evaluate what they will present and what they wish to achieve.
- Provide objective verbal and written evaluations for speakers.
- When giving any evaluation, offer praise as well as constructive criticism…Learn more.
Taking on this role improves critical thinking, organization, time management, motivational and team-building skills.
The General Evaluator evaluates everything that takes place during the club meeting. In addition, the General Evaluator conducts the evaluation portion of the meeting and is responsible for the evaluation team: the speech evaluators, Ah Counter, grammarian and timer. As General Evaluator, you:
- Ensure other evaluators know their tasks and responsibilities.
- Explain the purpose and benefits of evaluations to the group.
- Identify and confirm meeting assignments with the timer, grammarian and Ah-Counter.
- Confirm the club meeting program and/or checklist with the Toastmaster.
- During the meeting, take notes and report on all club proceedings to evaluate things such as timeliness, enthusiasm, preparation, organization, performance of duties, etc…Learn more.
For Speak-a-thons, click here.
Taking on this role improves critical thinking, confidence and public speaking skills
Every speaker is a role model, and club members learn from one another’s speeches. As a meeting speaker, you:
- Prepare, rehearse and present a speech during the club meeting.
- Arrive early to make sure the microphone, lectern and lighting are working and in place.
- Discuss your goals, strengths and weaknesses with your evaluator prior to giving your speech.
As Keymaster you are responsible for opening the virtual doors of the club meeting. This role requires special privileges to start the club meeting software. Please coordinate with your club’s Sergeant at Arms.
The purpose of the Ballot Counter is to collect and compare ballots submitted by club members for Best Table Topic presentation and Best Evaluator. Only members are allowed to vote, as only members would be familiar with the criteria for voting. Guests are encouraged, however, to include notes of encouragement and edification. The Ballot Counter does not cast a vote unless there is a tie, in which case your ballot will be the tie-breaking vote…Read more.
The Inspiration is presented near the beginning of the meeting and is one to two minutes in length. It should encourage (give support, confidence or hope to someone) or enlighten (give someone a greater knowledge and understanding about a subject or situation) and set a positive tone for the meeting.
Inspire, challenge and motivate!
The thought of the day is an inspiring quotation that sets the tone for the day’s meeting. It is usually delivered by a designated club member at the beginning of the meeting, and is sometimes used as a replacement for or in combination with an invocation or pledge of allegiance…Read more.
Officer of the Day
The role of Officer of the Day is assigned based on a rotation schedule consisting of all of the Club Officers and acts as liaison to the President by opening the meeting, discussing Club business, explaining the role of Toastmaster and introducing the Toastmaster. The role allows the President to delegate some of the administrative tasks and allows the other Officers of the Club to gain valuable experience being “President” for a day.
Prior to the meeting date, the Officer of the Day should contact the President to discuss any special announcements or other Club business that should be announced prior to introducing the Toastmaster for the meeting.
The role of the Quizmaster is an excellent role for a new member to begin participating in club meetings immediately.
As Quizmaster your task is to create 5 or 6 questions to test the audience’s listening skills, and then ask the audience the questions you have developed. This role will not only help you develop both your listening and facilitation skills, but it also provides the opportunity for everyone at the meeting to actively practice and test their listening skills as well…Read more.
Safety Moment Presenter
The Safety Moment Presenter is responsible to prepare and deliver a Safety Moment at the beginning of each meeting.
- The Safety Moment will be a one to two minute presentation
- The topic can be anything that is safety related
- The Safety Moment takes place right after the Toastmaster introduces the program
- When introduced by the meeting Toastmaster, the Safety Moment Presenter is to go to the front of the room to deliver their presentation
- Once completed, the Safety Moment Presenter returns meeting control to the Toastmaster
Toast/Joke of the Day
The toat/joke should last about 30 seconds. If possible, try to tailor your toast or joke towards the theme of the meeting.
The Toast is a mini-speech with a definite structure to it – introduction, body and conclusion. The purpose of proposing a toast is to honour a person or persons, an institution or an event…Read more.
The member filling this role is to engage the audience with a one or two minute humorous speech at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a meeting.
Many public speakers find that it is difficult to add humor to their talks. When a member is assigned the responsibility of Humorist, the member has the opportunity to prepare a humorous anecdote or joke, practice it and present it. By fulfilling this responsibility the member is learning to add humor while the club is treated to a humorous interlude to start off the meeting. The Humorist is advised that off-color jokes are not appropriate…Read more.
Your role is to draw the meeting’s attention to the importance of careful listening. Listening is essential for powerful communications. Unless we understand what the speaker is saying we will not be very effective in our communications…Read more.
Please leave a message and tell us any other interesting roles you’ve experienced in other clubs. We are always ready to learn and have more fun!
(References: Misako’s Google docs, Toastmasters.org, Easy-speak Knowledge Base, West Hollywood Toastmasters Club)