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Terms and Functionaries

FindYourVoice.pngBeing a member of Toastmasters reinforces a variety of skills by having members rotate through different meeting roles.  Below are some meeting roles and definitions that you'll see when you visit our club. 

A meeting agenda, prepared by the Toastmaster, outlines the sequence of events for each meeting and identifies who is participating in what activity and at what time. The following explanation of terms and program participants will help you to understand the jobs performed by our "functionaries:"

Prepares the details of the agenda for the meeting, makes introductions of functionaries, introduces guests, makes sure the meeting stays on topic and on time.

Word of the Day:
A word is selected and its use defined by the Grammarian. Its use during the meeting and especially during Table Topics helps expand our vocabularies.

Ah Counter:
Calls our attention to the Ahs, Ers, Ums (or other sounds used as fillers) by ringing a bell each time a speaker utter such sounds or filler. The bell brings our attention to these speech crutches when we use them. Toastmasters, Evaluators and participants in Table Topics are subject to the Ah Counter bell. Formal speakers are not except by request because they have the benefit of the full evaluations.

Speakers, evaluators and participants in Table Topics are instructed to speak within specific time limits. Warning lights are used to guide them through their allotted time by signaling the minimum, midpoint and maximum times.

Announces the "Word of the Day", giving the definition and usage. The Grammarian also reminds members that the "Word" must be used by all Table Topic Speakers. The Grammarian also listens for proper and incorrect grammatical usage in order to give a report near the end of the meeting.

Table Topics:
An exercise in impromptu speaking. An assigned Table Topic Master will ask questions of those members not assigned as speakers or evaluators for the meeting. All Table Topics speakers are required to use the "Word of the Day" in their response. They must speak within the specified one to two minutes allowed. Guests are invited to participate.

Formal Speeches:
Members scheduled to speak give speeches of varying lengths. Beginning with the "Ice Breaker" speech, each Toastmaster progresses through a series of 10 speech projects as outlined in the "Communication and Leadership" manual. Each speech project focuses on some aspect of effective speaking; however, the speaker chooses the topic. Upon successful completion of the 10 manual speeches, the club member is awarded a designation of Competent Communicator (CC).

Each formal speaker receives an objective evaluation of their presentation following their speech from a designated Evaluator. Other members provide additional written evaluation notes for the speaker to read after the meeting. A well-balanced evaluation points out both the strong points of the speaker's presentation as well as suggested areas for improvement. Guests are invited to participate in the written evaluations for the formal speakers. Evaluations are not criticism; instead they are balanced constructive feedback to help you improve.

General Evaluator:
The General Evaluator introduces the various speech evaluators, asks for the functionaries' reports, and makes comments about the overall meeting and protocol.

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