A Typical Meeting

There is none!  No meeting is ever the same. On our agenda, we aim to have a number of speakers who have prepared speeches, at a variety of levels. As our members come from all walks of life, the topics they choose to speak about vary considerably, keeping the meetings both diverse and entertaining.
 
All roles are arranged in advance, and the organisation is managed by the VPE's (Vice-Presidents of Education)
 
While the agenda can seem very rigid, and the roles and procedures appear formal, they merely provide a structure for the meeting - don't let the fancy titles intimidate. At a meeting you will find the formalities blend into the background, and all participants have fun as well as learn and gain experience. If you are a TOT (Toastmaster-on-Tour!) and visit meetings at different clubs, you'll notice that agendas can vary from club to club. In Dun Laoghaire, no two meetings are the same.

A brief overview of each stage of the meeting is included below, please Roles for a more detailed description of what each role involves.
 

A Typical Agenda -could look like what you see below,  but then again as already mentioned the Agenda is open to change! 

 
Dun Laoghaire Toastmasters
Club Number: 3452

 
7.45pm - President's Opening Remarks;
 
Each meeting is called to order by the Club President and the President will then introduce the Toastmaster for the evening.

7.55pm - Toastmaster's Introduction
The Toastmaster is the chair of the meeting. "The main duty of the Toastmaster is to act as a genial host and conduct the entire programme, including new participants."
(S)he will introduce each participant of the meeting, starting with the functionaries:
  • Timer - Times the speakers' speeches and their evaluators' evaluations, in order to help keep speakers inside their designated time limits. The timer also operates a green/amber/red series of lights as the speakers' time runs out. 
  • Wordmaster - Introduces a new word or words to the club which the members may not be familiar with, including a definition and an example usage. Members will be challenged to use this word when speaking during the course of the meeting! Towards the end of the meeting, the Wordmaster will announce how many times the word was used during the meeting. 
  • Poet/Jokemaster - Reads a poem or tells a joke.
 
8.25pm - Speeches
 
Speaker

Stage

 Title

 Evaluator

David

2

 Umbrellaphobia

 Rosemary

Mary

4

 Social Beauty

 Gavin

Brian

8

 Small World

 Giles

 
Speakers will have volunteered to prepare a speech in advance. The speech can be on any topic of their choosing. Upon joining Toastmasters, new members are given a number of "manuals" - one of these, the "Competent Communicator", is "a practical guide to becoming a better speaker" - and is full of tips and advice on how to improve your public speaking.
 
This is divided into ten Stages, each stage of which focuses on a particular aspect of public speaking. When ready to take their first step, a Toastmaster will typically start at Stage 1 - "The Ice-Breaker" - in which they will give a 4-6 minute speech telling the club a little about themselves.
 
Speeches following subsequent stages in the book (and you're under no obligation to do the stages in order, though it is encouraged) are typically 5-7 minutes long, and can be on any topic of the speaker's choice.
 

9.00pm - Coffee Break

9.15pm - Table Topics Session
The purpose of the Table Topics Session is to give everyone in the room an opportunity to speak, and to improve on their impromptu speaking skills.

The Topicsmaster will call upon audience members, typically those who have not yet had an opportunity to speak during the meeting (don't worry -- we won't pick on you on your first meeting! Please feel free to raise your hand and volunteer if you'd like, however!) and give them a topic, which they may speak about for a minute or two.
 
Topics can be on any subject, and while they should not require specialist knowledge on the part of the audience member, it is reasonable to expect the audience to have read the past weeks' headlines.

9.35pm - Meeting Evaluations
 
General Evaluator - "The General Evaluator is just what the name implies -- an evaluator of anything and everything that takes place throughout the meeting." Calls for reports from the Speaker Evaluators, the Timer and Wordmaster. Gives an overall evaluation of the meeting.
 
Speaker Evaluators - People join Toastmasters to improve their speaking and leadership skills. While giving a speech, an evaluator will keep notes and make comments on the speech in in the speaker's Competent Communicator manual to help the speaker focus on their strengths, and work on any weaknesses. The Evaluator will speak for a few moments to encourage a speaker by making them aware of their strengths, make suggestions for improvement, and giving praise for a speech well done.
 
Functionary Reports - Timer & Wordmaster
The timer will report on the length of time each speaker and evaluator spoke for. The Wordmaster will announce how many times his/her word was used throughout the course of the meeting.

Awards
 
CATT Trophy (Campaign against Table Topics! )- The Table Topics Master will award the CATT Trophy for the best response to Table Topics.
Cicero - The General Evaluator will award the Cicero Trophy for the best contribution to the meeting.

9.55pm - President's Closing Remarks
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