Agenda Role Description
The centerpiece of Toastmaster training is the prepared speech. A large part of every
Toastmaster meeting is devoted to the delivery of prepared speeches, usually with three or more
speakers appearing on the agenda. These presentations are prepared to meet differing
requirements depending on the level of manual from which the speaker is working. Typical
times for basic manual talks run five to seven minutes. Advanced manual speeches may take
eight or more minutes for delivery.
When you are a speaker, always remember: Preparation is the single most essential
element for your success.
Prior to the meeting
1. To be a speaker, you volunteer. You do this by contacting the club Vice President of
Education who schedules you for an upcoming meeting. You gain the most benefit from
Toastmaster training when you prepare speeches based on manual assignments. When
working on the basic manual, you are urged to present speeches in numerical order since
each assignment builds on skills learned in previous projects.
2. Prepare, then rehearse your speech repeatedly. Remember that you are evaluated primarily
on the your delivery techniques, not for speech content. Typically, inexperienced speakers
spend too much time writing their speeches and spend too little time on rehearsal. Keep in
mind that Toastmaster training is essentially about developing presentation delivery skills,
not about speech writing.
3. Contact the Toastmaster for the meeting to provide your speech manual assignment,
objective, time and title. Discuss with the Toastmaster any needs you may have for
equipment such as a flip chart, easel or overhead projector. Give the Toastmaster any
introductory information requested and review any other special aspects related to your talk.
4. If you have a mentor, discuss with him or her your preparation plans for your speech. If
would like a mentor, contact the Club Educational Vice President.
5. Contact the General Evaluator for your Evaluator’s name. Talk to your Evaluator about the
manual speech you’ll be delivering, your speech goals and any personal concerns, e.g.,
aspects of your delivery that need strengthening. Remember to bring your manual to the
At the Meeting
1. Arrive early. Make sure that any visual aid equipment you need is set up and working before
everyone arrives. Prevent problems that can ruin your talk.
2. Sit near the front of the room for quick and easy access to the stage.
3. Carefully plan your approach to the lectern and speech opening.
4. Be sure to give your manual to your evaluator before the meeting starts.
5. If you don’t write your own speech introduction, make certain that the Toastmaster of the
meeting has prepared a good one for you.
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During the meeting
1. As a simple courtesy, give your full attention to every speaker at the lectern. Avoid studying
your speech notes while someone else is talking.
2. When introduced, smoothly leave your chair and walk with assurance to the lectern as
planned. Shake the Toastmaster’s hand.
3. Remember to acknowledge both the Toastmaster and those in the audience (“Mr./Madam
Toastmaster, fellow members and guests” or “Mr./Madam Toastmaster, ladies and
4. When you end your speech, never thank your audience. Simply return control of the meeting
to the Toastmaster of the Evening. Always wait for the Toastmaster to return to the lectern,
shake his or her hand, and then return to your seat.
5. During the evaluation of your speech, listen intently for helpful hints that will assist in
building better future talks. Pay attention to suggestions from other members. You may even
want to take notes.
After the meeting
1. Retrieve your manual from your evaluator. At this time, discuss any questions you may have
concerning your evaluation to clarify any misinterpretations.
2. Ask the Vice President - Education to initial the Project Completion Record in the back of
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