Tips for Roles

Key Tips for Meeting Roles

Table Topics Master

  1. Have a good mix of topics. One idea is to have a mixture of past (“Tell us about a time…”), present (“What do you think about…”), future (“What would you do if…”), and roleplay (“Imagine you are at a job interview and…”) questions. And a good mix of easy to difficult.

  2. Choose a seasoned toastmaster as your first victim….this means guests can see how it is done.

  3. Reserve a seat in the front row, then go and wait at the back until you are called to speak by the Toastmaster.  This will foil those who arrive late especially to avoid doing Table Topics.

  4. Announce the topic before the name of the person who is getting it to ensure that everyone keeps thinking about what they would say if they were called up.

  5. After you’ve introduced a speaker you should lead the applause and stay on the stage to shake hands with the speaker before sitting down.

  6. Keep an eye on the time to ensure that you stay within the total allocated time for Table Topics.

  7. Don’t call up people who aren’t expecting to be called up.  For a while we’ve allowed anyone just to be called up but it isn’t ideal.  Ask, encourage….but don’t force. If they absolutely say no (or haven’t been asked) then keep them off the list.  If there are few people then approach all of the committee and we can participate, if we arent already.

  8. If you have few speakers then feel free to extend the length of the topics. When you present just tell everything that the topics will be 2 or 2:30 minutes long instead and tell the timekeeper at what times you want the lights on.  Use this opportunity to challenge the speakersa with a slightly longer topic.

  9. Paid up members should have priority over guests on a busy night.

  10. After the last speaker has finished thank them and close the session congratulating everyone. Don’t just let the toastmaster stand up after the last speaker – close the session and hand the meeting back to them.


Table Topics Evaluator

  1. Reserve the seat next to the Table Topics Master so you can confirm names and questions.

  2. Give a commendation, recommendation and then another commendation (CRC) for every speaker.

  3. If you are pushed for time then skip introductory chit-chat and get straight into the evaluations.  Also consider shortening things to just a recommendation and a commendation for each person if you are really pushed for time.

  4. Say what the speaker can do to improve as a recommendation rather than telling them what they did wrong.

  5. Vary your language.  Find something to say other than always repeating, “She came up here and…” and be aware if you regularly use the same adjective to describe a speech (such as fantastic).

Speech Evaluator

  1. Don’t spend too much time generalising about the speaker. This evaluation is specifically for this speech

  2. Make sure you are on to your first recommendation but the time the green light comes on

  3. Make recommendations very specific ie. not just ‘improve body language’. What exactly was it that they were doing (hand clasping? playing with hair? not moving?) and suggest what they can do to practice/improve.

  4. Don’t repeat too many passages of the speech or retell the story they have told – this takes up precious time and the club has heard the speech already too.


All members

  1. Talk to the guests. Encourage them to do a table topic.

  2. Fill up the front seats, leave the ones at the back for latecomers.

  3. If you can then do stay afterwards for a drink at the bar


For all role holders

  1. Remember to bring your Competent Leadership manual and ask a member to fill it out for you.