What happens in a Toastmaster meeting?


The Toastmaster runs the show. He picks the theme of the meeting in advance, and has several opportunities to speak on it throughout. The Toastmaster also introduces various other members in their roles throughout the meeting.  Tjis person is also known as the Chairperson for that evening's meeting.

Table Topics Master

It’s always fun to be the Table Topics Master. When in this role, you get to stand at the lectern and pick people from the audience to give short, impromptu speeches. You’ll usually have a list of questions/topics prepared in advance. For example, if I’m the Table Topics Master, I might say: “Last night I had a dream about a giraffe sitting on roof singing Eye of the Tiger in Spanish. Mary, tell us about a strange dream you’ve had recently.” Mary will then have to stand and try to give a confident, well-spoken response lasting at least one minute.


We usually have one or 2 featured speakers at each meeting. These folks will have prepared 5-10 minute speeches on just about any topic. Each member does receive speech manuals to work through, and so each speech typically has a focus, be it body language, vocal variety, entertainment value, etc. But within those frameworks, you can speak about anything at all. The first speech any member gives is an Icebreaker, where they simply introduce themselves to the other members, say who they are and what they’re about.


Each speaker has an evaluator. An evaluator will stand up for 2-3 minutes near the end of the meeting and deliver feedback on the speaker she was assigned to. There are many different styles of evaluation, but the goal is always the same: help the speaker improve. An evaluator will often say what she liked about the speech, and then suggest some areas for improvement.

General Evaluator

The General Evaluator leads the evaluation team, introducing them at the beginning of each meeting and calling on them for reports at the end. They wrap up by giving their general thoughts on the meeting, noting anything remarkable and offering any suggestions to improve future meetings.

Joke Master

We include a short joke or anecdote from the Joke Master. At our club, it’s typically the same person who performs this role every week, and he never fails to get a laugh.


The club President opens and closes the meeting, and makes any official announcements. We elect a new president every year, and that person is responsible for the proper running of the club.

Other roles

At each meeting we also have people act as the following:

  • Timer – keeps track of how long everyone speaks for and works the light signal so speakers know when to finish.
  • Grammarian and Ah Counter – notes interesting and inappropriate uses of grammar and keeps track of any filler words (ah, um, you know, etc.) used by the speakers.


Subpages (1): Sample Meeting Agenda