The Toastmaster for the meeting serves as an anchor and leader for the day.
What does the Toastmaster for a meeting do?
- Plan the meeting. Communicate with different role players, budget time for different roles, and create a meeting plan.
- Run the meeting as per the plan, and make adjustments at the meeting as required.
With our club, coaches do the first part of creating the meeting plan in most cases. We encourage experienced toasties to take it on. See more in the IDEA TWO part towards the end of the article.
Each of our toasties should do the second part – that is, anchor the meeting at the class using the coach’s plan.
How to be a credible meeting anchor?
- Be there at the meeting 10 minutes early. Feel the place. The meeting is your show. To run it effectively, you need to be “present” mentally and emotionally.
- Understand meeting sequence and time budget. We have limited time at meetings with a very packed schedule. Track the timeline as the session progresses and make adjustments to end the meeting on time.
- You have a lot of time to think when speakers speak. Use that to stay engaged and prepare for the next step.
- Okay, and encouraged to have a little humor with your comments while transitioning between speakers; at the same time helps to be crisp, so the session ends on time.
- Initiate, and lead the applause every time a speaker is about to start a presentation or end it.
- Be a facilitator. Help everyone at the meeting. Being on the lookout to help others before and during the session will work wonders for your comfort level as a leader.
- As always, have fun.
- Again, the meeting is your show. Seize the reins. Act your part.
A Technique to Introduce Speakers
Speaker’s Name, Speech Title … Speech Title, Speaker’s Name
For example, Grishma, The Fight for Freedom… The Fight for Freedom, Grishma
(Grishma is a speaker in this example, and “The Fight for Freedom” is her speech title.)
Until you get comfortable with introductions, let’s use this technique.
Additional, optional ideas for more fun with the role of Toastmaster
[Note: do this after you have done the part of Toastmaster at least a couple of times. Talk to your coaches ahead of time so they understand what you are planning as well.]
- Think of a theme for the meeting. It can be anything you’d like: Examples – Harry Potter, movies, fiction books, sports, school, friendship, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, winter break, video games, theme parks, flowers, fruits, ice cream, vegetables, storytelling, dystopian books, fiction, non-fiction, hobbies, school clubs, etc.
- Work with table topics master, maybe, and see if their table topics can also use the theme. (Only table topics master gets to decide questions to ask, they can take the theme to prepare.)
- Let the grammarian know about your theme; they can select a word of the day that might go with it. (Grammarian gets to decide the word on their own, of course.)
- Towards the beginning of the meeting, use 2-3 minutes to set the tone with your theme. Describe your perspective, context, and direction with the theme.
- During the meeting, if you see an opportunity to plug-in thoughts related to the theme with your comments, feel free to do that. Keep the overall flow still crisp, though.
- At the end of the meeting, wrap it up, tying it back to your theme with closing comments.
When you run a meeting like this, you get more experience and flavor of staging and running a show with a specific theme.
- Take over meeting planning for the week when you are the Toastmaster.
- Send messages to different speakers to get their speech titles, speech time, etc.
- Communicate, and coordinate with all in your club group.
- Set a meeting theme using IDEA ONE above.
- Prepare a meeting plan along with a time budget.
- Please bring a printed meeting plan, and give it to everything.
When a toastie plans, coordinates, and communicates like this, they step into the role of leadership even more.