Each meeting has different functionary roles.

Here’s a short description:

Ah-Counter – Improves observational and listening skills. The Ah-Counter’s purpose is to note overused  words or filler sounds as a crutch by those who speak during the meeting. Words may be inappropriate  interjections, such as and, well, but, so and you know. Sounds may be ah, um or er

Grammarian – Improves vocabulary, grammar, critical listening skills and evaluation skills. The grammarian  helps all club members improve grammar and vocabulary by monitoring language and grammar usage and  noting language and grammar usage of all speakers. Also introduces a “Word of the Day” to increase  vocabulary, displays the word, part of speech and a brief definition with a visual aid, prepares a sentence  showcasing how the word should be used, and notes who uses this word or any derivatives thereof correctly or  incorrectly during the meeting. 

Timer – Improves time management skills. One of the skills Toastmasters practice is expressing a thought  within a specific time. The timer is responsible for monitoring time for each meeting segment and each speaker. 

Toastmaster – Improves organization skills, time management and facilitation skills. The Toastmaster is the meeting’s director and host. A member typically will not be assigned this role until they are thoroughly familiar  with the club ad its procedures. 

Topicsmaster – Improves organization skills, time management and facilitation skills. The Topicsmaster  delivers the Table Topics® portion of the meeting, which helps train members to quickly organize and express  their thoughts in an impromptu setting. 

Meeting Speaker – Improves critical thinking, confidence and public speaking skills. Every speaker is a role  model, and club members learn from one another’s speeches. 

Table Topics® Speaker – Improves confidence and impromptu speaking skills. Table Topics® is a long standing Toastmasters tradition intended to help members develop their ability to organize their thoughts  quickly and respond to an impromptu question or topic. 

Evaluator – Improves active listening, critical thinking and positive feedback skills. Evaluation is the heart of  the Toastmasters educational program. Evaluators observe the speeches and leadership roles of fellow club  members and offer evaluations of their efforts. 

General Evaluator – Improves critical thinking, organization, time management, motivational and team-building  skills. The General Evaluator evaluates everything that takes place during the club meeting. In addition, the  General Evaluator conducts the evaluation portion of the meeting and is responsible for the evaluation team: the  speech evaluators, Ah-Counter, grammarian and timer.

Leader Profile – Improves public speaking ability on sharing a leader profile to inspire the audience. The leader profile role provides a 2-3 minutes speech at the beginning of the meeting to share with the audience an inspiring leader’s profile. This short speech usually includes who the leader is, what the leader has accomplished, and how that leader inspired you to accomplish certain things in life or how that leader makes you feel.

Here’s a detailed description:

  • Timer

Timer Cards:  Please use these cards for a timer role. These cards need to be displayed as your virtual background.

Display timer when not showing colors.  

Please review the video below. 

Roll Description

As a timer you are responsible for monitoring time for each meeting segment and each speaker. You’ll also operate the timing signal, indicating to each speaker how long he or she has been talking. Here’s how to succeed as timer:

  • Before the meeting begins, check the agenda to find out which members are scheduled program participants. The time required for various segments should also be indicated in the agenda.
  • On meeting day, retrieve the timing equipment from the toastmaster. Be sure you understand how to operate the stopwatch and signal device, make certain the timing equipment works and sit where the signal device can be seen by all.
  • The Toastmaster of the meeting will usually call on you to explain the timing rules and demonstrate the signal device.
  • Throughout the meeting, listen carefully to each program participant and signal them. Generally, the Table Topics, Prepared Speeches and Evaluations must be +/- 30 seconds of the allotted time.
  • Record each participant’s name and time used.
  • When you’re called to report by the General evaluator, announce the speaker’s name and the time taken.
  • After the meeting, return the stopwatch and timing signal device to the toastmasters.
TypeGreen Flash timeYellow Flash timeRed Flash time until speaker stops
Speech (5-7 min)567
Icebreaker Speech (4-6 min)456
Table topics11:302
  • Ah Counter Role (Ah_Counter.doc attached):

We highly recommend you use headphones to listen. What we are trying to do is to improve our listening skills. Please see the attached document for Ah counter.

Please also review these videos and the description below before the meeting:

Roll Description

The purpose of the Ah-Counter is to note any word or sound used as a crutch by anyone who speaks during the meeting. Words may be inappropriate interjections, such as and, well, but, so and you know. Sounds may be ah, um or er. You should also note when a speaker repeats a word or phrase such as “I, I” or “This means, this means” These words and sounds can be annoying to listeners. The Ah-Counter role is an excellent opportunity to practice your listening skills.

When you arrive at the meeting, bring a pen and blank piece of paper for notes, or ask for a blank copy of the Ah-Counter’s log.

The president or SSA will call the meeting to order and introduce the Toastmaster who will, in turn, introduce you and the other meeting participants. When you’re introduced, explain the role of the Ah-Counter. Throughout the meeting, listen to everyone for sounds and long pauses used as fillers and not as a necessary part of sentence structure. Write down how many filler sounds or words each person used during all portions of the meeting.

When you’re called on by the general evaluator during the evaluation segment, stand by your chair and give your report.

  • Grammarian Role:


One benefit of Toastmasters is that it helps people improve their grammar and word use. Being a grammarian also provides an exercise in expanding listening skills. You have several responsibilities: to introduce new words to members, to comment on language usage during the course of the meeting, and to provide examples of eloquence.

Before the meeting, select a word of the day. It should be a word that will help members increase their vocabulary – a word that can be incorporated easily into everyday conversation but is different from the way people usually express themselves. Note that adjectives and adverbs are more adaptable than nouns or verbs, but feel free to select your own special word. And prepare a sentence showing how the word is used.

When introduced, announce the word of the day, state its part of speech, define it, use it in a sentence and ask that anyone speaking during any part of the meeting use it and briefly explain the role of the grammarian.

Throughout the meeting, listen to everyone’s word usage. Write down any awkward use or misuse of the language (incomplete sentences, sentences that change direction in midstream, incorrect grammar or malapropisms) with a note of who erred. For example, point out if someone used a singular verb with a plural subject. “One in five children wear glasses” should be “one in five children wears glasses”. Note when a pronoun is misused. “No one in the choir sings better than her” should be “No one in the choir sings better than she”. Write down who used the word of the day (or a derivative of it) and note those who used it correctly or incorrectly.

When called on by the general evaluator during the evaluation segment, give your report.

·        Try to offer the correct usage in every instance of misuse (instead of merely announcing that something was wrong).

·        Report on creative language usage and announce who used the word of the day (or a derivative of it) correctly or incorrectly.

  • GE Role 

General Evaluator role and responsibilities:

As the GE, you not only call the other evaluators to speak; you also evaluate the evaluators themselves.

  • Before the meeting:
    • Print the attached form, if desired.  It can help you gather your thoughts when you evaluate the evaluators.
  • During the meeting:
    • Your energy matters when you take the stage. Your energy will dictate the tempo of the meeting. If you are low on energy and unsure what your role is, the meeting will fizzle. 
    • After the speeches and table topics (if any), take the stage from the toastmaster.  You are now the host of the meeting
    • Call the speech evaluators, timer, grammarian, and ah-counter to give their presentations, as described in the agenda.
    • As the evaluators speak, make brief notes in the attached form about their strengths and weaknesses.
    • Once all the other evaluators are done, give a brief evaluation of how well they did:  2 important aspects in which the evaluators excelled and 1 constructive suggestion for making it more effective.  
    • Finally evaluation of the meeting: 2 important aspects in which the meeting excelled and 1 constructive suggestion for making it more effective.
  • Toastmaster Role:

Below is the description for Toastmasters role. Your energy matters.

Please review the video to acquaint yourself with the responsibilities.

Roll Description

Taking up a Toastmaster role in a meeting is your first step towards your leadership goal. Please read the below instructions to stand out as an effective toastmaster.

Things to do as a Toastmaster:

  • Before the meeting: make sure the agenda is full.
    • All roles filled up and confirmed by role-bearers.
      • VPE assigns the role-bearers. But if there is a conflict, reach out to other members to fill the roles.
      • Update the spread sheet when there is any change from the original role-bearers list.
    • Check to see if the speech details are filled before Wednesday 5 pm. If not, please ping the speakers directly.
  • During the meeting: Typically the toastmaster will set the tone of the meeting.
    • Bring in your energy
    • Start with a joke
    • Introduce role bearers
    • Call the evaluator to read the objectives of the speech before you call the speakers
    • Introduce the speakers in the format (“name, speech title, speech title,  name”)
      • Even better if you can get a word from the speaker about their motivation behind choosing this topic. You can use it to introduce the speaker.
    • Take control of the stage at times as mentioned in the Agenda.

If you still have questions, please reach out to your mentor or any of the officers before the meeting for help.

  • Evaluator Role:

Evaluation Guidelines:

Evaluations are the most important part of toastmasters. I am in Toastmasters because of evaluations. Remember the quote from spiderman: with great power comes great responsibility.

Evaluation is an empathetic motivational speech.

Here are few pointers for evaluation:

1.       Only use I saw, I felt and I heard language (Avoid you language, Quote: Observation not judgement is the greatest from of human intelligence)

2.       Goal is to motivate the speakers

3.       Be empathetic

4.       You are giving the evaluation directly to the speaker.

Introduction: Thank the speaker for the speech. In two lines describe how the speech affected you.

Body: two things the speaker did effectively with specific examples, and two things the speaker could do make their speech more effective by recommending specific examples (Icebreaker no more than two points to make the speech effective). (Optional: Add if you have the best things about the speech)

Summarize: Start with the two things the speaker could effectively and then the two things the speaker did effectively. Finally, the best thing about the speech

Optional: Have a conclusion tie it up with the introduction.

Here is the video about evaluation:

Dennis’s workshop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSuwCi_w6tw&t=249s

Dennis’s Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/15ozYc-g_Y6V-0xRtkc_bUBT7tYnF5BSXlsoyRTMu6MM/edit?usp=sharing

Renee’s Workshop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_l05W_3S3s&t=5s

  • Table Topics Master:

I would not recommend using a powerpoint as it gives your power away. Have questions that bring out personal stories of people. 

At least prepare 10 questions.

Table Topics Master

Table Topics gives members who aren’t assigned a speaking role the opportunity to speak during the meeting. The Table Topics Master challenges each member with a subject, and the speaker responds with a one- to two-minute impromptu talk.

Preparation is the key to leading a successful Table Topics session:

·        Check with the Toastmaster to find out if a theme meeting is scheduled. If so, prepare topics reflecting that theme.

·        Confirm who the prepared speakers, evaluators and general evaluator will be so you can call on other members at the meeting to respond first. You can call on program participants (speakers last) at the end of the topics session if time allows.

·        Select subjects and questions that allow speakers to offer opinions. Don’t make the questions too long or complicated and make sure they don’t require specialized knowledge.

·        Phrase questions so the speakers clearly understand what you want them to talk about.

·        Encourage speakers to use the word-of-the-day in their response.

·        Encourage visitors to participate and help break the mental barrier they may have.

How to approach table topics:

 Murphy’s Law of Table Topics: 

How to Answer and Win Table Topics:

Crushing Table Topics: