Burrard Toastmasters
Vancouver's leading business-oriented public speaking club
Club Speeches


A meeting consists of a number of speaking roles which can range anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. New members often start by taking on the shorter speaking roles and progress to more prominent roles. However, all members are encouraged to take on any meeting role they are comfortable with.

The Sergeant-at-Arms is responsible for preparing the room for the meeting, welcoming any guests, starting the meeting and bringing it to order and introducing the Chairperson.

The Chairman acts as the host of a meeting, preparing and setting out the agenda, choosing a theme for the meeting ahead of time and ensuring the meeting runs according to schedule and on time. In addition, they are responsible for properly introducing most of the roles described below. Being the chairman provides an excellent opportunity to practice meeting facilitation and improve organizational skills.

Opens the meeting with a worthwhile purpose. May take the form of a reflection on a lofty or noble sentiment or a call for thoughtful effort.

Introduction of Guests
First time guests are generally introduced to the group by a current member. Returning guests and visitors from another club are often invited to introduce themselves.

The role of the Timer is to make sure the meeting runs according to schedule and on time. They signal speakers when their time is almost up, clap them down if they go over time and keep track of times for Table Topics and prepared speeches. Timing rules are presented at the beginning of the meeting and a Timer's Report given at the end.

The role of the wit is to inject hilarity into the meeting by telling a joke.

Table Topics Master
Usually, the Chairman introduces the Table Topics Master and hands control of the room over to him/her for the duration of the Table Topics Session. The Table Topics Master will prepare and issue impromptu topics/questions that keep the session interesting. He/she will then encourage members in the room to "think quickly and on their feet: and speak to those topics or questions.

Table Topics Participants
All Toastmasters in the room can be called on at any time to answer or address one of the Table Topics Master's topics/questions. They have 2 minutes and are encouraged to speak for at least 1 minutes on the topic given to them. Guests have the option of volunteering as a Table Topics participant.

Table Topics Evaluator
The Table Topics Evaluator evaluates each of the meeting attendees that answered of the Table Topics Masters' questions/topics as well as the Table Topics Master themselves. Speeches are evaluated on content (addressing the topic, structure) as well as body language and voice. They also pick and present the "Best Table Topics" award to a deserving member.

The Toastmaster takes over control from the chairman to preside over the speech portion of the evening. They are responsible for properly introducing each of the speakers and their evaluators. The Toastmaster also describes the objectives of each speech, as well as gives a brief overview of Toastmasters' Pathways program.

The speaker has an obligation to prepare his/her speech and to aim at fulfilling all the objectives set out in the Toastmasters Pathways program for the speech.

Each speech is publicly evaluated by a predetermined evaluator who offers constructive feedback, suggestions for improvements and comments on how well the speaker has achieved the objectives of the speech.

Meeting Attendees
During the speech session, all meeting attendees should focus on giving personal written evaluations of each speech, based on the objectives described in the Toastmaster's introduction. These evaluations are given to the speaker after the meeting. This provides more feedback to the speaker to help them improve.

Grammarian & Word of the Day
The Grammarian introduces a Word of the Day at the start of the meeting and encourages members to use that word. In addition, they carefully listen to the language being used by everyone during the meeting and provide an evaluation at the end of the meeting.

The Ah-Counter notes words and sounds used as "crutch" and "pause filler" such as ah, um, er, and, but, well, so, you know. They signal speakers when crutch/pause fillers are used, and report on the usage of these words and sounds towards the end of the meeting.

General Evaluator
In order to provide complete feedback to all members, the General Evaluator's role is to evaluate the meeting as a whole and all speakers who were not evaluated by others. These include the Chairman, The Table Topics Master, The Toastmasters, the other Evaluators and other roles such as Timer, Invocator, Wit and Sergeant-at-Arms. They also pick and present the "Best Evaluator" award to a deserving member.