Winchmore Hill Speakers Club

An Engaging, Addictive and Fun Speaking Club

Meeting Roles

Club Meeting Information

New members and guests may find that the Club Meeting can feel a little overwhelming. Information here is aimed at providing. information to help our new members and guests.


Meeting Speaker

Taking on this role improves critical thinking, confidence and public speaking skills.

Every speaker is a role model, and club members learn from one another’s speeches.

As a meeting speaker, you:

  • Prepare, rehearse, and present a speech during the club meeting.

  • Arrive early to make sure your video and audio equipment and working well.

  • Discuss your goals, strengths and weaknesses with your evaluator prior to giving your speech. Ensure that your evaluator has the correct evaluation form.

  • Ask the evaluator to email you the form after the meeting.

  • It is good practice to save your form in PDF format onto your portfolio on Basecamep.


Taking on this role improves vocabulary, grammar, critical listening skills and evaluation skills.

The Grammarian plays an important role in helping all club members improve their grammar and vocabulary.

As Grammarian you:

  • Introduce new words to meeting participants and monitor language and grammar usage.

  • Write down the language and grammar usage of all speakers, noting incomplete sentences, mispronunciations, grammatical mistakes, non-sequiturs, malapropisms, etc. Example: “One in five children wear glasses” should be “one in five children wears glasses.”

  • Pay special attention to filler words such as “so”, “er” and “and”.

  • At the end of the meeting, give your complete report when called on.

  • Optional: Introduce a “Word of the Week” that helps meeting participants increase their vocabulary; display the word, part of speech, and a brief definition with a visual aid and prepare a sentence showcasing how the word should be used. Note who uses this word or any derivatives thereof correctly or incorrectly during the meeting.

General Evaluator

Taking on this role improves critical thinking, organization, time management, motivational and team-building skills.

The General Evaluator evaluates everything that takes place during the club meeting – apart from the speeches themselves. This broadly means the timeliness, organisation, and enthusiasm of the meeting itself, the evaluator of the individual speeches, the table topics master, toastmaster, grammarian and timer.

The general evaluator is an experienced Toastmaster. At SOS we sometimes invite an outside Toastmaster to observe and critique our meetings. It is how we can strengthen and improve our meeting experience.

If you are taking the GE role as a member of the club, you could additionally do the following: 

  • Ensure other evaluators know their tasks and responsibilities.

  • Explain the purpose and benefits of evaluations to the group.

  • Identify and confirm meeting assignments with the meeting organiser.

  • Confirm the club meeting program and/or checklist with the Toastmaster.

However, the main task of the General Evaluator is:

  • During the meeting, take notes and report on all club proceedings to evaluate things such as timeliness, enthusiasm, preparation, organization, and performance of duties.

Speech Evaluator

Evaluation is the heart of the Toastmasters educational program. 

As a Speech/Role Evaluator, you observe the speeches and leadership roles of your fellow club members and offer evaluations of their efforts, and they do the same for you. As an evaluator you:

  • Ask those you’ve been assigned to share with you what their objectives, what they will present, and what they wish to achieve.

  • Ask if there is anything specifically they would like you to look for during their speech or the performance of their role.

  • Provide objective verbal and written evaluations for speakers.

  • When giving any evaluation, offer praise as well as constructive criticism.

Topics Master

The Table Topics Evaluator is the person who provides feedback in the form of a short evaluation for each of the table topics speakers in the form of a spoken report.

He or she takes notes during the table topics section of the meeting. The aim is to give constructive feedback and encouragement, especially to new members and guests, who might be taking part in a meeting for the first time.

During the short table topics speeches, the evaluator will identify possible commendations and recommendations for each speaker. The evaluator will also note down the topic each speaker was invited to tackle.

There is usually very little time to prepare the evaluation report, so good note-taking is important.

And remember! The evaluator is evaluating the speakers, not the Topics Master and does not need discuss that role.


Taking on this role improves organization, time management and public speaking 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 and its procedures.

As Toastmaster, you:

  • Acquire a meeting agenda from the Vice President Education.

    • Work with the General Evaluator to ensure all club participants know their roles and responsibilities.

    • Introduce speakers during the club meeting, including their speech topic, project title, objectives, delivery time, etc. during your introduction.

    • Ensure smooth transitions between speakers during the club meeting.


Warmup Master

After the President has spoken, meetings kick off with a warm-up session. This is an opportunity for everyone present to speak for no more than 15 seconds on a subject introduced by the WarmUp Master.

The idea is to give each person present an opportunity to exercise their voice. The WarmUp Master will prepare a topic – usually a fairly straightforward one – and will go round the “room”, i.e., the virtual screen, asking each attendee in turn to speak. While introducing the subject, the WarmUp Master will make it clear that guests may pass if they wish (members are expected to participate) and that time is strictly limited to 15 seconds. The help of the timekeeper may be brought in to ensure good time.

At our club, if a lot of people are present, we split the meeting into two breakout rooms. This helps us keep to time, which is very important for us, and in Toastmasters generally.

Topics Master

Taking on this role 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.

As TopicsMaster, you:

  • Select topics in advance of the meeting that allow speakers to offer opinions.

  • Give members who aren’t assigned a speaking role the opportunity to speak during the meeting by assigning impromptu talks on non-specialized themes or topics.

  • Don’t ask two people the same thing unless you specify that it is to generate opposing viewpoints.

  • In clubs presenting a Best Table Topics speaker award, ask members to vote for the best Table Topics speaker (at SOS we currently do not do this).


For all Members

The core values of Toastmasters are Integrity. Respect. Service. Excellence. All members should focus their behaviour with these values in mind at all times. For detailed information about using Zoom please see this video, recorded in August 2022.

The Oxford dictionary informs us that ‘etiquette’ is “the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group” and ‘netiquette’ “the correct or acceptable way of using the internet.”

Netiquette for all members.

Arrive early where possible, especially if you have a role.. We open most meetings 30 minutes in advance. Open the agenda and keep the time in mind during the meeting. Rename yourself to reflect your meeting role or status in the club if no role, i.e. Speaker 1 | First Name, Last Name or Member | First Name, Last Name Switch your camera on (if your bandwidth allows you to). Switch your microphone off during speeches. Switch it on to contribute. Treat others like you would like to be treated. Encourage, befriend, add value. Volunteer for roles, make sure you take on different ones. Volunteer for speeches.

We are an international group, help others with their English but do not hold accents against them. We ask the audience to be patient, and fair and constructive with guests, i.e. be clear and encouraging if we cannot understand a member in order to support them.


SOS roles include a ZoomMaster. The club’s Sergeant of Arms is the club’s lead Zoommaster and is responsible for the club’s Zoom account and duties outlined in the Club Leadership Handbook. Any member of the club, or suitably trained visiting member, can be the lead or supporting Zoommaster during a club meeting, contest or business meeting. The ZM duties for regular club meetings are as follows. Arrive early to open the meeting 35 minutes before the start time (typically 6.25pm for 6.30pm doors open for a 7pm start)as you will be the host. The committee will provide you with the zoom account log in. The typical function is to open Zoom from a browser. Support the members assigned to Meet & Greet with welcoming guests and members into the meeting. Assign the co-host role to 2 + other members, ideally a club officer and a suitably trained member who can support plus people who will need to share their screen. During contests, if contestants wish to share screen, they should not be made co-hosts and the contest should request a check for share rights.


At Winchmore Hill Speakers, the Zoommaster is the one who opens every meeting on the Zoom account.

The Zoommaster is also the one to let people into the meeting. There should be no delay, except in the case that someone arrives during a speech, in which case it is best to bring them in after a speech is finished, because a moving screen and new face can distract speakers. In this situation, the Zoommaster can send anyone in the waiting room a message to let them know that we will let them in shortly. For some detailed background, please view this video, recorded in August 2022.

Depending on the number of people present, to save time, we may use a breakout room for the warm-up session. The Zoommaster will move the Warm-Up Master and half the participants into a breakout room. The Toastmaster and others stay in the main room. The Zoommaster should also try to have the grammarian and general evaluator in separate rooms, and to ensure that one of the founder members is in each of the rooms.

The Zoommaster is also responsible for muting people who might forget to mute themselves while others are speaking.

In the event that the Zoommaster is unable to attend a meeting, he/she will appoint a substitute from one of the members with the expertise to handle Zoom.

At Winchmore Hill Speakers, our Zoommaster also takes on a role outside meetings. This includes supporting the club by maintaining our zoom account, acting as meeting Zoommaster as far as possible, and being part of the committee responsible for planning the progress of our club.

Meet and Greet

This is one of our most important roles and we usually have two Meet & Greet people assigned to each meeting.

Meet and Greet people are asked to be at the meeting at 6:30pm (UK time) to meet and greet anyone who arrives before 7pm (UK time).

Meet and Greet people put our members and our visitors at ease and help them relax before the meeting begins.

While it is important to foster camaraderie and hospitality, Meet and Greet people give those present an opportunity to raise questions and concerns that be answered by either a Meet and Greet person or a committee member who is present. For example, “Does anyone have any questions or concerns before our meeting begins?”

Questions asked of visitors usually consist of:

“Where are you from?”

“Are you already a Toastmaster?”

If they are a Toastmaster, “What is your home club?”

Hint: With our visitors, make a note of the answers and share the info with the meeting President in a private chat message so they can welcome them formally during the meeting.


This is an important role. Many Toastmaster clubs refer to this role as Sergeant of Arms, but at Winchmore Hill Speakers, we title this role as ‘Welcomer’ because we believe it describes the role more clearly. It is something that a new member can easily do while still finding their feet in the club. The Welcomer does not speak for long but plays a crucial role.

A well-prepared introduction, delivered with enthusiasm, sets the tone for the evening, and ensures that our members and guests can look forward to a great meeting to come.

  • The Welcomer should log in with sufficient time (at least 15 minutes before the start of the meeting) to test the connection and check with the Toastmaster on proceedings.

  • One minute before the meeting starts, they ask the participants to stand by for a prompt start.

  • At the appointed time, they call the meeting to order, welcome everyone with, “Welcome Mr/Madam President, fellow Toastmasters and most welcome guests.” 

  • They give the housekeeping notices (keeping on mute, silencing phones, switching off cameras if having to leave the room or for another distraction). A set of slides showing these points is available for the welcomer to use if he/she wishes.

  • Make a simple comment about looking forward to the meeting, especially if a special theme or activity is occurring. 

  • Introduce, and hand over to the Meeting President.

They begin our meeting promptly on an upbeat and energetic note to help our meetings get off to a great start!

We have prepared some slides that you may use if you wish to accompany your welcome speech. You can use this link to display the welcomer slides.


Taking on this role 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.

As Timer, you:

  • Acquire the timing backgrounds (or alternative – see below) and ensure smooth operation during speeches

  • Explain the timing rules and demonstrate the signal device if called upon to do so. 

  • Throughout the meeting, listen carefully to each participant and signal them accordingly.

  • When called to report, announce the speakers’ names and the time taken.

  • Optionally, you may cover your camera with a bit of Bluetac or similar. This will show the background but not your face. This is especially useful if your graphics card is not state-of-the-art.