Toastmasters Functionary Roles

During a typical London Victorians meeting there will people doing roles other than speaking. These members are called functionaries and can include any of the roles detailed below. Follow the links for a detailed explanation of each role.

When called upon to do any of these roles, you should prepare for it as much as you can in order to perform it to the best of your abilities on the day.

All of these roles count towards completing projects in the Competent Leadership manual and some roles are attached to several projects.

For example, timekeeper can be used for completing project 4: Time Management but speech of table topics evaluator counts towards project 1: Listening, project 2: critical thinking, project 3: giving feedback and project 8: motivation.

Don’t forget that you can only use one role towards one particular leadership project per meeting. Being evaluator on say the 20th January 2015, can only count towards project 1, 2, 3 or 8 but not all four at once. To tick that role for all four projects, you will need to perform it on four separate occasions and take into account the specific skills described in the CL manual for that specific project.

What to do when you are a functionary?

Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”

Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the telephone)

Just like the evening’s speakers the evening’s functionaries should always strive to prepare for their role as much as they can. You should start by reading the description of the role you will be doing. But if you are unsure, or require more information, please ask the club’s Vice President Education or your mentor for guidance.

  1. Prepare beforehand: Some roles will require you to do a fair bit of prior preparation (Table Topics Master or Toastmaster). Preparing your role a week before the meeting will prevent a last minute rush or worries. Prepare by reading this guide or by using other resources as needed.

  2. Communicate proactively: As evaluator or toastmaster of the evening you will need to reach out to other members. You will obtain more responses by reaching out to fellow members a week to five days in advance than the night before!

  3. Arrive Early: Most roles require some preparation immediately prior to the meeting, such as familiarising yourself with the timing lights or discussing what to focus on with the speaker you will be evaluating. Consequently, please aim to arrive at our venue, 15mins before our 18:30 start time AT THE VERY LATEST (so by 18:15 or earlier)

  4. Don’t forget your Competent Leadership manual!

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