Sergeant At Arms


  • Arrive at 18:15 sharp!
  • Welcome all guests as they arrive
  • Give them a guest booklet or scan the QR code to our sign-up page
  • Ensure that no guest sits alone
  • Pick a creative but simple guest introduction question
  • Collect votes throughout the meeting
  • Be friendly and welcoming!

Today’s guests are tomorrow’s members!”

Every Toastmaster member was once a guest at a meeting. Your task as Sergeant at Arms is to welcome them to the meeting, introduce them to club members and to leave them with a positive impression of the club and of Toastmasters. The role has many facets but is crucial in ensuring that the meeting runs smoothly and efficiently.

Before the meeting starts

Since one part of your role is to help preparing the room, aim to arrive at least 30 mins before the meeting starts. Someone from the committee is normally there early and will help you set up.

As soon as a new guest arrives, welcome them in, and give them a copy of the guest booklet, the sign-up link or help them scan the QR code. Direct them to sit anywhere they want. Ideally guests should sit next to a club member so that they can ask him or her questions.

During the meeting

Sit at the back of the room and be ready to usher in late coming guests or members. 

You are also the Vote Counter for the meeting so you’ll be collecting votes at the following points:

  • After the timekeepers report on prepared speeches – Best Speaker

  • After the timekeepers report on the evaluators – Best Evaluator

  • After the timekeepers report on table topics – Best Table Topic Speaker

Count the vote and when you’re done discreetly pass on a note saying who won to the club President when the General Evaluator does his or her report. You can also mention some of them to the President during the break.

When the time comes to do the introduction of the guests, briefly explain your role and why guests are important to the club. Don’t forget to highlight that all club members were once guests.

Also mention that every member at Toastmasters is part of a mentoring scheme – we have a long history of supporting and nurturing each other, and it’s an important part of our club. A mentor offers encouragement and guidance to a fellow member while they work to accomplish their goals. And in turn, having a mentee provides more experienced members with an opportunity to develop leadership and coaching skills.

Follow this procedure for introducing guests:

  • Asks all the guests to stand-up. If there is a large number of them you can divide this in two and done one side of the room at a time.

  • Invite them to speak by asking them to say their name and answer a question. You could ask:

    • What are they hoping to get out of Toastmasters?

    • If they were a type of hat what would they be?

    • Anything! Make it very snappy as time is limited!

  • Move to the next guest and hold the applause until everyone has spoken.

  • After all the guests have introduced themselves lead a final round of applause.

After the meeting

Once the meeting has concluded ask the guests their impressions about the meeting and remind them to leave their details if they haven’t already done so. Take note of any feedback or comments guests may have about the meeting and highlight them to the club President.

Lead the cleaning up of the room as needed, by returning chairs in their spot and putting away all rubbish. Don’t forget to recover any unused feedback slips, leaflets or guest booklets.