What Happens At A Glen Abbey Toastmasters Meeting?
Lots of neat stuff happens related to feeling confident and comfortable speaking in public.
Lots of learn-by-doing agenda items and roles where everyone gets a chance to work on their speaking, organizing, evaluating, and leadership skills. Roles rotate every week. New members start with simpler roles.
Read what happens in a typical 2 hour GATM meeting below, or watch this 12 minute video on YouTube from Toastmasters International.
Chairperson’s Opening Remarks
The Chairperson opens the meeting, presents their theme of the evening with opening remarks and then presents the agenda. They introduce the meeting officers and guests. Some themes are serious, and some are fun and offbeat, making every meeting quite interesting.
We always have a toast to someone. One toastmaster selects an individual they think is worthy, and prepares a toast in their honour. Good practice for those formal dinner events.
Word of the Day
Each session, the grammarian of that session, introduces a useful word, usually related to the theme. The club members are challenged to use that word as many times as they can!
Impromptu speaking at it’s absolute finest. How many times have you been called upon to speak at a moment’s notice? Table Topics gives at least five Toastmasters every week a chance to prepare a one minute speech with just one minute of preparation. Speaking off the the cuff is always interesting, a great improvisation practice and often quite funny.
We discuss the business of the club, the officers reports, and then we do a mock parliamentary session – so everyone learns how to conduct a 10 minute meeting using Roberts Rules of Order. The Parliamentarian provides feedback on the effectiveness of the Business Session – valuable when you decide to go into politics and need to sit in parliamentary session – or when you become CEO and need to conduct a Board meeting.
While all other roles are important – prepared speeches are the heart of Toastmaster personal development. There are usually three prepared speeches of about 5-7 minutes in length at every meeting. Based on the Pathway designation a Toastmaster is working towards, they develop their speeches according to the specific project goals and criteria.
There are an equal number of evaluations as there are prepared speeches. Toastmasters learn to give effective feedback to speakers based on the goals and criteria of the speech projects. While only three people give the formal feedback during the session, all the other members can provide the speaker with their feedback either in person after the session or via email/ phone.
The General Evaluator provides an overall evaluation of the meeting – what went well, what could have been improved. Helps us all do better next time.
The Quizmaster tests our listening skills by asking a number of questions about what we heard that evening
The Grammarian provides a report on the use of interesting language, word of the day – and how many ums, ahs, and fillers we used – always focused on helping us become more articulate.
Every meeting culminates in key awards. Best Table Topics, Best Speaker, Best Evaluator, Most Valuable Toastmaster (that evening) – you get to choose / vote for these. Always fun. Always motivating.
It’s a packed two hours every week. It’s also the best two hours of learning related to public speaking and taking leadership every week. Way better than you’ll find at work.
The Meeting After The Meeting!
And if that’s not enough…..we sometimes go to the pub afterwards or if the session is online, we stay a bit longer to chat and socialize.
If your a first time guest, you can ask any member about Toastmasters in a more informal setting!