Our Meetings

The purpose of our meetings are to provide a comfortable and supportive environment where people can conquer their fear of public speaking.

Everyone in the room is there to gain more experience and confidence. There is no pressure on anyone to speak, indeed we have had people come who just wanted to listen. And, actually that is the start of improving your own hidden abilities.

As part of an International organisation we follow a tried and tested formula.

Each meeting will have an agenda which follows the sequence below:-

  • People are greeted, warmly, and welcomed to the meeting. Grab a coffee and get ready
  • The Sergeant at Arms - not as scary as it sounds - calls the meeting to order and does the housekeeping, toilets, fire exits, phones off
  • The President makes a brief address and the meeting starts
  • The Toastmaster (no red jacket required) goes through the agenda and runs the meeting
  • Warm-up a chance for everyone, who wants to, to warm up their vocal cords, a topical subject where people have 15 seconds to say their name and provide a short answer to the question e.g. "What do you like to do on a summer's day?" "Jenny Smith, a walk along the beach as the sun sets" Simples!
  • Timekeeper. The Toastmasters assistant explains the importance of timekeeping not just for our meeting but every speaking opportunity
  • Speeches: Normally 3
    • The Toastmaster introduces the Evaluator who explains what the manual is looking for the speaker to do. This also gives guidance for the audience
    • The Toastmaster introduces the Speaker who gives their speech
    • The Toastmaster asks for 1 minute where the audience can write down their own thoughts of the speech to provide feedback at the break
  • The Timekeeper gives the speech times and a vote is taken for the Best Speaker - this is for fun, competitive speaking is something some people enjoy, though it is not priority one
  • Evaluations:
    • Each Evaluator provides specific feedback to the speaker against the guidelines in the manual. This is a positive activity providing commendations, of things done well, and recommendations, for improvement. This is a great learning time for the audience where they can pick up tips and techniques of improvements for their own needs
  • ​Break - Grab a coffee and chat amongst the evening attendees
  • Table Topics: This is a "Marmite" section, you either love it or hate it, either way it's fun!
    • The Table Topic Master introduces the concept - speak for 1 to 2 minutes on a given subject, just as you would if someone asked your opinion at a dinner party. As you get better at it you can produce a mini speech - beginning, middle and conclusion
    • The Table Topic master poses a question and chooses a "volunteer" from the audience, members are fair game, guests will have been approached during the break
    • The Speaker gives their response, no pressure, some guests and even new members last less than 30 seconds, but they has had a go. The more you try it the better you get, when put together with the other skills you learn at Toastmasters
  • Evaluations
    • Each topic is evaluated and the speaker given feedback. It can be a simple as "well done, you came to front and said something" - your journey to becoming a confident public speaker has begun
  • The Timekeeper gives the speech times and a vote is taken for the Best Table Tops Speaker - this is for fun, competitive speaking is something some people enjoy, though it is not priority one
  • The Timekeeper gives the speech times and a vote is taken for the Best Evaluator - this is for fun, competitive speaking is something some people enjoy, though it is not priority one
  • General Evaluator, feedback is given for anything that hasn't previously been evaluated, mainly the roles of the evening
  • Awards, The President closes the meeting with the certificates for the vote winners and makes any announcement

And that's all folks, 2 hours of fun and uplifting times. You'll be surprised how many people say "I've had a bad day and wasn't sure I was going to come tonight, I'm so glad I did I feel GREAT!!!!"

Meeting Reports

Read the reports of previous meetings

Tuesday 5th May 2015

Tuesday 18th August 2015