A typical meeting

You’ve taken that first step of coming along to your first meeting at St Paul’s Speakers… but what can you expect…”I’m going to be sat in room filled with strangers for two hours, what’s it going to be like?”

A Warm Welcome – Everyone that has walked through our doors for the first time has had those very same thoughts. Rest assured, from the moment you arrive, we will do our utmost to make you feel welcome and ensure everything is explained along the way. As you arrive at the venue, our Sergeant-at-Arms will greet you at the door and invite you to register at our sign in sheet. Feel free at this point to take any available seat, and chat to anyone in the room!

Opening – The meeting commences with opening comments from the Club President, who then introduces the host for the evening, known as the “Toastmaster”. Once the format of the evening has been explained, the Toastmaster will invite up to further functionaries (Timekeeper & Grammarian) to explain their roles.

Educational – Sometimes we’ll then have an Educational speech to explain some aspect of the Toastmasters journey – it’s our way of giving back to our members the benefit of our knowledge throughout the year.

Prepared Speeches – Each Speaker will deliver a speech on a topic of their choosing, trying to meet the objectives of the project they are undertaking. Members of the audience are invited to provide written feedback to the speakers, as well as vote on who they thought was best speaker of the night.

Guest Introductions – We like to ensure everyone in the room gets the chance to speak at every meeting, so the Sergeant-at-Arms will conclude the first half of the meeting with guest introductions. Each guest is asked to introduce themselves to the room by way of three short questions.

Evaluations – After a ten minute interval for socialising, the meeting resumes with verbal evaluations of the speakers from the first half. The Evaluators themselves are timed and voted upon.

Table Topics – Unpredictability then reigns as we enter the inpromptu section of the programme. With any member of the audience up for grabs, the Table Topic Master will select individuals to come up on stage and perform an unprepared speech on a selected topic for 1-2mins. These are again timed, evaluated (this time by the Table Topics Evaluator) and voted upon by the audience.

Conclusion – The evening is drawn to a close with reports from our Grammarian and General Evaluator, as well as the awards ceremony and round-up of Club Business by the Club President.

We then invite all members and guests to join us for drinks in a nearby pub, for a chance to get to know each other better, discuss thoughts about the meeting and the Toastmasters experience.

So as you can see, our meetings allow plenty of opportunity for all attendees to join in and develop a range of speaking skills; from a quick 30 second guest introduction, to a semi-prepared evaluation or functionary report of a few minutes and five minute plus prepared speeches. It is by taking on the full range of roles, trying new techniques and welcoming feedback from fellow members that you will be able to discover how great a speaker you can be.