Sergeant At Arms

  • Arrive early!
  • Welcome the guests as they arrive.
  • At the very start of the meeting. Call the meeting to order, with a loud energetic voice “I hereby call this Meeting to order…”, raise the energy ask audience to cheer, or repeat a fun short sentence.
  • For Guest introduction, provide a 60 second speech on how guests are the lifeblood of Toastmasters.  Pick a creative but simple guest introduction question, please try and avoid “why did you come along” as this can be repetitive.
  • Collect votes if no vote counter is available
  • Ensure that no guest sits alone!
  • Be friendly and welcoming!

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 10mins before the meeting starts. Guests and members will start trickling in by ringing the intercom. Answer and direct them to the upstairs room where the club meets. As soon as a new guest arrives, welcome them in give them a copy of the guest booklet and 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.

Call to Order Speaking Slot – YOU will Start the meeting (1 min 30 seconds)

Call to order the meeting. With a very loud and energetic voice:

  • Announce the meeting is to start
  • Welcome everyone to St Paul’s Speakers Toastmasters club
  • Raise the energy, ask a question to raise levels…”Are you ready…” or ask for a big cheer etc
  • Housekeeping
    • Toilet is at the back of the Church to the left.
    • Turn off mobile phones.
    • Water by the entrance in kitchen area.
  • Introduce the President…mention their name and leave the stage after shaking hands

Guest Introduction Speaking Slot (2 minutes plus Guest intro max 5 mins)

You will introduce the guests to the Meeting:

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Thank and welcome guests to the St Paul’s Speakers
  • Provide a short (no more than 2mins) introduction to ease nerves and gently introduce guests examples:
    • Story of your first time being a guest.
    • How guests start their TM journey here and calm their nerves.
    • Short story of how even the most accomplished of speakers were once a guest
  • Ask guests to stand, then be seated after answering their slot.
  • Ask guest to call out their names and a very short ice-breaker question (no more than 45 seconds per guest):
    • Ice-Breaker question MUST be short no more than 45 seconds per guest.
    • Question examples, “what did you have for breakfast”, “what is the ONE thing you would like to takeaway from tonight”
    • Please DO NOT ask “what brought you here” or “what are your fears of public speaking”. This can quickly turn repetitive and long winded
  • Remind guests that they can sign up to a Table Topic
  • Ask the Table Topic master to stand up and for guest to speak to them during break
  • Remind guests they can mingle with Members during break.
  • Hand back to the Toastmaster and shake hands when exiting stage.

During the Meeting

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

If a votes are scheduled for the meeting, you’ll then stand-in for the vote counter. 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. 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 why they came here today and what are they hoping to get out of Toastmasters. Make it very snappy as time is limited!
  • Lead the applause after each guest introduces himself/herself.
  • Ask the guest to sit down and move on to the next one.
  • 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.