Toasting, Speaking, Developing


You must be wondering if my “Toastmasters” involvement is progressing.  Actually you might not even remember that I was joining Toastmasters, but go with me anyway.  If you didn’t see my previous post, Toastmasters is a club where we practice public speaking.

On Tuesday morning I took up my first official role at a Toastmasters meeting, and timed the speeches.  Just about everything ran over a little bit!  Which meant that by the time I gave my report on how time was tracking, I had to stand up, give my report and leave the meeting before it finished, as it was already 8:45am and I needed to get to my desk and do some work!

I have put my hand up to do the following over the next month or so:

28th February lunchtime meeting – role of “Ah counter”

My role will be to make note of “ah” “um” “er” or any other word or sound people make during their speeches throughout the meeting.  Towards the end of the meeting I will present a report to the group, with positive feedback for those who are doing this.  In previous meetings I have seen critical ah counters, amusing ah counters, and everyone appears to give feedback differently.  It will be an interesting role to play, especially if there are lots of “ums” and “ahs” on the day!

6th March morning meeting – role of “Timer”

This is the role I did on Tuesday.  The speeches all have prescribed times given to them, and so I will be setting my little stop watch and checking those.  I have a little box with a white, orange and red light on top that I switch on at certain times to let the speaker know how they’re going.  For example, for a 5-7 minute speech, the white light goes on at 5 minutes, orange at 6 minutes, red at 7 minutes.

13th March lunchtime meeting – my first speech!  CC01 “The Icebreaker”

The purpose of speech no.1 in the Competent Communication guide is to get up there and give your first speech, an introduction of yourself to the club.  It is to go for four to six minutes, and they encourage me to have a good opening, body and conclusion, and then an evaluator will give me some pointers on what I did well, and what I need to work on when I next get up to speak.

20th March morning meeting – I cannot go to the meeting because it is just after our DR test and I’ll be working at our East Melbourne building that week.

27th March lunchtime meeting – role of “Topicsmaster”

At each Toastmasters meeting there are “Table Topics”, or impromptu 60-90 second speeches that are run, where four or five people who haven’t got an official role at the meeting are invited up, given a quick topic and need to come up with something on the spot.  I am going to facilitate the Table Topics at this meeting!  I need to think of a theme and some topics and then get up and introduce it, make sure I know who I can call up to speak, and run that segment.  Should be a bit of a challenge!



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