Monday, July 12, 2010
What is Rule Number One for running a Toastmasters club meeting?
It’s very simple. Everyone gets to stand up and speak in some role. That is true whether you are in Portland, Oregon or Pune, India.
There are three speeches on the schedule at one of our club meetings in Boise. However, there are many other volunteer roles involved in running the meeting. The eight that change for each meeting are the Ah-Grammarian, Timekeeper, Toastmaster, General Evaluator, three Speech Evaluators, and the Table Topics Master.
Table Topics is the impromptu speaking part of the meeting. The Table Topics Master ask questions, and club members get to stand up and answer them with a one to two minute off-the-cuff speech. He usually begins by asking the members who have not already had another role. Then he asks any guests if they would like to try. Finally, if there is time, he asks other members.
At the end of the meeting everyone walks out the door feeling good. They all got to stand up and speak, they got applause, and whatever fear they once had about speaking in public just got a little smaller.
Last year Nick Morgan pointed out that the most important rule for success in public speaking is to have fun. The fun goes up as the fear goes down.