Enjoy taking up a meeting role.

Enjoy take up a meeting role

Margherita Brodbeck Roth, DTM

Members join Toastmasters because they want to speak, hone their leadership skills, or enjoy their time. We can provide all these experiences at once, but filling in meeting roles is sometimes challenging. Some Members can attend in-person meetings regularly; others are Zoom surfers around the globe, or they need a break. They can feel overwhelmed by experienced speakers, so they look for a challenge. 

Still, to ensure that every club will strive, it is essential to encourage every club member’s active and balanced participation. We need support along the completion of our chosen Path to understand how to use tools such as BaseCamp, EasySpeak, Zoom, or even WhatsApp. Those skills also make us shine at work and become digital citizens.

It is true that many members initially only focus on giving speeches. However, we must educate each other and see learning potential in all meeting roles. The Meeting Chair introduces the Toastmaster, opens the stage, and paves the way to a successful meeting. The Toastmaster guides through the meeting and ensures it will run smoothly. The General Evaluator takes a step back, observes meetings from a bird’s eye perspective, and works with their team; the Grammarian helps hone language skills, the Ah-Counter ensures we curb the use of filler words, and the Timer watches over the good use of time. In these roles, we use listening skills, focus on not getting distracted from fulfilling a task, and respectfully give feedback

The Topic master uses their creativity and research insight to support the practice of impromptu speaking. Each Meeting Speaker is supported by an Evaluator who will highlight a speech’s strong points and what could have been done differently. Depending on the meeting format, a Zoom Master and a Digital Appearance Master will facilitate the set-up and running of a hybrid meeting, develop their technical wizardry, and make the magic happen.

With every role, we develop skills and techniques that will help us navigate private and business challenges alike. Therefore, it is rewarding to look for a coveted speaker’s slot and practice all other meeting roles. How often should we take part in sharing a prepared speech? Milan Easy Toastmasters Club’s “Toastmasters D109 Speakers Magic Formula” answers the question quickly. 

Let’s support and motivate each other by giving compliments and feedback. It’s okay to say “thank you” multiple times, and personalized feedback is valuable. We should be adaptable and innovative in our roles during meetings. While some appointments may not count towards Pathways assignments, roles such as Debate Lead or Chief Judge can be beneficial for our progress. We should maintain a structured meeting to help new members but also make it enjoyable by choosing diverse themes, changing the order of the agenda, or introducing a different format occasionally to keep meetings enjoyable.