As the highest-ranking club officer, the President typically presides over club meetings. However, if the President wants to give other members the opportunity to preside over a meeting, or simply wants to provide more diversity in meetings, the role can be assigned to another club officer. The week leading up to the meeting, the Presiding Officer works closely with the Toastmaster to ensure a Theme is chosen and shared with the Table Topicsmaster, Grammarian/Ah-Counter, and Humorist/Inspirationist. In addition, the Presiding Officer emails the agenda to the entire club the day before the meeting.
- Strike the gavel! Start on time no matter what, even if several attendees are running late.
- Call the meeting to order with a warm welcoming remark.
- Briefly explain Tragicomedy Toastmasters and what makes our club unique.
- Ask everyone, including guests, to rename themselves in Zoom to indicate their meeting roles (e.g., “Mary Ellen Pataro – Presiding Officer,” “Diane Kane – Toastmaster,” “Alyssa Tan – Timer,” “Jason Krueger – Guest,” etc.). To rename yourself in Zoom, click on the “Participants” button, click to the far right of your name, and select the “Rename” option from the dropdown menu.
- Make one to three announcements.
- Focus only on what is time sensitive, such as an upcoming contest.
- Chat out announcements along with any relevant links via Zoom.
- Check out Mary Ellen Pataro’s presentation on how to be a good Presiding Officer:
Welcome First-Time Guest(s)
- Ask any first-time guests to say their name, how they heard about our club, and what they are looking to get out of Toastmasters.
- If there are several first-timers, consider limiting introductions to just those who are non-Toastmasters and/or those without a meeting role.
- Make sure they keep their introductions less than 30 seconds, with the Timer timing each guest as follows: GREEN at 10 seconds, YELLOW at 20 seconds, and RED at 30 seconds (the grace period being only 5 seconds—they must promptly finish their last sentence upon seeing RED).
Congratulate Newest Member(s)
- Proudly say the name of each newest member.
- After you say each name, ask for a round of applause.
- Very briefly explain the Toastmaster role. Be sure not to steal the stage from the Toastmaster—keep your part short and to the point.
- Turn the meeting over to the Toastmaster to announce the Theme and run the meeting.
- During the meeting, assist the Toastmaster only as needed, such as clarification on meeting roles or technical assistance with Zoom. Also, feel free to let the Table Topicsmaster know when to wrap up Table Topics by chatting them a private message via Zoom.
- At the end of the meeting, the Toastmaster will turn the meeting back over to you:
- Thank the Toastmaster and everyone in attendance with a heartfelt remark about how the meeting went—be sure to incorporate both the Toastmaster’s Theme and the Grammarian/Ah-Counter’s Word of the Day.
- If and only if time permits, ask guests to share feedback, with the Timer timing them again to keep their comments less than 30 seconds as follows: GREEN at 10 seconds, YELLOW at 20 seconds, and RED at 30 seconds (the grace period being only 5 seconds—they must promptly finish their last sentence upon seeing RED).
- Adjourn the meeting by striking the gavel!