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Witty Birds


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Witty Birds Meeting Roles and Responsibilities

Meeting Roles

The Sergeant at Arms officially begins each Toastmasters meeting by setting a professional and welcoming tone.

Before the Meeting
  • Ensure that Zoom meeting room is ready and available.
  • Coordinate with Toastmaster of the Day if additional setup is required.

During the Meeting

  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting (1:00pm London Time).
  • Assist various role holders to be ready for the meeting.
  • Check with the Presiding Officer and officially begin the meeting at the appointed time.
  • Welcome attendees and give meeting instructions (see sample script below).
  • Hand control over to Presiding Officer.
  • Assist with muting/unmuting attendees; screen sharing; chat… throughout the meeting.
Sample Opening Script

Welcome to Witty Birds Toastmasters club! 

We are an online club which specializes in storytelling and humour. 

We do want to remind you that this meeting is being recorded and recording may be used for the club’s public relations activities. If you do not want to be in the videos, you can turn off your camera, or if you don't want your performance to be video recorded, exceptions can be made on request. 

Mute yourself when you are not speaking. 

Silent your phone and other noise making devices around you. 

Mute yourself and turn your video off if you do anything potentially distracting, such as getting up from your chair and going someplace, or sneezing or coughing. 

The audio and video controls are on the bottom left corner of the screen. 

You can switch between gallery and speaker view, and those controls are on the upper right corner of the screen. 

You may chat with individual members or everyone in the meeting. To do so click on the chat icon at the bottom of your Zoom window to open up the chat window. 

You are encouraged to show your support by sending quick notes or feedback when the speaker has finished. 

For role holders - Please change your panel username to ensure it shows your role and name. Click on your video screen, and select "rename" to do so. 

We have members and guests from around the world. Please be sensitive to cultural differences in the use of the English language and non-verbal gestures. 

I shall now call upon our Presiding Officer to open the meeting…

The Toastmaster of the Day (TMOD) coordinates the meeting agenda in advance and hosts a large portion of the meeting. The Toastmaster should strive to excite the audience and motivate all to actively listen and participate. The Toastmaster creates an atmosphere of interest, expectation, and receptivity.

Before the Meeting
  • At least one week before the meeting, establish a theme.
    • Enter theme into the agenda (on Easy Speak).
    • Notify the Wordmaster of the chosen theme (he/she will choose the Word of the Day).
  • During the week prior to the meeting, communicate with the scheduled storytellers, evaluators, and other role holders.
    • Confirm with storytellers their attendance and remind them to enter their speech details and introductions into the Easy Speak agenda at least a day prior to the meeting.
    • Alert VP Education if any storyteller cannot make it to the meeting.
    • Remind all role holders to be present in the meeting room at least 5 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. Otherwise, their role may be reassigned to another present member.

Day of Meeting

  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting (1:00pm London UK time).
  • 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting, confirm role holders’ attendance. Reassign roles if needed.
  • Prepare a copy of the agenda for reference during the meeting and to be shared in Zoom chat window.

During the Meeting

  • Act as a genial host and conduct the entire program.
  • Keep each segment of the meeting on time, adjusting and interjecting as needed to ensure that the overall schedule is maintained.
  • As a meeting host on Zoom platform, you should manage muting participants as needed.
    • For example, participants often forget to mute their microphones after speaking. You can mute their microphones to prevent unintended background noise while others are speaking.
    • In rare cases, a participant has exceptional difficulty unmuting the microphone when trying to speak. You may assist by turning this person’s microphone on so they can be heard by others.
    • Feel free to ask other officers or experienced Zoom hosts to assist you.
  • Begin the meeting by introducing the theme.
    • May include some interesting factoids about the theme.
  • Explain the three-part meeting structure (prepared speeches, Table Topics, and evaluations).
  • Introduce each role holder, asking them to briefly highlight how they will perform their duties (Timekeeper, Wordmaster, Video Monitor).
  • Begin the prepared speeches segment by introducing each Speaker in turn.
    • Encourage attendees to send notes of encouragements through private chat.
    • Ask the Timekeeper for a report after all speeches are complete.
  • Introduce the Table Topics Master.
    • Keep watch of the timing of the meeting.
    • Utilize the Zoom chat window to communicate with the Table Topics Master.
  • Introduce the General Evaluator.
    • Keep watch of the timing of the meeting.
    • Utilize the chat window to communicate with the General Evaluator.
      • If the Table Topics Master and/or General Evaluator forgets to ask for the Timekeeper report during their respective segments, you should ask for it at the soonest opportunity.
  • Wrap up the meeting and handover control to the Presiding Officer
    • The Presiding Officer should have control of the meeting no later than 2:10pm London Time.
The Timekeeper is responsible for keeping track of time throughout the meeting. Expressing a thought within a specific time is one of the primary skills learned through the Toastmasters program. Therefore, the Timekeeper helps everyone who participates during the meeting practice being on time.

Day of Meeting
  • Prepare a timing device, such as a digital app or physical stopwatch.
  • Prepare green, yellow, and red visuals to display along with the corresponding timings during the meeting.
    • You may display digital images on screen or hold up physical objects.
  • Ask whether any Speakers prefer auditory cues.
    • Although rare, if a Speaker asks for an auditory cue, you verbalize a subtle cue (ie: green/yellow/red) for the corresponding times.

During the Meeting

  • Prior to the first Speaker’s introduction, confirm the speech timings with the Toastmaster.
  • Verbally report qualification or disqualification when called upon.
    • Exact times need not be announced verbally.
    • Instead, simply state whether all members qualified or highlight any specific disqualifications.
  • After each meeting segment (prepared speeches, Table Topics, evaluations), post the exact times for each participant in the chat window.
The Wordmaster chooses the Word of the Day (WOD), and listens for its usage during the meeting.

Before the Meeting
  • Choose the WOD, and inform the Toastmaster of the Day.
    • Choose a word related to the meeting theme.
    • Choose a word that is not too common, not too obscure, and not too difficult to use.

During the Meeting

  • During the role introduction, present the WOD (its part of speech; definition; example usage).
  • Post the WOD details (including part of speech; definition; example usage) into the chat window
  • Listen carefully for the use of the WOD throughout the meeting keeping track of the attendees who have used the term.
  • Listen for interesting, clever, or exceptional usage of the term.
  • When called upon, give a 1-minute report highlighting how well the attendees have used the WOD.
    • For example, did most speakers use the term, or just one or two members?
    • Note any exceptional usage, such as metaphor or alliteration, can encourage additional usage in the future.
  • Optional:  use private chat to share detailed comments with specific participants.
Majority of communication is non-verbal. The Video Monitor observes how attendees appear on video, during speaking and non-speaking segments.

During the Meeting
  • Pay attention to how attendees appear within their video squares.
    • IE:  body placement; lighting; action/inaction while others are speaking…
  • Notice any video backgrounds (virtual or actual) that are exceptional or are distracting.
  • Assess effectiveness of any multimedia being used.
    • IE:  fonts on slides are too large or too small; images used enhance or distract audience from the speech…
  • When called upon, give a 1-minute report highlighting the most noteworthy items.
  • Optional:  use private chat to share detailed comments with specific participants.


Taking on this role improves critical thinking, confidence, and public speaking skills.  Every storyteller is a role model, and club members learn from one another's speeches.

Before the Meeting

  • Confirm your assigned speaking spot as soon as possible.
  • Update your speech title, Path and Project names, and other relevant information on the agenda (in Easy-Speak.org) at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
  • Discuss your goals, strengths, and weaknesses with your evaluator prior to the meeting.

Day of Meeting

  • Log in at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.
  • Test your audio and video devices; practice screen share and/or other needed technological needs.
  • Confirm with the Toastmaster of the Day your presence and speaking order.

During the Meeting

  • Keep an eye on the chat box for any last-minute updates from the Toastmaster of the Day.
  • Unmute your audio and video while the Toastmaster introduces you and the project.
  • Be prepare to receive feedback during the evaluation portion of the meeting and in the chat message box.

Table Topics Master
The Table Topics Master presides over the Table Topics portion of the club meeting. Table Topics helps members practice impromptu thinking and speaking. Table Topics provides members and willing guests an opportunity to speak during the meeting. The Table Topics Master gives each participant a question. Subsequently, the speaker gives a 1-2 minute impromptu response. Preferences should first be given to members that do not have a meeting role. The Table Topics segment can sometimes be shorter or longer, depending on the flow of the meeting. Therefore, it is wise to prepare extra questions, even if they do not all end up being used.

Before the Meeting
  • Prepare at least six to seven questions/topics related to the meeting theme.

Day of Meeting

  • Log in 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.
  • Ask any guests present whether they would be willing to participate in Table Topics if called upon.

During the Meeting

  • Begin by introducing the purpose of Table Topics.
  • The Table Topics Master has the option of choosing the participant or asking the question first.
  • Prioritize participants in this order:
    • First, call upon existing members who do not have an assigned role in the meeting.
    • Second, call upon guests who have indicated a willingness to participate prior to the meeting.
  • Keep watch of the chat window, as the Toastmaster of the Day may give various signals and directions.
  • Once all participants have spoken, ask the Timekeeper for a report.
  • Past meeting control to the General Evaluator.

The General Evaluator evaluates anything and everything that takes place throughout the meeting. The General Evaluator is responsible for leading the evaluation segment of the meeting and coordinating the evaluation team. The General Evaluator’s own report should highlight extraordinary items, not a repeat of other feedback. Due to limited time, share only the most applicable comments. Feedback for specific individuals can be sent through private chat.

Day of Meeting
  • 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting, confirm that all evaluators are present and affirm Speaker-Evaluator pairing.
    • Encourage Speakers and Evaluators to privately communicate on any specific details related to the evaluation, such as special focus areas, prior to the start of the meeting.
  • Make sure Evaluators are prepared to document their evaluation for the Speakers

During the Meeting

  • Begin by introducing the purpose of the evaluation segment.
  • Introduce each Evaluator, reminding everyone whose speech they are evaluating.
  • Once all evaluations are complete, ask the Timekeeper for a report.
  • Continue the evaluation segment by calling on the Wordmaster and Video Monitor to provide their 1-minute reports.
  • Give a 1-3 minute report highlighting extraordinary items.
  • Return control to the Toastmaster.

An Evaluator observes a prepared presentation, then provides feedback during the meeting. It is vital for the Evaluator to be professional in conduct, providing positive, constructive feedback for improvement that encourages the Storytellers to continue practicing their skills. Feedback is provided through a 2-3 minute speech, as well as a written evaluation form. The oral feedback given by the Evaluator benefits all members in attendance, not only the individual who gave the presentation.

Day of Meeting
  • 10 minutes prior to the meeting, confirm your Speaker assignment with the General Evaluator.
    • Privately communicate with your assigned Speaker about any specific requests related to the evaluation, such as special focus areas.
  • Make sure you are prepared to document your evaluation.

During the Meeting

  • Take notes during the presentation, complete a written evaluation form, and provide a copy to your assigned Speaker after the meeting.
  • When you are called upon by the General Evaluator, give a 2-3 minute speech highlighting what the speaker did well, areas for improvement, and specific recommendations for future improvement.
  • Maintain a positive tone while providing your feedback and focus on improving the speaking skills of all members, not on passing judgement or making commentaries about specific people or presentation topics.



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