The Timer’s responsibility is to help the Master Toastmaster keep the meeting moving on schedule as well as to make sure that every speaker is within their required times. If they any speaker is not within their allotted time you will inform the Toastmaster and General Evaluator which speaker was not within their required time so that the Master Toastmaster and General Evaluator can instruct everyone to exclude those persons from the voting. (Yes. We run a tight ship.)
As the Timer you will be called upon five times:
- By the TM at the beginning of the meeting to explain your role
- By the TM after the Tabletopics session to confirm that all TT speakers were within time.
- By the TM after the prepared speeches to confirm that all prepared speakers were within their allotted times.
- By the GE after the evaluation speeches to confirm that all evaluators were within their allotted speaking times.
- By the GE to give the general timer report for the entire meeting.
You can find TI’s explanation of the Timer’s responsibility by clicking here.
Here’s what you can expect:
You will be called upon by the Master Toastmaster (in some clubs this will be the General Evaluator) to explain your role. Your job here is to clear and succinct. Here’s an example:
Thank you Master Toastmaster. Members of the Executive, Very Welcome Guests and Fellow Toastmasters , my job as Timer is twofold: First, I help the Master Toastmaster keep our entire meeting keep pace with the agenda and second I help our speakers stay within their required times. For that I use these colored cards, green to indicate that the speaker has met his or her minimum requirement, the yellow card indicates that he or she has only a minute or a few minutes remaining, and red when the speaker begins to exceed his or maximum allotted time. For Tabletopics the green card goes up at :60, the yellow card at :90 and the red at 1:20. Prepared speeches have varying times, but for a 5-7 minute speech, the green card will go up at 5:00, the yellow card at 6:00 and the red at 7:00. You will have a grace of :15 for Tabletopics and of :30 for a prepared speech. After that I will begin to clap and you must stop speaking. When the General Evaluator calls upon me during the evaluation portion of the meeting I will give a short report about how closely we have followed the agenda timing, and where we gained or lost time. Thank you
- When you raise a card, e.g. the green card, keep it raised until it’s time for the next card or the speaker ends his or her speech.
- Wave the card slightly if necessary to make sure that the speaker has seen the card.
- If the meeting is running late, do not give specific times for each speaker, rather just indicate to the General Evaluator that we are running late having lost time at wherever we lost time. Don’t exacerbate the situation by taking up more time.
- Use the timer/stopwatch function on your smartphone if you have one. Familiarize yourself with how this device works before the meeting.
- Feel free to use the yellow or red cards to get the Toastmaster, General Evaluator, Presiding Officer to be conscious of the time. Be discreet, just make sure that your target sees and acknowledges your concern.
- When the MT introduces you as the Timer at the start of the meeting, stand and give a short speech like the example above.
- Keep your timing device e.g. smart phone timer in easy reach.
- Make sure each Tabletopic speaker, prepared speaker and evaluator sees the coloured cards you hold up before you put them down.
- Before the vote on best tabletopics, prepared speech and evaluator can take place all voters must know who is eligible to be considered. The MT will ask you after the TT Master has left the lectern if all TT speakers were within time. Simply answer yes, with the following exceptions if there were any. Call the names of those exceptions and give the time they spoke for.
- After the prepared speeches, the MT will ask if all of the prepares speeches were on time. Simply answer yes, with the following exceptions if there were any. Call the names of those exceptions and give the time they spoke for. Be prepared to give the exact times of all the speakers if the GE asks for it.
- After the evaluator speeches, the GE will ask if all of the evaluators were within time. Simply answer yes, with the following exceptions if there were any. Call the names of those exceptions and give the time they spoke for. Be prepared to give the exact times of all the evaluators if the GE asks for it.
- When the GE calls you during the evaluation portion of the meeting stand and only address the GE (you already gave salutations to everyone else) and report on whether all the speakers were within time, whether or not the meeting is running on time, if not where we lost or made up time.
- When finished end by saying “Mr (or Madame) General Evaluator” and sit down.
- At the end of the meeting take your Competent Leader manual to the GE to be filled out.