A typical meeting

You’ve taken that first step of coming along to your first meeting of Beckenham Communicators … but what can you expect…”I’m going to be sat in room filled with strangers for two hours, what’s it going to be like?”

A Warm Welcome – You will be warmly greeted at the door of the venue by our Sergeant-at-Arms who will welcome you in and invite you to provide your details on our sign-in sheet. As you enter the room, club members and committee members will point you to an available seat, introduce themselves and answer any questions that you may have. Feel free to take an available seat and you can read the “Welcome to Toastmasters” booklet at your leisure once seated.

Opening – The meeting commences with opening comments from the Club President, who then introduces the host for the evening, known as the “Toastmaster”. Once the format of the evening has been explained, the Toastmaster will invite up two further functionaries (Timekeeper & Grammarian) to explain their roles.

Prepared Speeches – You will see several club members delivering a speech on a topic of their choosing, trying to meet the objectives of the module or project they are undertaking. Every audience member including yourself are invited to provide written feedback to the speakers using the slips provided. You and your fellow audience members, will also be able to vote on who you thought was best speaker of the night.

Evaluations – You will now be able to see the Toastmasters educational programme in action. Club members called evaluators, will now verbally evaluate the speakers in turn and provide them with feedback on their speeches. The Toastmasters approach to feedback is to accentuate the positive so that you can leverage the strengths you already have as a speaker.

Guest Introductions – You will be invited to introduce yourself by the Sergeant-at-Arms after the first half of the meeting finishes. Don’t worry, just saying “hi” is completely fine.

Table Topics – Unpredictability will reign as you watch the inpromptu section of the programme. Table Topic Master will select individuals to come up on stage and perform an unprepared speech on a selected topic for 1-2mins. You can choose to volunteer and take part if you wish to and only if you wish to. Each Table Topic participant will be evaluated and receive feedback by a Table Topics Evaluator.

Conclusion – The evening is drawn to a close with reports from the Grammarian and General Evaluator, as well as the awards ceremony and round-up of Club Business by the Club President.

So as you can see, our meetings allow plenty of opportunity for all attendees to join in and develop a range of speaking skills. These range from short introductions to semi-prepared evaluations to meeting functionary roles and prepared speeches. When you’ll join the club as a member, you will have a chance to speak at every meeting in one or more of these capacities and be able to discover how confident a speaker you can become.