Parramatta Toastmasters Club

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Future programs:

See the programs for future meetings and notes from the Vice-President Education.

Minutes:

See the minutes of the last meeting.

Newsletter:

See the current issue of the Club newsletter, the "Parra-Natta".

See archive of older issues.

Assignment Guide:

See our online guide to
the performance of meeting assignments
.

Club Blog:

To have an item posted to our Club Blog, send an email to the

Next Meeting

 

See Meeting Dates and Themes for this term.

Meeting Agenda

This is a typical agenda for one of Parramatta Toastmasters Club's normal meetings, although such is the variety of programming that no meeting can really be called "normal". This agenda describes the nature of various assignments that may be performed by members during a meeting.

Call to Order

The Sergeant at Arms introduces the President, who opens the meeting and introduces the theme of the meeting and any other highlights.

Chairman's comments

Parramatta Toastmasters meetings usually have two Chairmen. Chairman One makes a few comments about the theme of the meeting and conducts the early part of the meeting, gaining practice in introducing people. Chairman Two has the more complex job of chairing the Business Session and presiding over the second half of the meeting.

Program changes

Parramatta Toastmasters Vice President Education announces any changes to the printed meeting program.

Invocation

An expression of thanks at the start of the meeting.

Weak Word

A member gives the meaning of a word or words that he/she believes are frequently misused, giving examples of correct usage and encouraging members to use the word(s) as often as possible during the meeting.

Point of View

A member makes a short emotional/persuasive speech expressing a point of view on something that concerns them.

Toast

A member makes a speech proposing a toast to a person or group of his/her choice.

Read or Recite

A member does a three-minute assignment, reading from something or giving a recitation. Dramatic subjects are usually chosen to enable experimentation with vocal variety and body language.

Introduction and Welcome to Visitors

A member talks to visitors to the Club and finds out a bit about who they are and why they have chosen to attend the meeting. The visitors are then introduced here one by one and formally welcomed to the meeting.

Table Topics

A Table Topics Master randomly picks 10 members (usually those without major assignments) and asks them to respond to different questions or statements. The subject is of a general nature not requiring any specialised knowledge. Each participant tries to make a structured response for one minute. This means beginning with a Point about where he/she stands on the question thrown by the Table Topics Master, giving his/her Reason why the point was made, supporting that reason with an Example and finishing the Table Topic by restating the first Point. (This organisational structure is known as PREP, for minimum preparation, but members also use a number of other formats.) These Table Topics give members the opportunity to hone extemporaneous (off-the-cuff) speaking skills. A typical Table Topics question usually takes its tone and theme from the Meeting Theme. The session finishes with evaluations of each topic by two pre-assigned Topic Evaluators.

Business Meeting

Chairman Two presides over the Business Session at which Club business is discussed for about 25 minutes. The purpose of this session, apart from dealing with Club business, is to give members an opportunity to practice participating in and chairing business sessions. Members learn the correct ways to handle formal business such as apologies, minutes, correspondence and reports as well as learning meeting procedure skills through discussing motions in General Business. A sample agenda for use by Chairman Two can be printed out in PDF format here. It is known as the Chairman's Cheat Sheet.

General Evaluator

The General Evaluator is an experienced member who evaluates the meeting as a whole and the various assignments performed.

Parliamentarian

The Parliamentarian helps the Chairman and evaluates the conduct of the business session.

Recess

Yes, we get one of those! Members chat to each other and the visitors while the speakers use this time to discuss their speech assignments with the Toastmaster and their Evaluators.

Larfmaster

A humorous interlude where a member aims for a few laughs with short quick jokes.

Toastmaster

The Toastmaster for the evening hosts the formal speaking program after the Recess, introducing the speakers and explaining their assignments.

Speeches

We usually have five or six members present prepared speeches; each based on an assignment from one of the many Toastmasters speech manuals. The speech is on any topic of the speaker's choosing, but is made to keep within the objectives of the manual assignment. Some speech assignment objectives are to use body language, to inspire the audience, to persuade listeners to the speaker's point of view, etc. There is a basic Communication and Leadership manual, which helps a new Toastmaster gain basic speech skills. Advanced manuals include Storytelling, Entertaining, Public Relations, Specialty and Technical Speeches. Members advance through the manuals at their own pace, with guidance from their mentors and the Club's Vice President of Education.

Evaluations

The General Evaluator presides over this portion of the meeting. Speech Evaluators present an oral evaluation of the speeches, noting what the speakers did well, explaining why, and giving suggestions on how the presentation may have been improved. These evaluations allow all attending to learn how to improve their speaking skills.

CL Evaluator

The CL evaluator provides written evaluations for members carrying out assignments from the Competent Leadership manual and also gives a brief report about these.

Grammarian

The Grammarian presents an evaluation of grammar during the meeting. Wrong use of words, erroneous syntax, slang, sloppy pronunciation, redundancy; and some good use of language are highlighted to make speakers and listeners more conscious of how they use language.

Um/Ah Counter

One member is assigned the task of keeping count of the "ums" and "ahs" - hesitancies - in the various speakers' delivery. It helps each speaker focus on the way they speak.

Timer

The Timer reports on the times for various sections of the meeting and individual assignments.

Quizmaster

Parramatta Toastmasters Club sets great store in the development of members' listening skills. The Quizmaster prepares a set of questions relating to the points made during the various assignments and the audience responds. This session acts as a brief recap of the evening's program and provides each speaker with an indication of how clear his/her speech had been.

Awards

The Sergeant-At-Arms presents awards to the best Table Topics speaker, best Speaker and best Evaluator. Chairman 2 also presents a Stirrer's Spoon to a member for their contributions to the business session.

Close

The President asks guests to give some comments and brings the meeting to a close. Excluding the 10 Table Topics, an average meeting of Parramatta Toastmasters Club goes through around 30 separate assignments. Meetings are 3 hours long, but the brisk pace keeps the excitement going.