Cosmopolitan Toastmasters

Somewhat Better Speaking, Listening, Thinking and Eating

                                                                               Roles & Duties

Learn your assignment! 

Cosmo says "Scroll down to find Officer Roles or Assignment Duties."



General Evaluator

Table Topic Chair




Chair for the Evening


The Ice-Breaker Speech


Cosmo-Officer Duties


*Links aren't working yet.  Just SCROLL down to your ASSIGNMENT or OFFICER DUTY 

                             Duties of the Toastmaster (aka Symposiarch) 


1.      Contact each scheduled Speaker several days prior to meeting.

·        Verify that Speaker will be present or has a substitute.

·        Obtain speech title.

·        Find out whether or not speech is a manual speech.

·        Find out if the Speaker will require more than the usual 5 to 7 minutes of time for his speech.

2.      Contact General Evaluator and Table Topics Master.

3.      Prepare introductions for the Speakers, Table Topics Master, General Evaluator and any others whom you will introduce


1.      After Business Meeting

·         When introduced by the Chairman after the business meeting, make opening remarks and introduce the Table Topics Master.

·         When Table Topics are finished:

a.       Announce 10 minute break

b.      Direct members and guests to pay the Treasurer for meal.

2.      After Break

·        Kick off the program on a lively footing.  Entertain or loosen up the group with jokes, anecdote, or whatever.  Use your imagination.

·        Say a few words about the forthcoming program.

·        Invite the General Evaluator to give any directions he might desire to give.

·        Introduce the Timer; ask him to explain the timing procedure.

·        Introduce Speakers:

a.       Announce the title of each speech, the name of the Speaker and make any other remarks

b.      If a manual speech, include number and purpose of speech and any special time requirements.

c.       Remain standing at lectern until Speaker arrives at lectern; greet Speaker.

d.      At end of each speech lead applause.  Offer words of appreciation and transitional remarks, then introduce next Speaker.

  • At end of speaking program, thank all the Speakers and turn over control of the meeting to the General Evaluator.
  • When General Evaluator is finished, he will turn meeting back to you.  At this point, make any concluding remarks and turn control of the meeting back to the Chairman.

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                        When You are The General Evaluator


1.      Contact each scheduled Evaluator, the Grammarian and the Timer to verify they will be present at the meeting or that they have a substitute.


1.      Pay attention; you may have to decide who receives the “Best Table Topics Award”.  Sometimes we have the TableTopic Chairman decide and pass the name to you.

During Break or Before

1.      Meet with Toastmaster to verify who will be speaking.

2.      Assign Evaluators to Speakers.  Enlist Evaluators if scheduled Evaluators are not present.

3.      Enlist Timer if scheduled Timer is not present.

4.      Remind Table Topics Master to help choose best Table Topics response.


1.      Explain to Evaluators and club any special guidelines for evaluation.  (Optional.)


1.      Explain voting for Best Speaker and Most Improved Speaker

  • Ballots in lower right corner of placemat.
  • Voting for Best Speaker by points:  3 points for best, 2 points for second and 1 point for third.  Voters must vote for all 3 positions or ballot will be disqualified (Known as the Gale Allen Rule).  Remind voters to also vote for most improved.
  • Call for voting and direct that ballots be passed to the Timer for counting.

2.      Introduce Timer and ask for Timer’s Report.  (Timer usually gives report from wherever he is seated and does not come to lectern.)

3.      Introduce individual Evaluators.

  • Announce Evaluator’s name
  • Give the name of the Speaker and the title of the speech that he will evaluate as well as any other introductory comments you wish to add.  (Note that the Evaluators play a “supporting role” to the “star” Speakers, thus their introductions can be proportionately shorter and less detailed, but no less warm, than those given for the Speakers.  The same goes for the Timer and Grammarian.)
  • Remain standing at lectern until Evaluator arrives at lectern; greet Evaluator.
  • At end of each evaluation lead applause.  Offer words of appreciation, add your own brief evaluation comments if desired, make transitional remarks, and introduce the next Evaluator.
  • Pay attention; you will later have to decide who receives the “Best Evaluator Award”.

4.      Introduce the Grammarian for the Grammarian’s Report

  • Remain standing at lectern until Grammarian arrives at lectern; greet Grammarian.
  • At end of report lead applause and offer words of appreciation.

5.      Give your own evaluation of the meeting in general.  Include the performance of:

  • Toastmaster
  • Table Topics
  • Evaluators
  • Chairman
  • Business meeting
  • Anything else you desire

6.      Present Awards:

  • Best Table Topics (chosen by General Evaluator)
  • Best Evaluator (your choice)
  • Most/Least ?????? Speaker (determined by General Evaluator and chosen by club ballot)
  • Best Speaker (by club ballot)

8.      Turn control of meeting back to Toastmaster.

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                              Duties of the TableTopic Master


1.      Have a number of questions (7 or 8 minimum) prepared for discussion.  Questions should be brief, of interest to members, and able to provoke discussion.

2.      Plan on directing specific questions to specific individuals.

  • Target those members who do not have a major role in the program.
  • Include newer and quieter members as well as the more outgoing ones.


1.      When introduced by the Toastmaster:

  • Explain Table Topics to guests and new members in attendance.
  • Note that responses should be between 1 and 2 minutes in length.

2.      Go quickly into questions.  Don’t express your views on the questions, solicit the views of the members.

3.      Keep it lively.  If one question is a dud, try another.  If several people wish to respond to one question, let them.

4.      Don’t call on guests, but permit (and invite) guests to participate if they indicate a desire to do so.

5.      At 6:55 p.m. turn the meeting back to the Toastmaster.

6.      Select who is to receive the “Best Table Topics Response” award.  Pass this information on to the General Evaluator, who will present the award.

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                                When You Are an Evaluator


1.      Meet with General Evaluator to find out whom you will evaluate.

2.      Meet with assigned Speaker.  Find out any specific aspects of the speech that he would like you to evaluate.

3.      If a manual speech, take Speaker’s manual.  Fill in your comments during his speech.


1.      When called upon by the General Evaluator to deliver your evaluation, give a one to three minute evaluation:

  • Helpful—primary purpose is to foster improvement
  • Concise—you are not competing with the Speaker
  • Entertaining—(We bore easily when lectured to.)

2.      Evaluations should be positive, emphasizing Speaker’s strong points.  Weaknesses should not be overlooked, but should be presented with suggestions for improvement in mind.  HINT:  show mercy to Speakers in inverse proportion to their experience.

3.      If evaluating a manual speech, don’t just read what you have written in the Speaker’s manual.  Address main points in speech requirements, but include any other criteria or points not in the manual which you deem important.

4.      Evaluate experienced Speakers against their past efforts.  Are they improving or in a rut?

5.   The bottom line is to employ Cosmo's Golden Rule:  "Evaluate others as you would have them evaluate you." 

6.  Pope John XXIII once said, "See everything, overlook a great deal, correct a little."

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                                  Duties of the Grammarian


1.      Prepare a “Word for the Day”.  Write word on a placard (a dry-erase board is usually available), and prepare to explain what it means.


1.      When called upon by the Chairman, present the “Word for the Day” from the lectern.  Define it, pronounce it properly, and demonstrate its use.

2.      Throughout the meeting, take note of the following:

  • Use or misuse of the “Word for the Day”
  • Grammatical errors made by all members during meeting.
  • Exceptionally good usage.  Vivid word pictures or colorful expressions.
  • In this club the Grammarian does not typically count ahs, uhms, etc.  However, if they become noticeable, you may keep track of them and should at least mention, if not quantify, them in your report.

3.      Deliver report from lectern when called upon by the General Evaluator

  • Make it lively: delight as well as instruct.
  • Don’t be timid—this is no time for a whitewash!
  • Keep it relatively brief, five minutes or less.  Hit the major blunders first.

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                                  Duties of the Timer/Counter


1.      Familiarize yourself with the operation of the timing device.  Study the 9-page operations manual.


1.      Time each participant’s response and record if asked to do so by the Table Topics Chair.

2.      When you give your report later in the meeting, in the interest of brevity, report only those members whose response was outside the recommended length of 1 minute to 2 minutes ± 30 seconds.


1.      Check with the Toastmaster to see if any Speakers require other than the normal 5 to 7 minutes of time.


1.      When called upon by the Toastmaster

  • Explain time limits:

a.                   5 to 7 minutes typically ± 30 seconds.  You may use the buzzer at "7 min. 30 seconds".

b.                  4 to 6 minutes for icebreakers.  Do not buzz an Icebreaker.

c.                   Any special time required or requested for advanced manual speeches, etc.

d.                  Speech evaluations should run  2 to 3 minutes ± 30 seconds.

  • Describe how you will be timing the speeches and signaling the Speakers i.e. the operation of the watch and colored lights.

2.      Time each Speaker and record.

3.      When called upon by the General Evaluator, report each Speaker’s time.

4.      Record and report on evaluation times if requested to do so by the General Evaluator.

5.    Count the Vote Ballots.  Very importantly, total the votes as follows: 3 points for 1st place, 2 points for 2nd place, and give 1 point for 3rd place.  It is your option to throw out ballots that do not contain all 3 selections.  Just one name written means, 3 points for 1st place and 0 points for all others. This is unfair.  Remember, it is possible for a speaker who received all 2nd place votes to actually win "Best Speaker".  The "Most Improved" is a simple tally of the most votes for the name.  Pass the Results to the General Evaluator.

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                                            Duties of the Chair

Have copies of schedule for the week and meeting agenda at hand for reference.  Have a parliamentary procedure reference outline at hand, or you will suffer.  (Our Placemat has a quick Parlimentary Reference Chart).

1.      Gavel the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

2.      Call for invocation or a toast.

3.      Call for introduction of guests.

4.      Direct Membership VP (or designated aide) to call roll.

5.      Call upon Grammarian for the Word for the Day.

6.      Call upon Secretary to read Minutes of previous meeting.  After minutes are read ask for additions or corrections.

7.      Give Executive Committee Report if desired (Chairman's option).

8.      Call for other committee reports. 

NOTE:  Officially sanctioned committees take precedence over upstart "committees" and grandstanding demagogues.

9.      Open the floor to unfinished business.  Follow time guidelines in agenda.

10.  Introduce new business.  Follow time guidelines in agenda if possible.

11.  Introduce Toastmaster at 6:30 p.m. (or after call for Orders of the Day).

        Note: During Table Topics you may eat. 

        After the Toastmaster has finished his program he will invite you back to the lectern.

12.  Call for comments from guests.

13.  Call for comments for the good of the club.

14.  Make any parting comments.  Disguise them as comments for the good of the club.

15.  Call for the Thought for the Day.

16.  Adjourn meeting.

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                                    When You Are a Speaker

When you are the speaker you are one of the stars of the show.  The focus of the entire Toastmasters meeting is to give speakers the opportunity to practice and improve their skills.  In return, the primary duty of the speaker is to be prepared.

1.      Be aware of the schedule and know when you are on the agenda as a speaker.

2.      For most people in most circumstances, being prepared will mean having written and practiced a speech before the meeting.  (The exceptions to this rule are few, but one could be a special event like a program of all impromptu speeches.)

a.       Think about and look for potential speech topics even before you are listed on the schedule.  Few topics are taboo in Cosmopolitan 515, and, ideally, speeches are evaluated on how they are delivered, and not on their subject matter, so feel free to explore most any subject.  The only exception is your “Icebreaker” as explained below.

b.      Allow about a week for preparing and practicing your speech.  This will you allow you a couple of days to write the speech, and several more to practice and revise it.

c.       Use the Toastmasters International speech manuals, especially the “basic” manual.  While some in Cosmopolitan 515 may disparage manual speeches as stifling to creativity, they in fact give you an opportunity to work on all facets of your speech-making abilities, and offer unique challenges in every exercise.  One bit of advice:  fit the manual to your speech; do not fit your speech to the manual.  If you have a good motivational speech, don’t try to make it into an informative speech just because that is the next assignment in the manual.  Feel free to skip around in the manual or give the same type of speech more than once.

d.      Time yourself when you practice so that you can fit your speech into the normal 5 to 7 minute time slot.

e.       Prepare your notes, visual aids and so forth before the meeting at which you speak.

The second duty of a speaker is to help your helpers.  The main task of the Toastmaster, your evaluator and the rest of the evaluation team is to help you succeed and improve.  Make it easy for them to assist you.

  1. Provide the Toastmaster with sufficient information about your speech and yourself so that he can effectively introduce you to the audience.  This information includes your speech title, your qualifications to speak on your topic, and the length in time of your speech.
  2. Let the Toastmaster know if you need assistance with visual aids or other props.  If possible, set up your props before the speaking program begins.
  3. Assist your evaluator by telling him of any particular or special goals that you want to achieve when giving your speech.  In the case of a manual speech, bring your manual along and give it to your evaluator so that he can assess how well you have met the objectives of your speech.

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                                                         The Ice-Breaker Speech

The “Icebreaker” is your first speech to the club, and it is your opportunity to introduce your self to the club.  Therefore, the subject of the speech should be you.  It can be about your childhood, your career, your interests, or a combination of these and more.  The speech should be about whatever it is that lets the other members of the club get to know you.  Your fellow club members’ knowledge about you helps them to effectively evaluate and assist you in the future.

The “Icebreaker” speech can come in many forms.  It need not be a chronological accounting of your life, and many of the most effective “Icebreakers” are not chronological.  What matters most is that the “Icebreaker” speech is about you.

It is very important to read your Manual on how to prepare and deliver this first speech.  If you have not received your manual from Toastmasters International yet, there should be an extra copy in the lectern for you to use.  Be sure to give the manual to your assigned evaluator to follow the evaluator's guide. 

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                                                Cosmo-Officer Duties

                                                    -Club President-  (Chief Executive Officer)

  • Ensure the meeting starts and ends on time.
  • Make sure guests are warmly and enthusiastically welcomed and introduced.
  • Allow time before and after the meeting to speak with guests.
  • Make serious effort to explain and conduct meetings according to Robert's Rules of Order.
  • Discuss the Distinguished Club Program and the club?s progress and achievements in it.
  • Recognize member achievements in Toastmasters and in their personal lives.
  • Oversee administrative operation of club in compliance with the Club Constitution and Bylaws.
  • Encourage communication and leadership development by promoting CC, AC, CL and AL awards.
  • Ensure club has an ongoing membership-building program.
  • Attend and vote club?s proxy at district council meetings or authorize a club member to do so.
  • Attend regional conference and International Convention and vote club?s proxy or send proxy to district
  • Maintain relationships with the district and with Toastmasters International.
  • Schedule and chair monthly executive committee meetings.
  • Arrange for a replacement if unable to attend a club or executive committee meeting.
  • Search for leaders, ensure all club offices are filled for the succeeding term and ensure timely elections are  conducted.
  • Prepare your successor for office.

                                                                  -Education Vice President-

  • Ask each new member to be a Table Topics participant at the first meeting after joining.  Assign him or her to a meeting role at the third meeting or earlier, and assign the Ice Breaker manual project at the fourth meeting or sooner.
  • Offer Special Education Programs periodically to motivate and educate the membership.
  • Being responsibe for the schedule, assist the WebMaster in preparing the schedule for "Regular" and "Special" Educational Meetings. 
  • Monitor club performance quarterly in cooperation with the club president.
  • Preside over the meeting when the president is absent.
  • Plan club meetings, completing schedules and assignments at least three weeks in advance and confirming each schedule five to seven days before the meeting.
  • Promote participation in the educational program. Get commitment from members to earn the next level of achievement and track their progress toward these awards.
  • Orient new members to the Toastmasters program within two meetings after they join.
  • Assign every new member a mentor.
  • Combat the Incompetent Toastmasters Council Evildoers. 

                                                     -Vice President: Membership-

  • Greet guests and have each complete a guest card.
  • Take the "roll-call" at each meeting and announce if a quorum is present.
  • Report on current membership, promote membership campaigns and welcome new members.
  • Work with the president and vice president education to ensure each new member is formally inducted at the first meeting after being voted in by the club.
  • Help guests wishing to join complete the membership applications.
  • Speak with fellow members to determine if their needs are being met.
  • Conduct ongoing membership building programs and efforts. Promote the goal of one new member per month and, if the club has fewer than 20 members, achieving 20 members by year end or sooner. Promote club and Toastmasters International membership-building programs and conduct a minimum of two formal club membership programs annually.
  • Follow up on and keep track of guests, new members and members not attending meetings.
  • Explain the educational program to all prospective members, get their commitment to join and collect membership applications. Bring the applications to the club for voting and, if the members are accepted, collect dues and fees and give them to the treasurer with the applications.

                                                 -Vice President; Public Relations-

  • Announce upcoming events and programs.
  • Promote Cosmopolitan Toastmasters club to the local community. 
  • Ask for contributions to the newsletter and/or Web site.
  • Greet members and guests.
  • Promote the club to local media.
  • Help maintain a club Web site.
  • Promote membership programs.

                                                                   -Club General Secretary-

  • Record and read meeting minutes.
  • Minutes should include any outstanding or unfinished business.
  • Ensure that minutes are offered on-line each week.
  • Minutes should be veracious and gain trust and respect from the membership.
  • Greet members and guests.
  • Maintain accurate membership roster and give it to treasurer to submit with dues.
  • Submit new club officer list to World Headquarters within 10 days after elections via Web site or mail. Also, submit any changes to club officers immediately to WHQ.
  • Handle general club correspondence.
  • Keep club files, including the club charter, Constitution and Bylaws, minutes, resolutions and correspondence.


  • Receive completed new member applications and dues.
  • Announce when dues are due and explain dues structure.
  • Announce Current Balances when asked for the Treasurer's report. 
  • Greet members and guests.
  • Prepare a budget to be approved by the executive committee and membership within one month of taking office.
  • Provide the bank with a new signature card by July 1/January 1.
  • Prepare and send dues statements by August 15/February 15.
  • Collect and pay dues to World Headquarters by October 1 and April 1, and work with the vice president membership to contact members who have not paid dues. Pay dues online.
  • Submit new member applications and dues to World Headquarters within 48 hours of receipt. Add new members online.
  • Pay bills as due.
  • Keep records of all financial transactions.
  • Present verbal and written financial reports quarterly (October 15, January 15, April 15 and July 15).
  • Submit club accounts for audit.


  • Arrange the room and equipment at least 10 minutes before the meeting begins. Make sure the lectern is in place, the banner displayed, evaluation forms and ballots distributed, awards, supply catalog, progress chart and educational material displayed, place cards arranged and name badges available.
  • Greet members and guests and arrange for guests to sit with members.
  • Greet visiting officers and escort them to the club president.
  • Arrange for food service at meal meetings.
  • Ensure the meeting starts on time.
  • Collect ballots and tally votes for awards.

                                                   -Immediate Past President-

  • Attend Executive Committee Meetings and offer guidence to the in-comming President. 
  • Establish a nominating committee to select candidates for the May election for all offices.
  • Conduct the election of Officers and announce the winners before the June Recess. 
  • Train the incoming President on club proceedures and Robert's Rules of Order.

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