Every club does slightly different things at meetings. Some meet every week, some every fortnight, some do debates, some focus more on speeches, some have a summer break, some don’t.
The weekly programme is usually:
Speeches: These are given by members old and new, on topics from online dating to dancing, to the history of the German national anthem. Most meetings have three or four speeches and most speeches are about six minutes long.
Debate: One of the more unusual features of Hellfire Toastmasters is that we have a debate every week. The proposer and opposer both speak for 4 minutes, then all meeting attendees can comment on the issues raised. This gives everyone a great opportunity to practice thinking on their feet, and gain the confidence to give short impromptu speeches. The opposer and the proposer are then given two minutes to sum up and the winner is decided by public vote.
Tea Break: Because sometimes it’s nice to chat.
Topics: A “topicsmaster” will state a question or topic briefly and then call on a respondent. Each speaker receives a different topic or question and participants are called on at random and have up to two minutes to reply
Evaluations: Since toastmasters is about improving your public speaking abilities, every speech is evaluated by an experienced toastmaster. Every speaker is given constructive feedback on what they did right, how they met the aims in their speech and what they could do better next time.
General Evaluation: (almost) finally, the evening as a whole is quickly summed up by one person. The general evaluation can comment on any aspect of the meeting, but it’s usually used to give feedback to the debators, the topicsmaster and the evaluators.
Trophies: At Hellfire, we award three trophies at every meeting
- Best Topic Awarded by the topicsmaster for the best response to a topic
- Best Evaluation Awarded by the General Evaluator for the most helpful evaluation
- Best Contribution Awarded by the general evaluator to whoever made the best contribution of the evening.
And then we go home!
If you want to read a bit more on a meeting, there are regular blog posts about our weekly meetings in the News section, or simply come along and find out for yourself!