Meeting roles explained

Toastmaster of the Evening

Toastmaster of the Evening (TMOE) acts as a genial host and conducts the entire program, including introducing participants and managing time limits. It is good practice for managing meetings effectively as well as introducing speakers in a way that captures the audience's attention and motivates them to listen.


Timer is responsible for keeping track of time for each segment of the meeting (table topics, prepared speeches and evaluation). This way the program participants will be able to practise expressing their thoughts within a specified time.

Vote Counter

The vote counter collects ballots at each segment of the meeting, counts them and reports to the TMOE the results of who was voted as the best speaker and evaluator.

Word of the Evening

This role taker introduces Word of the Evening, a word that will help members increase their vocabulary.

Ah-Counter / Grammarian

The ah-counter counts the number of unnecessary “filler” words, such as ums and ahs, and reports the number before the meeting ends. The grammarian reports any grammatical errors or outstanding uses of words in English and Japanese.

Table Topics Master

The purpose of Table Topics is to give members the opportunity to think and speak on their feet. The Table Topics Master asks questions and picks someone to participate in the program - the person called upon makes a short impromptu speech.

Prepared Speaker

The purpose of the Prepared Speech section is to give members the opportunity to apply what they have learnt in each Project of the manual, and to progressively improve their speeches. The Prepared Speaker informs the TMOE of the Project and speech title before the meeting, and would generally be well-prepared to give their speech when the time comes.


After every prepared speech, the speaker receives an evaluation. Each evaluator helps the prepared speaker become less self-conscious and become a better speaker by offering positive and useful feedback.

General Evaluator

The General Evaluator evaluates individual evaluators as described above, and gives feedback to anything else that has taken place throughout the meeting.