Club Reaches Consensus on Meeting Changes


Randall Hansen seved as facilitator for the consensus-building session.

On June 3, 2014, member Randall Hansen led the club in a discussion of proposed meeting changes suggested in March.

This report is organized according to the handout distributed about the proposed changes.

Proposed Enhancements to Evaluation Process

  • Members raised no objections to the idea of having evaluators read brief manual-project Objectives pertaining to the speaker they are evaluating before each prepared speech.
  • While some members favored a new, simpler Individual Evaluation Form for individual 1-minute evaluations of speeches, others preferred the existing half-sheet form we’ve been using or a hybrid of the two forms. Michelle Lancaster volunteered to design a hybrid form for club review. It was also noted that Sergeant-at-Arms or designee needs to be diligent about ensuring forms are always made available for members, and Toastmasters-of-the-Day need to be diligent about providing the minute of silence between speeches for evaluations.

No members present raised objections to any of the following

Proposed Time-Saving and Streamlining Measures

Because reading objectives will add time to meetings, we are looking to save time elsewhere:

  • Role players may want to consider sitting near front of room. Vote Counter (if the practice of voting continues) may want to consider sitting equidistant to both sides of the room so votes don’t need to get passed too far. It is helpful for the Timer to sit in a highly visible central location.
  • Role players who are required to come to the front of the room (Speakers, General Evaluator, Evaluators, Table Topics Master, Wordmaster at beginning of meeting) should be in a “ready” position just before they are called on. Toastmasters, Topics Master, and General Evaluator can sit on the benches (upstairs) while their team members (speakers, evaluators) are presenting. Downstairs, they can sit in the front row.
  • During General Evaluation, role players (Timer, Wordmaster, Ah Counter) give reports from their seats. When we meet downstairs, role players can use their discretion regarding whether to report from front of room.
  • Table Topics Master should strive to always call on members (and willing guests) instead of wasting time waiting for people to volunteer.
  • In providing non-essential commentary, Toastmaster and General Evaluator should be watchful of agenda’s time cues. 

Voting on “Bests”

The concept of retaining, eliminating or changing the practice of voting on Best Speaker, Best Table Topics, and Best Evaluator generated the most discussion.

The overall consensus was that members wanted to retain the current practice of voting in these categories, but Lisa DesRosiers, Michelle Lancaster, and Rick Henderson formed a committee to explore options for possibly enhancing the voting process. These possible enhancements include:

  • Awarding points for each “Best” achieved, and providing an additional incentive (such as a free manual) when a certain number of points is attained.
  • Presenting a speech or discussion in which voting considerations are reviewed. How do people vote? What kinds of things to they take into consideration? Could we have a better voting process if we learned how other members approach voting?
  • Instituting an optional “Toastmaster’s Choice” award in which the Toastmaster of the Day could award an additional award each meeting, such as Most Improved, Most Humorous, Most Enthusiastic. (Does the Toastmaster make the choice or present the award for voting?). The award could tie in with the meeting theme, but as with meeting themes, Toastmasters-of-the-Day would need frequent reinforcement/reminders of the option of an additional award.

It was noted that the club needs to be more intentional about giving the awards, making a bigger deal of them and celebrating the winners.



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