I had the opportunity to serve as the toastmaster of the evening (TOE) two times in a row – one time in English and one time in German.
As the TOE you lead the people through the evening, you set the theme, anounce speakers and ideally make the evening a stream of experiences, making it flow. To do this, you have to listen to what everyone is saying on stage.
I for one take great pleasure from a TOE or TT Master, that brings up a few things that were on his or her mind and gives a bit insight in their inner workings and values.
So, the first evening in English was quite alright. We were a really small crowd but I knew everyone with a role quite well, so the introduction was easy. The topic was Valentine’s day, and we laughed, got creative and learned how many ways we can use the L word.
At the second meeting we had an introduction to our new educational system – pathways. Our guest speaker decided she would split her presentation to interrupt it by a Q&A Session. This confused the timer, so she didn’t show the proper cards. Nevertheless I was keeping an eye on the time, so I whisper shoutet to the timer, to show the yellow card and then the red. Some people took notice of that which destracted from the ongoing presentation a bit – so next time I will sit next to the timer to be able to directly advise a change of cards, if missed. But the educational session kept the time frame assigned, as did the whole meeting which I moderated, and I’m pretty proud of that. The key to this, is not to make the role much about oneself, even though you have always the possibility to say something inbetween.
When it comes to my personal game as a TOE, I really got a sense of working closer with the timer and keeping the time in mind.
I also liked very much, how enthusiastic I was perceived both times and I will continue to be that way. I feel confident in the agenda and that I don’t miss anything important. Once I gained this confidence, I could concentrate on elaborating the theme more and thinking about what to say and write that down. Also time just flew by really fast and I look forward to hosting more evenings or even other events.
Thanks for reading!