Oviedo Toastmasters meets every Thursday evening at the IHOP on Alafaya Trail in Oviedo. Guests are always welcome to join us. No reservation is required! Our meetings run from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
A typical meeting follows this agenda:
7:00 PM – Greet Visitors and Order Dinner
Many of our members arrive early to order dinner and to make the final preparations for the meeting. Speakers confer with their evaluators to discuss the objectives of their speeches. Guests are greeted and introduced to the members who are present. Equipment is set up.
7:15 PM – Call to Order
The Sergeant-at-Arms calls our meeting to order and leads us in an Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a brief tip on a point of Toastmasters’ etiquette. Then, the Sergeant-at-Arms turns the meeting over to the President.
NOTE: Retirees and Vets Allowed to Salute Flag
Traditionally, members of the nation’s veterans service organizations render the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag while wearing their organization’s official head-gear. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 contained an amendment to allow un-uniformed servicemembers, military retirees, and veterans to render a hand salute during the hoisting, lowering, or passing of the U.S. flag. A later amendment further authorized hand-salutes during the national anthem by veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel. This was included in the Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which Former President Bush signed on Oct. 14, 2008.
7:20 PM – Business Meeting
The President conducts the business portion of our meeting. He receives reports from the officers present at the meeting and welcomes our guests, who are introduced by the Vice President Membership. Announcements from the floor are also handled at this time. Following the Business Meeting, the President turns the meeting over to the Toastmaster of the night, who conducts the rest of the program.
7:25 PM – Educational Portion (Table Topics)
The Toastmaster runs the educational portion of the meeting. He begins by explaining the format of the meeting for our guests and then introduces the Table Topics Master, who will lead the group in a fun, fast-paced, and challenging round of Table Topics.
Table Topics consists of members at random answering questions from the Table Topics Master on virtually any subject, all tied in some way to the topic of the night. Members speak from one to two minutes and must follow the general guidelines of public speaking. Speakers who stay within their time limits are eligible for the Best Table Topics award which is given out at the end of the meeting.
Following the completion of Table Topics, the audience votes for the Best Table Topics participant, and the Toastmaster regains control of the meeting.
8:00 PM – Educational Portion (Speeches)
Normally, we have three prepared speakers at every meeting. Each speaker should be conducting a project from one of Toastmaster International’s Communication and Leadership Program books. Speeches typically run from 5 to 10 minutes and can be on any topic of the speaker’s choosing.
Speakers must work toward a specific goal in each manual speech. Each speaker is evaluated by the audience in a general way, by receiving comments on small slips of paper after the speech is completed. Each speaker is also evaluated in greater detail during the evaluation section of the meeting.
Prepared speakers who stay within their time limits are eligible for the Best Speaker award which is given out at the end of the meeting.
8:30 PM – Evaluation Portion
After the final speech is concluded, the Toastmaster turns the meeting over to the General Evaluator. The General Evaluator is responsible for providing all participants in the meeting (with the exception of the prepared speakers) with constructive feedback and ways to improve their abilities. After evaluating the conduct of the officers and Table Topics participants, he turns the meeting over one by one to the prepared speakers’ evaluators.
Being an evaluator is one of the most important aspects of Toastmasters. By receiving immediate, directed feedback from our peers, we can improve our speaking abilities and re-apply our skills to the next speech based upon the comments of our evaluators. Evaluators speak for two to three minutes, one for each prepared speaker. Evaluators who stay within their time limits are eligible for the Best Evaluator award which is given out at the end of the meeting.
Following the evaluators, the General Evaluator calls upon a set of three helpers. The Grammarian makes note of our use of grammar; the Ah Counter reports on the use of “filler words” such as “er”, “um”, and “ah”; and the timer who makes sure we know how much of our allotted time we used during our speeches.
When the evaluation portion of the meeting is done, control of the meeting is turned back to the Toastmaster, who passes out the awards and then returns control of the meeting to the President for adjournment.
8:55 PM – Awards and wrap up
The President receives comments from our guests and invites them to join. If there are any announcements that were missed early on, those are passed along at this time. Finally, the schedule for the following week is read.
9:00 PM – Adjournment
The President brings the meeting to a close.