Q.  Who do I speak to regarding the Mentoring Programme

A.  In East Coast Toastmasters, we task the Immediate Past President with the responsibility of facilitating  the mentor programme.  Please speak to Sandra Hennessy if you want a mentor or would like to mentor.

Q.  How does the Mentoring Programme work.

A. a list is drawn up of Mentor/Mentee matches that suit both parties.  It is then up to the Mentee to ask the questions or seek the help from the Mentor, on Toastmaster related issues.  Typically for a new member there are a lot of questions arising in the period immediately after they join the club.  By the time the mentee has presented 2 or 3 speeches,  the questions will have quietened down and it remains the perogative of the mentee to continue or not continue the connection with the mentor.

Q.  I have been asked to be Wordmaster at the next meeting.  What words have been used before and what must I do on the night.

A.  Truculent, Allude & Elude, Maverick, Convivial, Fewer, Balance, Procrastinate, Flounder & Founder, Diffident, Simplicity, Replete, Beguile, Jocular, Panache, Factitious, Reciprocity.

Turn up early for the meeting, Have your selected word printed out on a sheet of paper so it can be displayed at the top of the room. When invited by the Toastmaster, define the word and give some examples of proper usage.  Then keep a count of the number of times the word is used during the meeting and give a short report when asked by the General Evaluator at the end of the meeeting.

Q. What is the difference between the Grammarian and the Wordmaster.?

A. The Wordmaster is a specific role where you select a word and give its meaning.  The Grammarian is a broader role which can encompass the Wordmaster.  The Grammarian keeps a eye or should I say ear, out for nice phrases or interesting words that are used during the meeting and comments on them when asked to do so by the General Evaluator.  If brave enough, the Grammarian can comment on the Meetings use of grammar and perhaps venture a recommendation or two on how the meeting could improve its use of the English language.

Q. How do you do Evaluations?

A.  Go back in time to the meeting of the 2nd Feb when a veteran speaker presented a speech about Evaluations and how best a new member can tackle an evaluation.  Best option now is to ask a committee member or your mentor and perhaps some notes from the speech can be found.

Q. I am Topics master at the next meeting,  are there any guidelines?

A. K.I.S.S. comes to mind,  Keep It Simple, Sherlock !   Avoid asking convoluted questions which really only serve to confuse the responder.   Try to ask the question in one or two short sentences.  Once the question is asked, don’t seek to qualify it further, just let it take its course.  As Topicsmaster, you get to ask the questions rather than answer them, so if the responders didn’t get the point of  your question, it is not necessary to launch into your own view of the topic.  Let it go and move on to another topic.

Ask for 3 responses to each topic.  This is not a hard and fast rule as sometimes the first responder can “squeeze the pips” out of the topic and leave no room for anyone else to comment. Use your best judgement.  I would strongly suggest to ask for responses from the floor by selecting members or visiting Toastmasters (Leave guests free to observe and enjoy) in this way the Topicsmaster remains in full control of the meeting.  If the Topicsmaster poses a question expecting many spontaneous offers to respond, he/she may be left disappointed when no one puts their hand up.  When this occurs, the control of the meeting has been in a way, ceded by the Topicsmaster to the audience and it can often be an uphill struggle to restore the balance of the meeting.

Have plenty of topics to ask, just in case for one reason or another, the session runs on a bit.  Better to have too many than too few. Try not to have specific topics for specific members in the audience: such as questions about education for the teacher or about medicine for the nurse etc.  general topics that all can answer are probably the best.

Q.  Do the nerves ever settle down for newer speakers?

A. Quite so. The more times you stand up and speak the easier it becomes. Better to stand up 10 times and speak for 1 minute each time than stand up once and speak for 10 minutes.  The experience of repeatedly facing and overcoming the challenge of speaking in public usually convinces the newer speaker that they are not going to collapse.

Q.  I have been invited to be Poetmaster at the next meeting,  what do I do?

A.  Select a poem that you feel speaks to the positive atmosphere of a Toastmasters meeting.  Rehearse and practise the poem out  loud.  Its not necessary to learn the poem off by heart and recite it on the night.  Reading the poem with occasional eye contact with the audience is perfectly acceptable.

It is a good idea to give some background to the poem and perhaps the poet, as well as the reason for choosing the piece.  The slot generally lasts about 2/3 minutes.

Q. Who do I contact for more information:

A. Please email eastcoasttms@gmail.com for any queries