The Timer is responsible for timing items in the meeting, and signalling at appropriate points.
One of the skills in speech training is expressing oneself within a specific time. The Timer helps those at the meeting practise this.
Prior to the meeting
- Study the Agenda and raise any queries with the Toastmaster of the meeting. In particular, note the times of the prepared speeches.
- The times of the speech can be found on the meeting agenda, on the right side of each item there are timings for green, yellow and red.
- Prepare an explanation of your role. Make it interesting – for example, google ‘time’ for a fascinating fact.
On arrival at the meeting (In-person)
- Get timing equipment from the Sergeant at Arms. Ensure you understand how to operate the stopwatch and signal device, and test that they work.
- Sit where the signal device can be seen easily by those at the lectern.
On arrival at the meeting (Online)
- Set up your Zoom background to shift between red, yellow or green backgrounds. You can download a collection of backgrounds from here. Or you can use a traffic light themed set of backgrounds, found here.
- If you are unfamiliar with setting up backgrounds on Zoom, check out the official instructions here.
During the meeting
- When introduced, give an explanation of your role and demonstrate the signal device.
- Throughout the meeting, signal each programme participant as required. You may use a random sound from your computer, phone or physical object/instrument to indicate time overage. Anything that is noticeable to the speaker/audience.
- When someone goes 30 seconds over the red light time (e.g. 7:30 seconds for a speaker) – proceed to clap them off stage.
- Record each participant’s name and time used.
- When called to report by the Chairperson, announce each of participant’s name and the time taken. Offer any tips for managing time if you noticed something useful
- When reporting on the time of each Table Topic, remind the audience in a few words of the subject. This is particularly useful if there is a vote for Best Topics Speaker.
- For Icebreakers, the speaker is allowed to go as long as they’d like
- For roles that don’t have timing (Table Topics Master, Quiz Master) you don’t need to clap them off stage
After the meeting
- Return the stopwatch and timing signal device to the Sergeant at Arms.