Gavel club meetings are held every week for 2 hours. Each meeting has a structured format, with different members serving in the various roles. The meeting is run by the Toastmaster of the Day with the help of Table Topics Master, Evaluator, Grammarian, Ah-Counter, Timer, Sergeant-at-arms and General Evaluator.
There are five basic parts to the Toastmasters meeting: the round robin, prepared speeches, table topics, evaluations, and variety session. The round robin session is a warm-up exercise for the rest of the meeting. The prepared speaking portion is for members to complete the CC manual. The table topics session is an impromptu speech round. Evaluation is where feedback is given to speakers and role players. The final variety session may include a creative entertaining round or an educative item.
- 4pm – 6pmCGU Training Center
Role Players of the Meeting
In the Gavel Club , you learn by participating. There are many roles to fill and all meeting participants play an important part in making the club experience educational and enjoyable.
Following are the roles to be filled for each educational meeting, should any role interest you? Contact the VP of Education.
The Toastmaster-of-the-Day presides over the meeting to ensure its smooth flow. Typically, the Toastmaster is a Gavelier who is thoroughly familiar with the club and its procedures. He/she coordinates with other role players to make sure that all members understand their functions and responsibilities. Talented Toastmasters have great organizational, time management & public speaking skills.
An evaluator judges a speaker’s speech by taking into account the speaker’s content and delivery. Content involves the clarity of ideas presented, the degree of organization, grammatical accurateness, and the substance of the speech. Delivery is the effectiveness of the speaker’s body language, stage usage, projection and vocal clarity, tonal range, and the mode the speech is presented. The evaluator reviews all positive and negative details & points out them to the speaker so that he/she can improve himself.
The Table Topic Master helps speakers to develop their confidence and impromptu public speaking skills. He/she mainly oversees the Table Topic session which gives speakers a chance to quickly organize their thoughts and respond to an impromptu topic. Usually, table topics are witty, insightful, short, simple, & open ended with many possible answers. This way, diverse opinions are presented by speakers and make meetings more fun.
The Grammarian helps speakers to improve their vocabulary and grammar. He/she is responsible in correcting grammatical errors that speakers make in their speeches. Whether a speaker speaks English as his native tongue or as a second language, they are bound to mispronounce or make grammar mistake in his speech. The Grammarian notes them down & corrects them by teaching the correct use of grammar. Thus, he/she plays an educative role in the club.
The Ah-Counter keeps track of audible pauses such as “ah”, “er”, “um”, “well”, ”like” and “you know”. These are unnecessary pauses and interjections that hinder the flow of speech. During the evaluation session, the Ah-Counter announces the number of pauses a speaker made during his speech. As a speaker gains more experience in public speaking, the number of overused pauses in a speech reduces and the flow becomes smoother.
The Timer helps speakers to improve their time management skills. He/she monitors how much time is taken by each speaker to deliver his or her presentation. When the time limit for a speech is reached, the Timer indicates it with a signal so that the speaker can conclude his speech. When the Timer’s Report is called, he/she announces each speaker’s name and time taken.
The General Evaluator evaluates everything that happens during a club meeting. he/she/she evaluates the Ah-Counter, Grammarian, Evaluator, and Timer to ensure that they perform their roles well. In the General Evaluator’s report, he/she discusses about the structure & segments of the meeting. And also comments on the timeliness, preparation, organization, enthusiasm and performance of the club meeting and suggests possible improvements for future club meetings. General Evaluators have good critical & organizational skills as well as motivational & team-building spirits.
Sessions of a Meeting
The Round Robin session is a warm-up activity as a way to prepare club members for the rest of the meeting. In this round, each member speaks for 20 seconds. At 20 seconds, the Timer rings the bell to signal the limit. The next speaker starts with the last word uttered by the previous speaker at the time when the bell rang. The pattern continues till all members have spoken their ideas.
A prepared speech is a presentation that has been written and rehearsed prior to a meeting. It is the exact opposite of an impromptu speech. Prepared speeches are usually designed to complete the projects in the Competent Communication manual. Speakers can select a topic of his/her choice and deliver an entertaining, creative and memorable speech. The time limit for a speech usually spans from 4-10 minutes, depending on the CC project level. The content is the most important aspect in these speeches. It needs to be clear and concise and should not include political attacks, religious criticisms, or sexual substance.
The prepared speech session is a wonderful opportunity for members to refine their skills, especially speech organization, speech delivery and oration, stage usage, time management and gestures & body movements.
Table Topics is a long-standing tradition in Gavel. It is a round of completely impromptu speeches on a set of topics. Table Topics usually begin after Prepared Speech sessions. The Toastmaster introduces the Tables Topics Master to club, who then briefly introduces the table topics for the day. Table Topics speakers get 1-2 minutes to present their unique ideas on one of the topics. During an Evaluation, speakers are evaluated so that they can correct their mistakes or strengthen their strong points. This session is the best way for members to develop their ability to organize their thoughts quickly and deliver a creative impromptu speech.
Most instances in life are unplanned. Sometimes many people find it hard to impress an audience without rehearsing first. But experience gained through Table Topic presentations help members to improve their confidence and impress a crowd even if they were totally unprepared for it.
Gavel Club is not simply about making speeches in front of a crowd. It is also about fun and enjoyment. At every meeting, the creative session aims at providing light relaxing for the members. The club members play simple games that are fun and entertaining. But they also provide a stimulating environment that helps the members to enhance their skills.
In certain club meetings, there may also be special educative sessions. These are mostly presentations from experienced Gaveliers on important speech aspects for members. For example, they may be on how to deliver successful oral presentations, how to face interviews with confidence, or how to write an effective speech.
The Competent Communication (CC) Manual is curriculum used in Gavel & Toastmaster clubs. It consists of 10 speech projects, each aiming to build oratory skills of club members. As the level increases, the difficulty also increases.
For each project, the speaker prepares and delivers a speech in front of the club. Each project focuses on a particular aspect of speech (such as gesture and hand movements, stage usage, or speech organization). Speakers are expected to keep their presentations
within prescribed time limits. For most CC speeches, the limit is five to seven minutes. The first project, Icebreaker, is between 4–6 minutes.
After the delivery of a speech, it is evaluated based on the criteria for each project in the CC Manual. The speaker is pointed out of his/her strong and weak points and how he/she can improve in future speeches.
The Competent Leader (CL) manual is a guide to improve leadership skill of club members. It contains ten projects which focus on different leadership skills that can be completed by serving in different meeting roles in the club. The roles include Toastmaster, Evaluator, Timer, Ah-Counter, and General Evaluator. The manual also provides background information and assignments that needs to be accomplished in order to complete a project level.