Benefit of Taking Roles in Toastmasters Meeting

by Division S Director
Nur Zaiharani, DTM


“A Toastmaster’s journey begins with a single speech” often we mistook for without any manual speech session, there will not be any meeting. That is highly unlikely because an educational meeting is not only about manual speeches, it is also about all the roles players. It is the basic leadership training for any Toastmasters.

Let us take a step back and look at what makes a Toastmasters educational so attractive and addictive. A Toastmasters educational meeting is just like team sports like basketball and football. It is all because of the individual designation of responsibility put together, makes a great game. We call them, the role players. Today, without their team, we would not have Micheal Jordan or Cristiano Ronaldo, both big names in basketball and football, respectively. So does all the big names in Toastmasters. Every public speakers has designated role players that helps to perfect their crafts and as a return of self-learning, all the role players learns by participating.

Being a role player trains us to practice leadership role that can be applied in real life. For instance, as a timer, it trains us to keep time. Only a timer understand the thrill of a speaker stop speaking, a second before he is over time or the anxious feeling of when to ring the bell when a speaker speaks flawlessly overtime. Usually a second means nothing but when you are a timer, a second means everything. That will remind us that in real life, every second matters. Being ah-counter trains the ear to be sharp and to process information selectively. This is a skill trained in an educational meeting but used in daily life. At most, a lot of us are okay being evaluators, but not so much when it comes to “small task” like timer or ah-counter, which we happen to take for granted. This can change by how the club perceives it.

As far as I am concerned, as a student of life, I benefitted from being a role player by realising almost everything in my daily activity requires all these skills. I’m thankful for Toastmasters for pointing it out and it has made my life more efficient ever since I took notice and practise in the most effective way. I became more analytical and critical towards my behaviour. I used to love procrastinating, but being a timer reminded me that the one second I wasted, couldn’t be taken back. One second can rob world champions off their title, it can rob plenty of use for your time. I used to complain feeling “invisible” and ignored, until I noticed, the problem was me, not those around me, so I started to use better words choice and method when giving my opinion or convey my point of view or knowing how to join a conversation, without sounding unconfident. With time, those condition improved and I felt like I made a step forward towards a better self. Those all thanks to the practise while playing roles such as Ah-Counter and various evaluators in club meetings.

The roles might not be so popular, but it is what gives life to a Toastmasters meetings. “Give role players love. Praises can be most valuable when merited by someone whose supporting role is often overlooked.” – Bill Parcells. It is essential that club officers takes seriously.


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