Acting as Timer


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This week I wasn’t speaking but acting as timer.

This involved lighting 3 lights (green, amber and red) at appropriate intervals, to warn the speaker that time is up. It also means checking that all speakers are within time. You can’t vote for a speaker who has run over.

The most important point on the timing is that the speech starts when the person starts speaking – not when they take the stage. For most speeches in the Toastmasters programme, the timing is green at 5 minutes, amber at 6 and red at 7. The Icebreaker speech is an exception to this (with lights at 4, 5 and 6 minutes).

Table topics speeches have lights at 1 minute, 1 and a half and 2 minutes, as do evaluations

That said, some of the more advanced speeches do have longer times, and
speeches over 12 minutes have longer evalations too – but I was lucky
to have only standard times to deal with.

In each case, the speaker gets 30 seconds after the red light to finish up – after that, the speech will no longer be eligible for voting in the evening’s best speaker contest.

On the day, the hardest part was the club stopclock! It makes an audible beep when you start and stop the timer – which I was quite self conscious about. I didn’t want to distract the speaker with the loud peep. Steve put my mind at ease – they are used to hearing the peep when they start speaking.

This task can count as part of the Leadership programme, and Steve kindly evaluated my performance as timer for this.

So, I was preoccupied with this duty and there was no speaking for me, this week. However, at the end of the meeting, Mireia (our President) announced there was still a slot free for the 11th of September. My hand went up – so I’m now up to speak then. I’d better start preparing, hadn’t I?

Explore posts in the same categories: Learning to Speak

2 Comments on “Acting as Timer”

  1. Peter Fisher Says:

    Hi, you have a great public speaking blog here; I’m going to bookmark it. My blog is also about Public Speaking at Public Speaking Now If you are interested we could share some ideas?

  2. Hi Peter. Thanks for the kind words. Like the look of your blog: you have some good advice on getting started. I look forward to watching your blog develop, and I’m very keen to share any ideas you have.
    It looks like your focus is a wee bit different to mine, which is interesting – you’re providing helpful tips and advice, whereas as a new speaker, I’m just charting my experiences as I go along.
    I see you’re in Crewe – are you a member of one of the local Toastmasters clubs?

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