What Are the Duties of a Toastmaster?

Updated February 21, 2017

A toastmaster is a person who directs the activities of a meeting or gathering of people who is accustomed to public speaking and knows how to move through the course of an event properly. Often a toastmaster is involved in events such as wedding receptions or business conferences. Their services are helpful during any occasion that calls for public speaking to take place. The job of a toastmaster is often more than meets the eye, as they are involved in much more than simply standing at the podium when the event begins.

Discuss Plans

The toastmaster meets with the host of the event and discusses the plans well in advance with as much detail as possible. The toastmaster is made aware of the purpose of the event and what the host expects to happen during the proceedings. This meeting may require the toastmaster to take notes and begin consideration of ideas for the event.

Offer Advice

The toastmaster offers advice to the hosts on proper traditions and etiquette typically associated with a gathering. This is especially important in the event of wedding receptions and other traditional ceremonies. Proper protocol is an expert area of a well-qualified toastmaster.

Know Other Roles

The toastmaster must know the roles of all those participating in the event--not necessarily every guest, but everyone who will take an active part. For example, at a corporate event there may be a number of speakers talking about the company throughout a dinner. The toastmaster should know in advance who will be speaking, what their title or specific relationship to the company is and what they will likely be discussing. This gives the toastmaster the ability to properly introduce the speaker and say a few words about what the speaker will be talking about.

Arrive Early

The toastmaster arrives early for an event and does a walk through to check that all the specific arrangements requested by the host have been completed as planned. The toastmaster may work with caterers, photographers or other specialists involved in the event to help coordinate everyone concerning the flow of the event.

Greet Host and Guests

The toastmaster will be highly visible during the event, so it will be important for those attending to meet him upon entering. The toastmaster will greet the host or organiser at the door as well as welcome in guests arriving to the event.

Master of Ceremonies

During the event itself the toastmaster will make all announcements to those in attendance. This may include the announcement of the meal, any blessings, announcement of other speakers, making toasts and instructions to the audience. The toastmaster will also discreetly keep an eye on all the proceedings to make sure everything is going as planned and will attempt to correct anything that is out of order if possible.

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About the Author

Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.