Your Role as a Timer | Toastmasters Meeting Role

As a Timer, your role is to remind, record and report the time used by each speaker when they are delivering speeches. Each speaker has a limited time to speak either according to their project requirements (Table Topics and Prepared Speech) or by the meeting agenda (facilitators).

Here is how you could succeed your role:

Before the Meeting

  1. Bring a stopwatch, phone (or use the Official Toastmaters AppGoogle/Apple):  You will need to time each speaker when they are delivering speeches on stage.
  2. Bring Pen and Paper (again you could use the Official Toastmaters AppGoogle/Apple):  You will need to record the time each speaker spend during their speech on stage. This will be used for your reporting later on.
  3. Timing Cards: These are coloured paper cards - green, yellow and red - to indicate the counting down of time for each speaker when they are on stage. Alternatively, some clubs will use Timing Lights, which is the same idea with the ease of just flipping switches. Timing cards and lights should be supplied by your club. If you are not sure, check this with the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME) that you will find her/his name in the agenda sent ahead of time.
  4. Bring Your Competent Leader (CL) Manual (optional): Bring your CL manual, your contribution as an Timer to the meeting is required as part of your CL award. Ask your Vice-President of Education (VPE) or assigned mentor for details.

During the Meeting

Step 1: Introduce Your Role

The Toastmasters of the Evening (TME) is the host of the meeting, s/he will introduce a team of facilitators, including your role as the Timer, to facilitate the meeting. The TME will introduce you to the stage to explain your role. Remember to either bring your timing cards (or asking someone to flip the timing lights for you). Shake your hand with the TME to take over the stage.

Your script could look like this:

Thank you Madam/Mister Toastmasters of the Evening.

Fellow Toastmasters, friends and guest! As a Timer, my role is to remind all speakers how much time they spent on their speech. So that we will run this meeting on time.

I will raise the green card when the speech is long enough according to your project requirement. For example, 1 minute 30 seconds for Table Topics and 6 minutes for prepared speech. Yellow card will be raised when speakers should be aware of their time is running up and red card when the allowed time is finished. For Table Topics, you should not speak more than 2 minutes. For prepared speech, you should not speak more than 7 minutes. For all facilitators, the length of your speech is already indicated in the agenda.

At the end of the meeting, I will be back on the stage to present my report.

Back to you Madam/Mister Toastmasters of the Evening.

Step 2: Show timing cards and record the time

Based on your judgement, start your stopwatch when the speaker expressed definite verbal or nonverbal communications. For example, the first word uttered by a speaker or any other expression that convey communication to the audience, such as acting.

Raise your timing cards (or timing lights) to indicate the time accordingly. Make sure the speaker spotted your signal or hold the card/turn on the light for at least 30 seconds.

When the speaker delivered her/his speech, record the time they used in their delivery for reporting.

  1. Table Topics: Up to 2 minutes, 1=Green, 1.5=Yellow, 2=Red
  2. Prepared Speech: Usually up to 7 minutes, refer to speech manuals, 5=Green, 6=Yellow, 7=Red
  3. Table Topics Evaluations: up to 6 minutes, 4=Green, 5=Yellow, 6=Red
  4. Prepared Speech Evaluations: Up to 3 minutes, 2=Green, 2.5=Yellow, 3=Red
  5. Grammarian Report: Up to 3 minutes, 2=Green, 2.5=Yellow, 3=Red
  6. Ah Counter Report: Up to 2 minutes, 1=Green, 1.5=Yellow, 2=Red
  7. General Evaluator Report: Up to 10 minutes, 8=Green, 9=Yellow, 10=Red

You usually not required to record the time for a) President's Opening and Closing Remarks, b) Toastmasters of the Evening (TME) , c) Timer Report (your own role), d) Guest Introduction.

*Do pay attention to the requests from the TME for additional timing requirements. For example, One minute of silence in between prepared speeches for the audience to write down their thoughts on the feedback form.

Step 3: Reporting

At the end of the meeting, usually after Grammarian (Language Evaluator) and Ah Counter Report, you will be introduced back on stage again by the TME to o give your Timer report. Read the time used by each speaker for their speech. Optionally, giving comments to their time managment, whether they are over time or under time.

Your script could look like:

Thank you Madam/Mister Toastmasters of the Evening.

Fellow Toastmasters, friends and guest, here is my Timer report:

For Table Topics, two minutes is the maximum time allowed for each speaker. Cecilia is one minute and twenty seconds, Derek is two minutes and fifty seconds, Jacky is One Minute and five seconds.

Feedbacks: Seems like Derek could speak shorter while Jacky should try to speak at least one minute and thirty seconds

For Prepared Speech, Agnes is six minutes and twenty seconds for her seven-minute speech, Josephine is six minutes and ten seconds for her seven-minute speech and Lilan is fourteen minutes for her fifteen minutes advanced speech.

Feedbacks: Everyone did a great job in fulfilling their project requirements, well done!

That’s all from my report. Back to you Madam/Mister Toastmasters of the Evening.

*Meanwhile, don’t forget to report the used by evaluators. It will be the same as above in reporting style - time first and give feedback if necessary for the good use of time or overtime (expect over time for evaluators, which seems always the case in my experience). Speech evaluators for up to 3 minutes,  Grammarian for up to  3 minutes, Ah-Counter fir up to  2 minutes and General Evaluator for up to 10 minutes.

Step 4: Competent Leader (optional)

Your contribution as a Timer is part of the Competent Leadership (CL)award scheme. Remember to bring along your Competent Leadership manual to the meeting. Your Vice-President of Education (VPE) either already assigned a fellow Toastmaster to evaluate your performance or you can make request for that ahead of the meeting.

The CL manual is included when you first joined a Toastmasters club, it is the first award as part of the leadership track. Taking up the role as a Timer can be counted for one time as part of the progress for the CL award. Please refer to your club VPE or assigned mentor for details.


Here are some examples found in YouTube:

Introduce your Role:


Looking for other meeting roles?


Be the ambassador of the English Excellency - Your Role As a Grammarian


Remind your speaker to finish their speeches on time - Your Role As a Timer


Too many fillers upset our ears, count 'em all - Your Role as an Ah-Counter

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