How to perform the role of a Timer

Here is a step by step guide on performing the role of a Timer in Toastmasters.

Before the meeting –

Once the agenda is finalized, get in touch with all the prepared speakers to confirm the time limits of their projects. Generally, the time limit for prepared speeches is 5 to 7 minutes. However, in case of ice breaker, the same is 4 to 6 minutes while in case of few projects at higher levels; it may extend up to 10 minutes as well. So confirm with each speaker the time limits for their project and note the same in the Timer Sheet. (A sample timer sheet is provided below.)

On the day of the meeting –

1) Make sure you are seated in direct line of sight of the stage so that speakers do not miss when you raise the flag.

2) When the General Evaluator calls you on the stage, introduce your role as a Timer for the day with all details.

RELATED: Here is an amazing script that you may use to introduce your role as a Timer.

3) Keep a strict watch on the clock every time speakers are on the stage. Raise the flag high and hold it for some time until you are sure the speaker has seen you.  Below are the time intervals when you are supposed to raise the flag for each session.

Prepared Speaker5 mins6 mins7 mins
Table Topic Speaker1 min1.30 mins2 mins
Speech Evaluator2 mins2.30 mins3 mins
Time Intervals to raise flag for each session.

Note – There is a grace period of 30 seconds on either side of the time limits.

4) After every speaker is done speaking, note the exact time taken by them. Below is an editable format you may download to note the same although a Timer Sheet would be provided by your club to record the timings.

5) When the General Evaluator calls you, step on the stage and present your report in a concise manner. Following is a sample format.

Hello everyone. I am back with my report. Everyone is qualified except for Prepared Speaker TM Name who took 7 minutes 45 seconds and Table Topic Speaker TM Name who took 25 seconds. Thank you and over to you the General Evaluator

Note – a) We don’t mention name and time of people who have qualified for voting to make the report concise. Some clubs may have a different approach here.

b) Time taken by those who did not qualify is mentioned to give them an idea.

c) Some clubs request the timer to present their report for each session immediately after the session is over. In that case, the Timer would have to present the report in three stages.

d) Before disqualifying anyone, do remember to take the grace period of 30 seconds on either side of the time limit into account. In the example above the Prepared Speakers took 7 minutes 45 seconds while the maximum time inclusive of grace period of 30 seconds is 7 minutes 30 seconds. Similarly, the Table Topic speaker took 25 seconds while the minimum time after considering the grace period is 30 seconds. Hence, both of them have been disqualified.

6) Once you have presented your report, your job for the day is done.


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