Guest Contributions · Timer

A simple Timer script with a Buddhist quote

As Toastmasters, we are forever looking for the right quotes, be it for our table topics, speeches or even roles. Here is a wonderful quote used brilliantly by TM Nancy from New York for her introduction as the Timer.

 A word of advice here – TM Nancy has wonderfully played with words to make the quote relevant to her introduction script. That’s a trick in the hat we may learn too.

Read her submission below.

RELATED: How to do the role of a Timer?

In the manual titled Buddha’s Little Instruction Book, Jack Kornfield, a renowned Buddhist Practitioner has said “The trouble is you think you have time.”  While the book is brimming with irrefutable life wisdom, this one piece of powerful quote is as relevant to Toastmasters as it is to life. Too often, as we speak, we lose track of the minutes leaving us delusional that we still have time. That’s a trouble we cannot afford in a time bound Toastmasters meeting.

Therefore, every meeting in Toastmasters has a Timer. As the Timer, my role is to alert the speakers of the time intervals using colored flash cards.

For the prepared speech section, the time allotted is 5 to 7 minutes. At 5 minutes I will flash the green card, at 6 the yellow and at 7 the red card.

For the Table Topic session the time allotted is 1 to 2 minutes. At 1 minute, I will flash the green card, at 1.5 the yellow and at 2 the red card.

And for speech evaluations, the time limit is 2 to 3 minutes. At 2 minutes, I will flash the green card, at 2.5 the yellow and at 3 minutes the red card.

There is a grace period of 30 seconds after the red card is flashed each time to wrap up your speech.

I will come back with my report in the last session when called upon by the General Evaluator.

RELATED: How to present the Timer’s report?

Thank you so much TM Nancy for this wonderful submission.

We here at are creating a pool of scripts and introductions that can serve as an inspiration to anyone in need. If you have an idea for any role in Toastmasters, do let us know here or email us at

For more script ideas to introduce your role as the Timer, click here.


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