TMlogo180One of the lessons to be practiced in speech training is that of expressing a thought within a specific time. The timer is the member responsible for keeping track of time. Each segment of the meeting is timed. This exercise is an excellent opportunity in practicing communicating instructions–something that we do every day.

Before the Meeting:

Review and understand all of the timing guidelines explained here. You will use the club-supplied timing device and the stopwatch.

Be aware that you will be called upon by the Toastmaster, Table Topics Master, and Club Coach (if applicable) to present timing reports.

The Timer works with three cards, GREEN, YELLOW and RED. The Timer visibly holds each card up, one at a time, in the following sequence to apprise the speaker regarding the timing of their presentation.

One (GREEN): The speaker has met the minimum amount of speaking time for his or her speech and is “qualified” for the voting. Once the green card has been displayed, the speaker may end the presentation at any time up to the presentation of the red card and will be qualified for the voting.

Two (YELLOW): The speaker is nearing the end of their designated time.

Three (RED): The speaker has reached the end of their designated time and should end their presentation.

Timing for Table Topics

Table Topics: 1-2 minutes
Green 1:00 minute
Yellow 1:15 minute
Red 1:30 minute
Grace Period :15 seconds

Timing for Prepared Speeches

Prepared Speeches: (most will be 5-7 minutes, check with speakers at meeting)
Green 5:00 minute
Yellow 6:00 minute
Red 7:00 minute
Grace Period :30 seconds

Timing for Ice Breaker Speeches

Ice Breaker Speeches: 4-6 minutes
Green 4:00 minute
Yellow 5:00 minute
Red 6:00 minute
Grace Period :30 seconds

Timing for Coaching

Coaching (Evaluations): 2-3 minutes
Green 2:00 minute
Yellow 2:30 minute
Red 3:00 minute
Grace Period :30 seconds

At the Meeting:

1. When the Toastmaster Calls on you at the beginning of the meeting to explain your function, go to the front right corner of the room and say words to this effect:

“Mr./Madam Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters and honored guests. I am the Timer. My hat is to keep track of the time for the Table Topics, prepared speeches and coaching segments of the meeting.

“Table Topics is 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds. I will show the green at 1 minute, the yellow and 1 minute and 15 seconds and the red at 2 minutes, at which time you have 15 seconds to complete your thought;

“For most prepared speeches, the time is 5-7 minutes. I will show the green at 5 minutes, the yellow at 6 minutes, and the red at 7 minutes, at which time you will have 30 seconds to complete your speech.

“Coaching is 2-3 minutes. I will show the green at 2 minutes, the yellow at 2 minutes 30 seconds, and the red at 3 minutes, at which time you have 30 seconds to complete.

“If a speaker goes under time or over time, they are disqualified from receiving a ‘Best’ award in that segment.”

2. When called upon to give a report, stand and give a report of who MET THE TIMING STANDARDS. It is not necessary to cite the times for each individual speaker. In essence, a speaker either spoke under time or beyond the grace period. For example, for Table Topics you might say:

“Madam/Mr. Toastmaster, then list each person who spoke and their time. List those who are qualified to receive the ‘Best’ ribbon award. All participants are eligible to receive a ‘Most Improved’ ribbon.”

3. If everyone was within time, you say:

“Madam/Mr. Toastmaster, everyone was within time. Here are the speakers [read off the list of speakers].”

NOTE: If you forget the timing criteria and need a reminder, they are written on each of the timing cards (green, yellow and red).


About Renaissance Speakers

The Renaissance Speakers is an award-winning and prominent Toastmasters club hosted by the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International in Hollywood, California. Join us this weekend for a little "Saturday Night Live on Sunday Morning!" at Celebrity Centre, in the Theatre, at 5930 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, CA., 90028, from 9:00am to Noon, each and every Sunday. ALL ARE WELCOME!