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Toastmaster's Potpourri

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1. A meeting is called to order with two or three raps of the gavel. It is adjourned with only one rap of the gavel. If the meeting cannot proceed at the designated time, call the meeting to order then declare a recess. Reconvene the meeting when everyone is ready to proceed.

2. An invocation (calling on a higher being and ending with amen) precedes the flag salute. An inspiration comes after the flag salute. Individuals stand for the invocation and flag salute. They sit for the inspiration. When leading the invocation is sure the form includes all who are present. (An exception to this rule is when a member of the clergy is asked to lead the invocation.) When leading this portion of the meeting, guide the audience with words such as: Please stand (for the invocation). Please face the flag (prior to the flag salute). Please sit (if offering an inspiration). A nice touch is to ask the audience to think of a patriotic thought while saying the flag salute. The flag is always to the right of the speaker. When hung, the stars are on the flag’s right.

3. The lectern should never be left unattended while the meeting is in session. When a new person comes to the speaking area to lead part of the meeting the term used is yield control. At the end of that portion of the meeting the individual returns control to the Toastmaster or presiding officer.

4. When introducing a speaker, the presiding toastmaster leads the applause; steps back from the lectern at a 45-degree angle and waits for the speaker to arrive. The applause should continue until the speaker enters the speaking area. After shaking hands, the presiding Toastmaster leaves the speaking area in the opposite direction from which the speaker approaches to avoid crisscrossing. If crisscrossing is necessary, then the presiding toastmaster goes behind the speaker.

5. When an award is given it should be presented so that the audience can see the plaque/certificate.

Posted Tuesday, September 16, 2008