Do you have the time?


Time: 1 minute

One of the skills Toastmasters practice is expressing a thought within a specific time. As timer you are responsible for monitoring time for each meeting segment and each speaker. You’ll also operate the timing signal, indicating to each speaker how long he or she has been talking. Serving as timer is an excellent opportunity to practice giving instructions and time management – something we do every day.


Here’s how to succeed as timer:

Arrive a bit earlier and retrieve the timing equipment and Timer Tally Sheet from the Secretary. Sit on the first desk.

When called by a Toastmaster in the beginning of the meeting you have to explain the audience these time limits and signs. Please, learn the time limits by heart.

Throughout the meeting, listen carefully to each program participant and signal them. Those signals should be well seen by speakers but not distracting the audience.

Signals for prepared speeches should be shown at following moments:

1. When a speaker has 2 minutes left you show the green sign and hold it until the next sign.

2. 30 seconds left – the yellow sign and hold it until the next sign.

3. No time left – the red sign, and hold it until the speaker stops speaking.

For Table Topics speakers: 1 minute – green, 1.5 minutes – yellow, 2 minutes – red

For Personal Evaluators: 2 minutes – green, 2.5 minutes – yellow, 3 minutes – red

There is also special red signal for Table Topics Master which means that time is up. Table Topics session duration may vary from 15 to 20 minutes depending on # of prepared speeches. Exact time limit will be represented in your Timer Tally Sheet.

Time count starts from the moment when speaker addresses the audience for the first time. In case if speech is 30 seconds longer than maximum, please let the Secretary know during the break.

At the end of the meeting you will be called on stage by the General Evaluator to report on which speaker exceeded the time limit, which one came right on time, and whose speech was too short, compared with the allowed time. Remember that you may not need to say about each and every speaker, though. You can also add something that you think would be necessary to say. However please mind you own time limit that is not more that 2 minutes.

After the meeting, give the completed Timer’s report to the President so he or she can record it in the minutes.

Take on this role and the new habits formed will serve you well in your private life and your career. People appreciate a speaker, friend or employee who is mindful of time frames and deadlines.


You could upload to your mobile device Toastmasters software for showing signals:

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/ru/app/speech-timer-for-speakers/id1028946288

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.validconcept.Timer4TM

Just test it beforehand!