The Chair role is one of the biggest and most important roles of Seymour Speakers’ meeting. But what’s in it for you?
Why Should I Be The Chairperson for a Meeting?
Aside from helping out the VP Education in getting all the meeting roles (agenda items) filled, you must
- provide a theme for the meeting (purpose)
- get feedback/theme thoughts from all the participants (further agenda items)
- create the schedule based on how much time each person needs – including accounting for bridging and transitions in between items (scheduling, agenda and timetable creation), and
- organize those who will be participating (touch base and let those involved know what’s going to happen, and when).
- Show up early. At least 15 minutes beforehand to make sure everything gets set up.
- Answer any last minute questions from other meeting participants.
- Run the meeting! The Toastmaster will take care of most of the first half, but it’s still ultimately the Chairperson’s job to keep the meeting going.
- Communicate with the Timer throughout the meeting. Some timings may need to be shortened. This is especially true of Table Topics. If you extend the Table Topics session to include more participants because you suddenly have extra time, you MUST make sure that the Table Topics Evaluator spot also gets extended so the evaluator doesn’t get cut short.
- Touch base with guests and introduce them. Not all guests are comfortable standing up in front of 20-odd people they’ve never met and saying something. Talk to them before the meeting starts to get a sense of where they’re at (and learn how to pronounce their name in case it’s unusual).