The Timer’s #1 responsibility is to keep the meeting on time!
As the timer, you will record the speaking times for each of the meeting’s roles and speakers. At the end of the meeting, you will be asked to provide a timer report, which is a summary of the actual times that each role and speaker spoke for.
You will begin your role by explaining what your responsibilities are as the timer, and why they are important to the meeting. You will then explain the flagging tools, which are used to communicate to the person at the lectern how much time they have left in their role or speech.
A general rule of thumb for speech, evaluation and table topics times are:
For 5-7 Minute Speeches:
Show the green flag at 5 minutes, the yellow flag at 6 minutes, and the red flag at 7 minutes. At 7 minutes and 30 seconds, ring the bell. The only exception to ringing the bell is an Icebreaker speech, which is 4-6 minutes and does not get a ding-down.
Speech Evaluations (Typically 3 Minutes)
Show the green flag at 2 minutes, the yellow flag at 2 minutes and 30 seconds, and the red flags at 3 minutes. Ring the bell to start clapping at 3 minutes 30 seconds.
Table Topics are usually 2 minutes. Show the green flag at 1 min, the yellow flag at 1 minute and 30 seconds, the red flag at 2 minutes, and ding the bell at 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
Sometimes Table Topics are shortened to 1 min 30 for time. It is a good idea to check with the Chair and TTM at the break to be sure. Use your best judgement for times. An example would be: the green flag at 1 minute, the yellow flag at 1 minute 15 seconds, the red flag at 1 minute and 30 seconds, and ding the bell at 1 minute and 45 seconds.
*Note that if there are more than 4 Table Topics speeches, then the Table Topics Evaluator also needs to have time added. A good rule of thumb is add 1 to 1m15s for each Table Topics so the evaluator isn’t rushed.
Other roles including the General Evaluator
As a rule you should show the red flag when the time is up, and ring the bell at 30 seconds over. You could also show the yellow when they have 30 to 60 seconds left.
In general, you can do whatever you think will work as long as you let the speakers know what you will be doing. BE RUTHLESS ON THE BELL. Our meeting time is limited and there are other roles to get through.
* A point to note. We have some members who are visually impaired and need an aural cue. There are some little clickers in the supplies box for this purpose. Make sure you are clear on what the cues will be. For example, 1 click when there is one minute left, 2 clicks when there are 30 seconds left, 3 clicks when time is up, bell at 30 seconds after. It doesn’t matter what you use as long as it is consistent and explained clearly beforehand.