Do you have the time?


As timer you are responsible for monitoring time for each meeting segment and each speaker.

Time: 1 - 2 minutes for introduction, 2 minutes for the report. 

One of the skills Toastmasters practice is expressing a thought within a specific time.

You’ll also operate the timing signal, indicating to each speaker how long he/she has been talking. Serving as a timer is an excellent opportunity to practice giving instructions and time management – something we do every day.


Here’s how to succeed as a timer

Before the meeting, check the agenda of the meeting either here or from the Secretary to confirm which members are scheduled program participants.

You’ll also need to prepare an explanation of your duties, emphasizing timing rules and how timing signals will be given. For the benefit of guests and new members, be sure to use the clearest possible language and rehearse your presentation. You will deliver this explanation during your introduction when called to the stage by the Toastmaster.


On meeting day, retrieve the timing equipment from the Toastmaster. Be sure you understand how to operate the stopwatch and signal device, make certain the timing equipment works and sit where the signal device can be seen by all, usually at the first desk.

The Toastmaster of the meeting will usually call on you to explain the timing rules and demonstrate the signal device. 

 Throughout the meeting, listen carefully to each program participant and signal them. You will be given a special timer’s tally sheet (see PDF icon on the left) to record each participant’s name and time used. It is also necessary to note the time when the meeting is started and ended. 


Every registered participant has a time limit for a green, yellow and red signals.

Please, signal to them accordingly. The Table Topics Master has only yellow and red limits, but his time limit can be changed at the meeting if time allows. Table Topics speakers should speak not less than 1 minute and not more than 2 minutes. You should write down their names yourself.


When you’re called to report by the General Evaluator, come to the stage, announce the speaker’s name and the time taken only for those who didn’t fit into their time limits. 

After the meeting, return the stopwatch and timing signal device to the Secretary. 

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.