Ideas for Toastmasters Meetings

Looking for something different to do in your meetings? Here are a couple of suggestions…

Pecha Kucha evening
Pecha Kucha is a Japanese word for a real chatterbox, appropriate for a form of presentation designed to keep waffling to a minimum! It was devised by a couple of architects in 2003 as a way of attracting people to an experimental event space that allowed designers to meet, show their work and exchange ideas. It has since become a huge phenomenon with Pecha Kucha events in many countries around the world.

How it works
The format is really simple – 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each, giving a total speech time of 6 minutes 40 seconds. The slides are set to progress automatically so the presenter isn’t constantly clicking and doesn’t have to think about progressing the slides. It is more challenging than it seems. Presenters find that they underestimate how long it will take to speak about each slide so sometimes they’re left standing, waiting for the next slide – practice makes perfect is very true for this format! The timing is perfect for a manual speech and people can speak on any topic they wish. For examples of pecha kucha presentations, please visit

An Evening of Mystery…
This is a particularly good idea if you have a third meeting in the month, but you can use it any time. It’s great for getting members out of their comfort zones a little. When we’ve done it at Guildford Speakers often people end up doing roles they didn’t think they were ready for, and did them brilliantly. People were thrilled to discover they were able to do it after all. Best of all the evening starts off with a great deal of fun and hilarity and continues in the same way!

How it works
Let members know roles will not be assigned in advance for this meeting. Have the names of all members present written down on a piece of paper. The easiest way to do this is to get members to sign in as they arrived. Members can elect to do a speech and all their names should be put into one hat and their names drawn first. All the other names are put into a second hat, together with any speakers’ names that didn’t get a slot. Draw one name at a time and when their name is called that person states which role they would like to take. Members complete their blank agendas as the names are drawn and the roles filled.

An alternative way of filling the roles is to draw them in the order of the agenda, so the first name is the Toastmaster and so on.

You will need to allow about 5 minutes for the draw and some time for speakers to give their manuals to evaluators etc. and then you’re ready to go.

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