Learn Public Speaking Skills at Linlithgow Speakers

To help you learn public speaking skills effectively, we follow a fairly standard meeting format.  We do make changes to this and try to adapt but generally, every Toastmaster club follows a similar pattern.  You can see the video at the bottom of the page.

At every meeting, club members take on helper roles.  These jobs change at each meeting so a different person will be doing the role at the next meeting.  This means everyone has an opportunity to practice different public speaking skills in a variety of situations.

Sometimes we will have a workshop, a speech contest or fit in an AGM depending on what time of year it is.  We always let guests know if it is an unusual meeting.

We would love to see you at a meeting if you would like to visit for free, with no obligation.

A typical Linlithgow Speakers meeting consists of the following elements:


The Toastmaster of the Evening opens the meeting, welcomes everyone and  introduces the people with specific helper roles – the Grammarian, the Ah counter, the Timer and the Invocator if there is one.

These helpers will explain in detail what they are going to do at the lectern.

What this means

Toastmaster – in charge of the meeting
Grammarian – Watches out for grammar useage and introduces a word of the day
Ah counter – counts our ahs, ums and other such sounds
Timer – Signals when time is coming to an end
Invocator – Gets us in the mood!


The Toastmaster introduces each of the prepared speeches which are then delivered. The speeches have objectives and are project driven.

After each speech, everyone at the meeting completes a slip of paper to give the speaker feedback. The Speech Evaluator then gives an oral evaluation.

We sometimes have an Education Session instead of a speech.

Then we have a break when you can talk to us!

What this means

Speaker – Prepared speeches are taken from the Pathways online training programme – see the programme details.
Written evaluations – Everyone’s opinion is valid – even if you are new!
Speech Evaluator – Gives a comprehensive written and oral evaluation.  The speaker will consult with their evaluator before the speech.
Education Session – There are manuals to help and they can be on topics like how to start a speech or on giving effective evaluation.

You can have a tea or coffee and a biscuit –  you may be lucky to catch us on a home-baking night!

Table Topics

The aim of the Table Topics is for you to practice speaking in an impromptu manner.  They last 2 minutes and you are never sure what they will be about until the question comes up.

The session is lead by the Table Topics master and are then Evaluated.

What this means

Table Topics Master – Tries to give you a variety of interesting questions.
Table Topic – Try to put a structured answer together with a message, a beginning, a body and a conclusion.
Table Topics Evaluator – The person who gives you feedback


We start off with some club business.

The Grammarian, Ah counter and Timer give their respective evaluations.

It is then the turn of the General Evaluator to evaluate everything, including all the other evaluators.

We end the night by asking guests for their feedback and the Toastmaster closes the meeting.

What this means

General Evaluator – Evaluates everything from the room layout to the general ambience.  The evaluators are given feedback and so is the Toastmaster.  We don’t just want to improve our public speaking skills, we want to improve the club as well.

What to Expect at Toastmasters