How to do the Sergeant at Arms assignment

Your job is a very important one. The manner in which you organise and open the meeting will set the mood and/or tone for the first part of the meeting. It is important that you are friendly, confident and enthusiastic.

It is also important that you begin the meeting on time. It is worth considering starting on time and asking for an adjournment if necessary rather than starting late.


Day or two before meeting:

Check the latest agenda (you might have another role as well as SAA). Consider brief words of intro – try to utilise the theme if possible. Know the number of members required to constitute a quorum (half the active membership +1). John Colebatch or VPE will know the quorum number. Aim to arrive early, say 6.50pm (not later than 7.00pm).

Prior to start:

* Liaise with the venue management to ensure that the room is available and properly set up before the meeting.
* Complete Set up room: (delegate/request assistance as needed)
* Banner on easel (this is stored by RSL staff, they put in the room for the meeting inside its tube)
* Give timers/stopwatch to Timer
* Stirrer’s spoon in front of chairman
* Set out member’s name plates
* Set up awards on side table
* Check glasses/water/agendas are in place
* Place gavel on lectern then greet members and guests (watch the time).


* In loud voice, say “attention please, the meeting will start in 2 minutes, please take your seats”.
* Do head count (silently) to establish quorum.



* Call meeting to order – BANG GAVEL (once should be enough)
* “Good evening Toastmasters and Guests.
* I’m xxxx and Sergeant-at-arms for this evening.
* It’s my pleasure to welcome you to tonight’s meeting of the HDTC.
* This is meeting No … and our theme tonight is…
* I’m also pleased to introduce our Chairman for this evening ….

· We do /do not have a quorum, so I’ll now hand over the gavel and ask our Chairman to formally open the meeting”.

* NOTE: As the first speaker the Sergeant-at-Arms should set a friendly but competent mood for the evening. Also you are allocated only two minutes before the meeting to make all announcements. To meet the time constraints it is necessary to be prepared.

When recess is announced, take note of returning time for second session. Check that flag is still secured (if it was put up) and return gavel to the lectern. With one minute remaining, ask members to be seated.


* “Thank you Toastmasters and guests. I’m pleased to reopen the meeting for our second session and return the gavel to the Chairman…”

After the meeting:

* Pack banner into tube (leave in the room for the RSL staff)
* Fold and put away flag, timers/stopwatch, stirrer’s spoon, awards, gavel and nameplates.

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