Timer’s Guide and Report

Timer’s Guide and Report

Duration: 2 Minutes                                                Lights: Green 2:00, Amber 2:30, Red 3:00, Buzzer 3:30


  • The timer helps people speak to their allotted time slot, and so keeps the meeting moving at a snappy pace. It ensures the meeting finishes on time, and that everyone gets a chance to speak.
  • During the meeting, it is suggested that you select a seat near the Chairman, or at least in a position where the lights can be easily seen by all speakers.

Before the meeting begins:

  • Ensure the timer works correctly. If it does not (eg flat batteries or broken bulb) organise a substitute with the Sergeant at Arms, perhaps coloured cardboard or ribbons.
  • Familiarise yourself with the timing requirements of the various speeches, and how to use the stop watch.

During your assignment:

  • Work the lights according to the list below. Apart from Table Topics, the usual pattern involves green and orange warning lights as the time limit approaches, and the red light on the time limit. Once the red light goes on, it stays on until the speaker finishes. Sound the buzzer to signal 30 seconds overtime. Do not be afraid to use the buzzer for overtime.
  • When the time for the business session has elapsed, stand up to attract the attention of the Chairman. When recognised, announce that the time has elapsed.
  • Keep a record of people’s times.
  • When presenting a report at the end of the night, avoid reading out all the times on your list. You won’t have time! Make it an exception report, noting chief offenders or very good performers. It is customary to read out the times of all prepared speeches.
  • Other times not shown below are as instructed by the toastmaster on the evening or on the timer card.
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