Timer Role Cheat Sheet

Timer is one of the most important Toastmasters role and also a pretty simple one. This is a great role for new members to start with. All you will need is some sort of timing device (stopwatch, cellphone, etc.) and something to visually indicate to the speakers how they are doing. We have been using virtual backgrounds in Zoom, available for download from Toastmaster International here.



  • The Toastmaster will call on you to explain your role.
    • Explain the green (min), yellow (middle), and red (max) times, along with a quick demo of what you will be using to signal the times: virtual backgrounds, colored cards, etc.
    • An example explanation is “As Timer, I will time the speeches, evaluations and table topics. When a speaker has met their minimum time, I will change my background to green, yellow when they are halfway to their end time, and red when they have hit the maximum time. They have 30 seconds after the red light to wrap up.”
  • Time Educational Speech:
    • Educational Speeches are not tied to a specific time frame, but usually try to keep it short, around 2-3 minutes (2 minutes minimum, 2 minutes 30 seconds middle, 3 minutes maximum). Since this isn’t required, you will not need to give a report on this.
  • Time Speaker #1:
    • The Evaluator should give you the time frame for the speech, usually 5-7 minutes (5 minutes minimum, 6 minutes middle, 7 minutes maximum).
  • Time Speaker #2, same as above.
  • Speeches Timer’s Report:
    • Tell the speakers if they met their time frame (remember they get a 30 seconds wrap-up grace period after the max time).
  • Time Table Topics:
    • Table Topics are 1-2 minutes (1 minute minimum, 1 minute 30 seconds middle, 2 minutes maximum).
  • Table Topics Timer’s Report:
    • List all the Table Topics answerers and whether they met the time frame or not.
  • Time Evaluations:
    • Evaluations are 2-3 minutes (2 minute minimum, 2 minute 30 seconds middle, 3 minutes maximum).
  • Evaluations Timer’s Report:
    • Tell the evaluators if they met their time frame.